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HONOLULU (AP, Pacific Daily News, April 2) - The Commander of U.S. Pacific Command told a delegation from Guam that the U.S. territory still is being considered for possible placement of an aircraft carrier strike group, Guam's congressional representative said.

Adm. Thomas Fargo was responding Wednesday to a question on the status of discussions to find a homeport for a carrier in the Pacific, Delegate Madeleine Bordallo's office in Washington said in a statement.

Pacific Command officials said last year that an aircraft carrier strike group may be moved to Hawaii or Guam in the future so the Navy could respond more quickly to a crisis in North Korea or elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

Representatives from Guam and Hawaii, citing the economic boon that the increased military presence would provide their economies, have lobbied for the carrier group in their islands.

Bordallo addressed Fargo about the carrier group at an Armed Service Committee hearing Wednesday that also was attended by a four-member delegation from Guam. Guam Chamber of Commerce Chairman and Pacific Daily News Publisher Lee Webber, immediate past Chairman James L. Adkins, chamber board member Carl Peterson and Guam Economic Development and Commerce Authority Administrator Gerry Perez made the trip to the nation's capital.

The delegation traveled to Washington to present a position paper supporting an increased military presence on Guam.

Pacific Daily News staff contributed to this report.

April 2, 2004

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