Gov. Ralph DLG Torres leaves for Saipan today for an official trip that includes attending the 75th commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Wednesday. He is also scheduled to meet with ranking members of the U.S. military and Department of Defense officials while on the island of Oahu.
The meeting is part of the ongoing discussion on 902 issues, particularly the proposed military buildup in the CNMI that includes a live-fire training facility, as stated on the Commonwealth Joint Military Training.
Press secretary Ivan Blanco said that despite the break in the 902 schedules, discussions would continue with Torres again raising issues and matters related to the talks.
The DoD’s plan of having live-fire training under CJMT is one of the issues to be discussed in the 902 talks. Both the CNMI and federal panels are discussing if the proposal is consistent with the Covenant between the Commonwealth and the U.S. government
The administration, in a statement, said local non-profit organizations continue to raise their concerns and question the DoD’s proposed activities and its short- and long-term effects on the CNMI.
Torres would meet with U.S. Pacific Command Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield. USPACOM is based in the U.S. Marine Corps installation of Camp H.M. Smith in Alea, Oahu.
The meeting is also part of maintaining bilateral communication between Torres and DoD officials.
The governor was invited to take part in the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Navy. He would also meet with other state and federal officials during his two-day trip to Hawaii.
Torres is expected back on Saipan on Dec. 9 to attend to some family matters before leaving again to attend the National Governors Association meeting from Dec. 12 to 14 in San Diego, California. Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog will be acting governor when Torres is off-island.
While the administration awaits the final 902 talks report from the White House, Torres would continue to reach out to other NGA members, most especially governors from the Western states, Blanco said.
Torres is seeking support on issues that would have adverse effect on the CNMI, including the presidential transition, the impact of the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, renewable energy, and the local labor shortage.