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NEWS | April 23, 2015

Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific: The Four Biggest Construction Projects Since the End of the Cold War

By U.S. Pacific Command Public Affairs Office

The United States and its allies are expending nearly $37 billion on new capabilities and infrastructure with the goal of fortifying collective defense and maintaining regional stability in the Asia-Pacific region. 


At the Council of Foreign Relations in 2014 Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work called these efforts, “The four biggest construction projects since the end of the Cold War.”


The projects are under development at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan; Futenma Replacement Facility, Okinawa; and on U.S. territory in Guam. 


U.S. Army Camp Humphreys is approximately 40 miles south of Seoul and home of one of the Army's most active airfields.  The military and civilian population will grow from 10,000 to 36,000 after U.S. Forces Korea Headquarters and the 2nd Infantry Division are relocated here. 


This camp will become the larger of two hubs into which U.S. military forces on the peninsula are to be consolidated.  Construction projects underway include unit headquarters buildings, vehicle maintenance facilities, barracks, a communications complex, and force support facilities for military members and their families.


Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is currently located in the center of Okinawa’s Ginowan City.  The relocation is a meaningful result of many years of sustained work between the United States and Japan, and is a critical step toward realizing our shared vision for the realignment of U.S. Forces on Okinawa.


In order to consolidate the U.S. footprint on Okinawa the air station will be moved to a replacement facility at the Camp Schwab Henoko-saki area.  About 9,000 Marines will be relocated away from Okinawa throughout the theater in a manner more consistent with today’s military distributed laydown requirements.


Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is on the southeastern tip of Honshu, the largest Japanese island.  Construction here supports a reassigned Marine C-130 squadron from Futenma; and in 2017 will support a portion of the Carrier Air Wing FIVE from Atsugi, Japan.


Iwakuni construction includes a massive landfill effort, relocating the runway further out to sea, military and family housing, and airfield facilities. 


Guam construction is designed to absorb the move of approximately 4,100 Okinawa-based Marines along with roughly 600 globally sourced Marines, with associated dependents, training ranges and support facilities. As the most forward U.S. territories in the Pacific, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are important strategic hubs for the U.S. Asia-Pacific rebalance.


Together, these construction projects underscore the U.S. and allied commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.


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