MILITARY PLANS BUILDUP ON TINIAN FOR FIRING RANGES

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Roads, expansion to create jobs

By Raquel C. Bagnol MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, Nov. 3, 2010) – In the Northern Mariana Islands, the construction of bigger facilities such as a bio-security facility at the Tinian International Airport is one of the projects the federal government will undertake to accommodate the military buildup in the next few years.

John J. Jackson, director for the Joint Guam Program Office Forward, said a lot of construction work is seen in the next few years on Tinian.

"When the firing ranges will be built here, wider access roads, more infrastructure and bigger facilities will be needed to house all the aircraft, ammunition and other things," Jackson said.

But this future construction projects should not pose a threat to the community, he added.

"We will be using local contractors to do these projects, and when done, this will create more jobs as we need local people to maintain the facilities," Jackson said.

The construction of a bio-security facility will prevent invasive species such as brown tree snakes from entering or spreading on Tinian.

"This is very important because cargoes will be transported into the island. If even one brown tree snake or other invasive species enters the island, this will mean a big problem which will multiply in the future," Jackson said.

These big construction projects are part of the "larger footprint" that will be taking place in the next phase during the next 10 to 15 years, Jackson said.

More and larger facilities will be needed for mess halls, barracks, bunkers and other facilities.

"A lot of development is in store for Tinian in the coming years, developments that would mean more jobs for the local people," Jackson said.

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