Consultants supporting Okinawa Marine Corps relocation to Guam

ASMD LLC, a joint venture partnership of several architecture and engineering consultancies, has won another $100 million, five-year contract to continue work on a new United States Marine Corps (USMC) base in Guam.

The consortium is headed by Architects Hawaii Ltd. (AHL), and also includes Honolulu-based RMA Architects and SSFM International; Guam-based Setiadi Architects and EMCE Consulting Engineers; and Stanley Consultants, an Iowa-based global engineering consultancy with an office in Guam.

ASMD’s work on the previous five-year contract, which expires this month, included the design of housing, maintenance and operations facilities, fire and police stations, and aircraft hangars. The group’s work on Camp Blaz in the US territory of Guam will continue under the new indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract.

“The relocation of the Marines from Okinawa to Guam is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime project because it’s building up a base up from scratch,” Myles Michibata, a principal at AHL, told Pacific Business News.

Consultants supporting Okinawa Marine Corps relocation to Guam

The forthcoming base will house 5,000 Marines, the bulk of whom are being relocated from Okinawa. The island of Okinawa, which was captured by US Marines in one of the latter actions on the Pacific Front in WWII, is home to more than half of the 50,000 US military personnel in Japan.

The Marine Corps presence has long faced pressure from Okinawa residents and political leaders, who want the US military to reduce or remove facilities from the island. The current USMC plan is to reduce its presence on Okinawa by nearly half, from approximately 20,000 to 11,000. Marines from Okinawa will be relocated to Darwin, Australia; Hawaii; the mainland US; and Guam.

Marines are expected to begin arriving at the Guam base in 2024, with the full 5,000-strong force in place by 2028.

The Pentagon is expected to ramp up its military presence in Asia over the next decade to counter the growing threat China poses to US bases and allies in the region, shifting resources away from the Middle East. A centerpiece of the current plan is the establishment of land-based, non-nuclear, intermediate range missiles in the region to cheaply shift the balance of power in the western Pacific back to the US.

Allies such as Australia, the Philippines, and South Korea are currently reticent to accept US missiles which may provoke Beijing. However, the US territory of Guam is one location where land-based missiles could be placed without the necessary diplomatic wrangling with allies.

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