Department of the Navy leaders sign Guam Explosive Safety Submission

Posted on Jan 22 2020

Official U.S. Navy file photo of U.S. Naval Base Guam shows U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Republic of Korea navy vessels moored in Apra Harbor, Guam. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Culminating over three years of negotiation, Department of the Navy leaders signed an agreement yesterday to establish a disciplined process for the Commander, Joint Region Marianas to have the authority to implement prudent explosive safety principles in Guam. The agreement will have an immediate impact on billions of dollars in military construction activities being undertaken by all military services with missions in Guam, including the relocation of U.S. Marines from the island of Okinawa, Japan.

The ceremony marks submission of the Guam Munitions Response Explosive Safety Submission to the Naval Ordnance Safety and Security Activity. Dale Sisson, executive director of NOSSA, and Jim Balocki, deputy assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations, Energy and Facilities) signed the memorandum of agreement to acknowledge this historic occasion.

 “This agreement is all about safely accelerating the delivery of warfighter capabilities by the Air Force, Navy, and Marines to a region of the world critical to our nation’s strategic interests,” said Lucian Niemeyer, acting assistant secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations and Environment). “We no longer will have extended delays for essential military construction projects, and will be able to save U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”  

According to Niemeyer, the event marks the culmination of many years work by staff across the globe to address the unique challenges associated with constructing facilities in Guam, a former World War II battleground. The agreement is intended as a template to improve the communication and teamwork across the explosive safety functions in the Department of Defense to expand activities on other islands with similar histories during World War II.

 “This is a significant day for many of us; this agreement will enable greater agility in the decision-making process, save money, and, most importantly, deliver infrastructure capabilities more quickly in the Pacific region. This agreement was made possible by the extraordinary leadership at NOSSA, the DoD Explosive Safety Board, and dedicated work by many professionals in Guam, Hawaii and here in the [Washington,] D.C. region.,” said James B. Balocki, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy (Installations, Energy and Facilities).

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment serves the Department of the Navy and the nation by enhancing combat capabilities for the warfighter and greater energy security;  the acquisition and disposal of real property; construction and maintenance of installations; protecting the safety and occupational health of the military and civilian personnel; environmental protection, planning and restoration ashore and afloat; and conservation of natural and cultural resources. (Office of the Navy Chief of Information)

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