People often misinterpret the militarized exterior of Guam or extrapolate high levels of patriotism or support for military policies based on the amount of people serving in the US military. This disconnect leads to so many problems. The myth of Guam as being a place where the military is adored is partially true, but the military, because of its intimate and often times invasive and disrespectful nature is also reviled. What is often lost in this is that while Guam is overall very pro-military, that attitude can change quite quickly once people feel like they are being taken advantage of and not being taken seriously.
Below are some responses, primarily from Facebook to the military training.
From the GUAM PDN
A Marine Corps special operations group is conducting live fire training in Hagatna this evening. Authorities have closed off streets in the area.
The training is being conducted by a small group of Marines with the III Marine Expeditionary Force, Special Operations Training Group, according to a press release.
Military members are being transported to the area via helicopter and ground transportation, the release states. The group is conducting training in an "urban environment."
Residents are likely to hear noises from aircraft, military vehicles and small weapons.
Is it truly right to shut down your home streets to only let military "safely" practice how to protect their own land? Why?
Why were the Marines having a live fire training in Hagatña? What point is there to this? Would they shut down downtown Spokane to shoot and blow things up? Why does this happen then on my island?
live fire helicopter exercises were banned by Okinawa for a reason. The Japanese were smart to stop playing such gracious hosts... which is one of the main reasons for the Guam buildup and Asia realignment/pivot. Now Uncle Sam wants to play with his helicopters over Hagatna without notice?
Not cool, bro....
Yo I was just down there with Charlie...the shit was crazy they had 3 helicopters flying around, one who didn't have any lights on, like some stealth mode shit. Then cops fuckin everywhere blocking the street. We went up to one to the cops and ask what was going on and they said "oh we're just doing an exercise...u should probably get under a bldg" They even blew up something...I didn't see it, only heard it.
This is so upsetting. With little (and last-minute) warning, something like this leaves the base and gets to occur on "civilian" grounds. If this is expected to be "normal" for our community, then there are problems, the main one being we are normalizing war for our children. It's disgusting that our children are being raised on an Island that says it's okay for this type of violence to come so close to our doorsteps. #wheresourhumanity
I don't know about doing these things in populated areas at all, and just because they do it in other populated areas doesn't justify it as far as I'm concerned.
Having freedom doesn't mean "you shouldn't have opinions on anything we do."
From National Security Blog: What the Guam and NMI media won't tell you.
@ marianasguamblog.tumblr.com Hafa Adai.
The Jarhead Jigger; Landscapes of Violence, Public Nuisance And Manufactured Surprise in Hagatna; Thoughts from a Oka, Tamuning boy.
The marines are doing their thing and this time it’s in Hagatna.
Penchants for training and combat exercises have always been the bread and butter of the marines, who under sequestration are seeking respite and ways to further validate their existence.
For years the marines have been conducting urban exercises to the irritant of many villagers.
Yet that is what they are supposed to do, conduct tactical training iterations to remain ready for combat.
Sounds violent uh. It is.
Last time I had the misfortune of being close by these training irritants, I got a call from my auntie Chai, complaining about the noise. I parked the truck near the perimeter as GPD officers watched.
It was then that I knew who was fully in charge and it wasn’t the GPD.
Yet, the marines knew they could get away with making noise, disrupting an otherwise tranquil environment, without even having the courtesy to let the village mayor know beforehand.
As Rodney Dangerfield once said “no respect” and that is what we have here once again - no respect.
The intelligence community spooks living on Guam and Saipan and the marine training planners are having a field day by delivering surprise to villagers.
What better way to deliver the message that Guam remains the epicenter of American military governance and control that to take the training op to the heart of the island?
Madison Avenue nor Hollywood could not have done this one up better. ”Live firing, overhead aircraft, marines rappelling, etc. etc.”
What better way to irritate, upset, frighten and demonstrate who is in charge than to have the marines, under the shadow of a moonlight night, embark on a urban exercise training op in an otherwise relatively peaceful little village located in the remote western Pacific.
Make no mistake folks, the marines are here to stay, for good or for bad.
My question is who is collecting the section 30 monies if at all?
Where’s Madeleine or Mo’ Money Eddie and what do they have to say?
The MARSOC community views Guam with special importance for where else in the country can you so fully disrupt and become a public nuisance while enjoy the backing of the local media, who condone and produce non-evaluative reporting?
I suspect the answer is “no where else in the country.”
Perhaps, the marines could do a training op at Mo’ Money Eddie’s compound in Maite. I’m sure Paul senior would be much appreciative of the gesture.
My question is where is Admiral Bordallo?
Having her accompany the marine office in charge of this urban training exercise would make for a great photo op and demonstrate to villagers why she represents MARFORPAC so well.
The CIA employee who coined the term Only On Guam was right on this one.
Because “OOG” can Ronald Reagan’s 9/11 force be so irritating and so overwhelming, but hey, that’s the whole point isn’t it?
Masters of chaos in Tano Y Chamorro.
Military, leaders failed us in live-fire exercise
Letter to the PDNThe live-fire training conducted by the Marines in Hagåtña was done in violation of their own policies. Just as concerning was the failure of our leaders to properly inform the public at large and to safely prepare for the invasion of Hagåtña.
U.S. military policy MCO3570.1C, DOD policy 3150.03D and 1322.28, requires that the use of non-DOD property meet applicable environmental and local regulations. A legal review and formal agreement with the owners is required. The U.S. must identify ammunition intended for use, procedures and accountability, scope of liability (property damage and injury), control measures, procedures for decontaminating the training area, coordination with local authorities, written notification of activities, anticipated population nuisance, precautions given to the residents, etc. Mission failed. This exercise in the capital of Guam could have proven fatal with the substantive homeless population in the area.
Undoubtedly military training is an urgent national priority in a time of war, but they have already taken more than one-fourth of the island and continue to practice eminent domain or land-grabbing. The U.S. government did the same thing in the state of Colorado, using eminent domain to steal ranchers' property. So in Guam, an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the U.S., they don't even have to ask. Why should they ask to use their own property?
We love America, we don't need self-determination, we want status quo -- and the Spanish called us the island of thieves. This is how the military exercises eminent domain -- they use non-DOD property as a testing ground and then they seize it under federal control.
The failure of our elected leaders to ensure citizen notification and safety is derelict and criminal, especially if they were aware of the live-fire training and still gave no notice. Where were our elected leaders with the inflated salaries -- mayors making $75,000 (because they are on call 24 hours), senators with salaries of $85,000 (who are just as deserving), our lieutenant governor at $95,000 (painting bus stops) or our governor at $130,000 who is the most deserving (for his landslide victory)? Were they all sleeping at the wheel?
One day we are living in peace and then overnight we become a war zone. Guam has been more than welcoming to U.S. military, but we are not welcoming them to become a war zone -- conducting training outside the DOD fence leaves the entire island vulnerable to being a war zone like it was in World War II.
We sought U.S. protection as they were on island prior to the invasion of Japan and then the U.S. leave the Chamorros to fend for themselves.