At least 358 U.S. Marines will be in the CNMI for Exercise Forager Fury II in November and December, a follow-up to the successful Forager Fury I on Tinian last year.
Don Farrell, the Tinian mayor’s chief of staff and a CNMI historian, said Forager Fury II is being coordinated in such a way that tourists, as well as locals, will not be inhibited from visiting the Atomic Bomb Loading Pits and other historic sites on Tinian’s North Field National Historic Landmark.
Citing information from the Marine Air Group-12, Farrell said “there are 358 Marines currently scheduled to participate.”
“This is good news for the CNMI and Tinian, as it means the Marines will be on island for four-five pay periods leading up the Christmas. This is a bonus for the CNMI general fund and some of our private businesses,” he told reporters.
On Nov. 1, the port operations group is expected to arrive in a KC 130 aircraft. In the next two days after that, a ship will offload on Tinian. On Nov. 4, personnel are expected to arrive possibly on a 767 craft. On that same day, North Field clearing operations will start.
Farrell said surge operations on West Field are from Dec. 9 to 13, followed by equipment washdown from Dec. 13 to 20 until departure of personnel.
Back in late July, U.S. Marine Air Group-12 executive officer Lt. Col. Thomas E. Frederick and Roy Tsustui, U.S. Defense coordinating officer, briefed Gov. Eloy S. Inos and other local officials about Operation Forager Fury II in December.
In July, local officials said some 200 Marines will be on Tinian, while some 50 Marines will be on Saipan.