Demystifying Appendix A of the Final Programmatic Agreement: Andersen Air Force Base


The recent news that more ancient Chamorro burial sites were identified on military-controlled land where Camp Blaz in northern Guam is to be located is not surprising; unfortunately, nor is the lack of information sharing by the military with the public. Secrecy continues to be the Pentagon’s method of choice when it comes to explaining what kinds of damage is occurring within federal government-controlled land in Guam. This policy of secrecy is precisely why it is of utmost importance that our ancient Chamorro Pacific Islander people create the conditions for ourselves to seek fuller understanding of military activities and documents. Thus the effort to continue a review of Final PA documents is in order. 

Today, we are looking at the second part of Appendix A, the Andersen Air Force Base “AAFB” section.  This section takes up the last 40 pages of this 115-page document. Unlike the navy section that uses five different columns, the air force section uses seven separate columns containing approximately 224 rows, mostly without labels. Column labels are found only toward the very end, and are as follows: “Training Grouping,” “Training Activity,” “Location,” ‘Description,” “Mitigations,” “Stressors,” and “Reference Map.” Compared to the navy, the language contained in the air force rows is more coded and obscure, and as is the case with the navy, the AAFB section does not have a glossary.

More confusing or less confusing?
The air force has 17 PowerPoint style pictures, two fewer than the navy. As with the navy pictures, the air force pictures are not consistently scaled, and it is impossible to clearly understand the precise locations of each image. It would be better to have one overall map of AAFB-controlled property big enough to clearly and specifically identify where each of the 17 pictures are precisely located in relation to each other, identically scaled. 

And as with the navy images, the air force pictures are labelled with the words “NAVFAC” and “Section 106” and the disclaimer that “CNRM GeoReadiness Center does not attest to or guarantee the currency and/or validity of the data contained in this map, nor does it attest to any spatial accuracy. This map is for planning purposes only.”  

All 17 images have December 2020 dates and all but one picture has a sidebar with two legends and eight feature descriptions (with some misspellings). Three of the 17 pictures have firing range imagery that is obscure and does not break out surface danger zone information. There are approximately 172 icons depicting what kinds of activities will or are taking place in these areas such as “Night Driving” and “Confined Space” and “Land Demolition.” Again, there are no glossaries. 

Preoccupation with technical language, abbreviations, and alpha-numerical designations 
What is clear from reviewing the AAFB portion of this Appendix A document is that much of the content contained both in the tables and in the imagery are not user-friendly to the Chamorro people. Medium length alpha-numeric designations make up much of the content. There are approximately 35 “Training Groupings” and at least one line item under this column is repeated on top of each page. The “Training Activity” and “Location” content is filled with all kinds of acronyms, all without detailed explanations as to what this language means. 

The ability to connect the table information directly to specific imagery and to the horizontal and vertical legend listings is not possible. This AAFB section of Appendix A is evasive and prevents the Chamorro people of Guam from being able to readily grasp and truly understand what the air force and other military organizations are doing in northern Guam.  

The air force does not spell out what specific kinds and amounts of pollution, trash, chemical, liquid, or solid waste will be produced from each listed activity. There is no information explaining just how badly damaged specific land areas will become from recurring military activities and how areas will be repaired. There is no language in this section that explains where the underground aquifer system is in relation to each training area location, or the risks that may be produced from human presence and military activities. 

There is no language in this section that clearly spells out fire risks, risks to military personnel, and risks to villagers as to what kinds of aerosolized dangers might come about from the training or damage to beach and shoreline areas. There is no language discussing specific cumulative destruction, dangers or risks to humans, native species and ecosystems near these pictures. 

Appendix A is largely a concealing document with an unclear purpose
Appendix A is largely a concealing document. The information layout is coded and abbreviated with many misspelled words and columns that are missing headings. The document doesn’t provide any real sense of what the public is supposed to do with this material. There is no easy way to connect the 17 images back to the table content referencing image legends.  

As with the Naval Base Guam portion of Appendix A, there are no glossaries in sight. It is not known how many people will be participating in the training activities, what units are involved, how much water and power will be consumed from these actions, how many days each year each site will be used, and what foreign militaries and/or paramilitaries will be training alongside U.S. forces. No explanations are provided to explain to the public what Section 106 is, and there is no indication as to what, when, how, or where any local leaders or representatives were involved in any capacity with preparing Appendix A. 

What is clear is that based on the iconography and content of Appendix A, our ancient Pacific Island home is becoming hyper-militarized at historic levels without the prior, written, or formal consent of the ancient Chamorro Pacific Islanders of Guam and without a full and rigorous understanding of what is taking place. 

Rick Arriola Perez | Author
Rick Arriola Perez is a U.S. military veteran who has worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, the Bank of Hawaii, and the government of Guam. He holds several degrees including ones from UCLA and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I. Rick is passionate about national security and foreign affairs in the Pacific Asia region and runs a blogsite called Guam Affairs at For more information, contact Perez at
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.