19 Oct 2017
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE military development on Tinian was put on hold because the administration wants the U.S. Department of Defense to suspend the discussion on the proposed CNMI Joint Military Training or CJMT and focus instead on the construction of infrastructure for the Divert Airfield on Tinian.
According to a source, Gov. Ralph Torres wrote a letter to Assistant Secretary Lucian Niemeyer of the Department of Defense and indicated that if DoD wants the Air Force Divert facility on Tinian, then the CJMT must be held in abeyance.
The Commonwealth Ports Authority and the Tinian lawmakers declined to comment.
For its part, the Torres administration, through the executive director of the CNMI Civil Military Liaison Office, Stanley T. Iakopo, said the governor had a positive and productive meeting with Niemeyer regarding various issues concerning the military’s activities in the CNMI.
According to Iakopo, in that meeting, the governor proposed that the CNMI government and the military suspend discussions regarding the CJMT on Tinian and Pagan and focus instead “their collective energy and attention” on the construction and implementation of the Air Force Divert activities and exercises program on Tinian.
“It is our understanding that the DoD has agreed with the governor’s position,” Iakopo said. “Since the very beginning of these discussions, it has always been the position of the governor and this administration to have the divert program on Tinian. The governor is very cognizant of the infrastructure and economic benefits it would bring to the people of Tinian.”
Iakopo added, “The governor emphasizes that he and members of our Legislature understand the significance our decisions have on the culture, the environment, and the quality of life of our people. This sense of duty to the people of our islands will continue to guide discussions forward.”
According to Iakopo, “Governor Torres is very appreciative of Assistant Secretary Niemeyer for not only meeting with him personally in Washington, D.C. but for also having the voices of the CNMI heard in our nation’s capital at this critical time.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/99425-military-development-on-tinian-on-hold