Saturday, April 11, 2009

Guam military build-up increases population 15%

The U.S. Government Accountability Office provides a summary of the impact of the military build-up. In short, Guam will need a complete make-over to support it. The GAO is worried whether the leadership is in place to manage this daunting project.

Summary of what the build-up means:

As a result of the military buildup, Guam’s current population of 171,000 will increase by an estimated 25,000 active duty military personnel and dependents (or 14.6 percent), to 196,000. In addition, the realignment will require additional workers to move to the island, including non-defense personnel, DOD contractors, and transient military personnel. As such, the U.S. military realignment and buildup will substantially impact Guam’s community and infrastructure.

What is now lacking:

Construction demands will exceed local capacity and the availability of workers on Guam. In addition, Guam’s infrastructure is inadequate to meet the increased demand because of the military buildup.

The buildup requires double the existing port capacity, and Guam’s major highways may not have enough capacity to accommodate the increased traffic since the two major highways on Guam, which the military will use to transport supplies, need major improvements.

In addition, Guam’s electric grid may be inadequate to fully support the buildup. Further, Guam’s water and waste-water systems are near capacity, and demand may increase by 25 percent. Guam’s solid-waste facilities also face capacity and environmental challenges as they have reached the end of their projected useful life.

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