U.S. NAVY PLANS BOMBING ON FARALLON IN CNMI

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By Agnes E. Donato

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, July 14) - The U.S. Navy will resume bombing exercises on Farallon de Mendenilla island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas this week , the Emergency Management Office announced yesterday.

According to an EMO advisory, the live fire bombing training exercise will be held Friday from 2:30pm to 7:30pm.

"The general location of the activity will be on the FDM training area (R7201) from 15,000 feet mean sea level on a 10-nautical mile radius on all quadrants," EMO said.

Due to the danger imposed by this activity, EMO is warning people, especially fishermen, commercial pilots and tour operators, to stay away from this location during the time and date indicated.

"The cooperation and understanding of the general public is greatly appreciated," it said.

The military also started its marine environmental survey at the island on Monday. The underwater survey will run 24 hours daily until July 16, while the aerial survey will be done from 9am to 3pm today, and from 8am to 12pm on July 26.

Farallon de Mendenilla, the first island north of Saipan, is classified as a public land that is under lease by the U.S. military from the Commonwealth.

On Saipan, the military maintains 178 acres of public land.

The U.S. military also controls 30 percent of the entire landmass of Tinian, totaling 7,628 acres, by virtue of another lease agreement.

In a recent visit to the CNMI, Naval Forces Marianas commander Rear Adm. Arthur Johnson bared plans to increase military presence on Tinian.

Johnson also disclosed the increasing trend in the military's joint and multilateral training with allied countries, including the Philippines, Australia, and Brunei.

Last month, the U.S. Navy and Special Forces from Singapore conducted a joint training on Guam.

July 14, 2004

Saipan Tribune: www.saipantribune.com

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