About Air Force To Bolster Presence On Guam
|November 30th, 2006||#1|
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Air Force To Bolster Presence On Guam info
November 29, 2006
By Associated Press
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The U.S. Air Force plans to bring as many as 3,000 additional airmen and their families to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam beginning next year.
The move comes amid heightened tensions since North Korea demonstrated its military capabilities by testing a nuclear weapon Oct. 9.
The extra personnel are part of an expansion that will increase U.S. reconnaissance, deployment and training capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region, said Maj. Richelle Dowdell, a spokeswoman at Andersen Air Force Base.
The airmen will come from various units dealing with combat-support training, communications, civil engineering and other Air Force functions, Dowdell said. Airmen will likely relocate from areas including South Korea, Japan and the United States.
The expansion, which includes plans for unmanned Global Hawk surveillance planes and tanker operations, will take place in phases through 2015, Dowdell said.
The growth of Andersen Air Force Base is in line with the Quadrennial Defense Review, which labeled Asia as a continued security threat.
"The Asian region has become increasingly important to regional and U.S. security and directed the Air Force to expand basing in the Western Pacific to increase its ability to defeat an adversary's military or political objective," according to the review.
The U.S. Air Force has begun in recent years to rotate continuously a fleet of long-range bombers to Guam, well within range of any target on the Korean peninsula.
There are six B-52 bombers on Guam, where B-2 stealth bombers recently did a rotation. The Navy has added two Los Angeles-class attack submarines to its forces on Guam.
"We used to be a sleepy hollow in the Pacific, but now as the force structure is changing, they're building up Guam and Andersen Air Force Base," Dowdell said.
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