Japan Goes for Guam

The forces coming to Guam might soon include a regular presence of Japanese airmen, Gen. Howie Chandler said at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Wednesday. Chandler said during a panel discussion that Japan has been coming to Guam regularly for military exercises and has now expressed interest in building a permanent presence on the island. This would not be assigned forces, but rather physical infrastructure so that Japanese Self Defense Forces routinely headed to the island would have somewhere to go. Other recent additions to the island outpost at the western edge of America’s “strategic triangle” in the Pacific include USAF’s rotational heavy bomber presence and a rotational tanker presence. Construction on a hangar for Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles has begun, and 8,000 marines plus their families are expected to relocate from Okinawa to Guam in the next few years. The US has fought from the island twice before, Chandler noted, but if strategic forces are built up properly, he said, “We won’t have to fight from there again.”