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U.S. defense department official sees need

By Janela Buhain HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 30, 2010) - With tens of thousands of jobs to be generated by the military buildup, Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn said a buildup of this magnitude cannot eliminate the need for foreign workers, although Guam’s workforce will be tapped first.

"We want to manage the buildup in a way that doesn’t overwhelm Guam’s infrastructure," Lynn said during his lecture at the University of Guam on Tuesday.

"Given the size of the buildup relative to the size of Guam, I think you’re going to need some foreign workers to help support this. It just wouldn’t be possible to accomplish this with no foreign workers," he added.

However, Lynn did not give specifics as to the percentages of either local workers or foreign workers.

Lynn said the impending military buildup will not only create a growth in construction workforce, but will also demand a workforce in engineering professionals.

He said the military will look to local businesses to play a key role in an economy that is subject to job growth.

Approximately 30,000 jobs are projected to be created as a result of the impending military buildup that is expected to accelerate a construction boom on Guam.

Meanwhile, Dolores Cogan, author of "We Fought the Navy and Won," took a stance against the military expansion efforts on Guam, saying the troop buildup is "too many, too fast."

At a public briefing held last week at UOG, Cogan said Guam’s capacity cannot accommodate 8,600 Marines, 9,000 dependents, and 18,000 contract workers.

She noted that the decision to move the U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam was made during the Bush administration, and without consultation with the local community.

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