Tinian divert airfield done by Oct. 2025


Ranking U.S Department of Defense officials and Commonwealth officials led by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres break ground on a $161.8 million-divert airfield project on Tinian that is expected to be completed by Oct. 9, 2025. (Kimberly B. Esmores)

TINIAN—Ranking U.S Department of Defense officials were joined by Commonwealth officials yesterday to break ground on a $161.8-million divert airfield project on Tinian that is expected to be completed by Oct. 9, 2025.

The first and second phase of the divert airfield facility—to be built largely on the north side of the Tinian airport—will allow the U.S. Air Force to use Tinian as an alternative landing site for its planes—a divert airfield—in case Anderson Air Force Base in Guam is inaccessible due to war or calamities.

Joining the DoD officials yesterday for the groundbreaking were Commonwealth Ports Authority officials, members of the Tinian Municipality, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, and various CNMI government representatives.

The Tinian divert airfield construction project, which Black Micro Corp. contracted at $161.8 million, is composed of two phases; phase one: airfield development; and phase two: a parking apron.

According to Capt. Tim Librotore, commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems of Joint Region Marianas, the estimated completion date for both phases is Oct. 9, 2025.

“The total contract amount is $161.8 million, which was awarded to Black Micro Corp., with a contract completion date of Oct. 9, 2025. These projects are also a testament to the continued partnership between the Department of Defense and the CNMI government as we work together to ensure security in the region,” he said.

The first phase, which costs about $84.4 million, is the airfield development and it provides the site development for Air Force access, including a cleared level site with road fencing earthwork drainage, water well, and utilities.

The parking apron, that was contracted at $78.4 million, is the construction of aircraft parking apron and taxiways with shoulders and utilities.


Brig. Gen. Jeremy Sloane, commander, 36th wing, said the Tinian divert development projects is the largest and the most important Air Force projects in the region.

“Its airfield, roadway, port, and pipeline improvements will provide vital strategic, operational, and exercise capabilities for the U.S. forces and support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Air Force is committed to a safe Tinian, a prosperous CNMI, and a collaborative region as well as preserving Tinian’s natural and historical resources for future generations,” he said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Tinian community for its support.

“On behalf of the United States Air Force, I would like to express how much we value our longstanding partnership with the CNMI. We are especially grateful for the support of the Tinian community who enable us to conduct safe and effective flying training across the island and throughout the surrounding airspace,” he said.


Rear Adm. Benjamin Nicholas, commander, Join Region Marianas, said this divert field, upon completion, will broaden and enhance the DoD’s ability to meet mission requirements, broaden its defense strategies, and expand it capabilities for training and operations.

“Few pacing challenges have emerged in this region. This has called for the need to strengthen our defenses, our forces, and our partnerships. Today is yet another bold step we take for the defense of this region and we could not do it without our friends and partners in the CNMI. Thank you for your continued commitment to homeland defense and your support to our military’s mission to maintain a free and open Indo Pacific,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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