‘DoD’s promises now happening’
Investors are now expanding to Tinian as the U.S. Department of Defense is moving forward with several projects on the island, according to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres during a radio news briefing last week.
Responding to a Saipan Tribune request for an update on the developments on Tinian, Torres noted that the DoD has made a lot of promises throughout the years or decades and that they are now seeing those promises being set in motion. “It’s happening,” he said.
The DoD is building a divert airfield—an alternative landing site for its airplanes—on Tinian in case the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam is inaccessible due to war or calamities. DoD and the CNMI government through the Commonwealth Ports Authority signed an agreement in 2019 for the divert project.
With DoD’s interest, Torres said they are now witnessing more projects pouring into the island, resulting in an increased need for an adequate workforce needed for the many projects associated with the U.S. Air Force’s divert airfield project on the island.
“I know that they [DoD] also request to have sort of training for construction and other skilled labor for Tinian,” Torres said.
The governor said that people will see more DoD projects on the island in the next couple of years.
Torres thanked the Triple J Group of Companies as among those businesses that are expanding to Tinian. “That’s a great honor and great blessing for us to see our business partners here expanding to Tinian,” he said.
The governor also noted that TanHoldings has also invested on Rota.
“So when you see these local investors making that additional investment on our brothers and sisters of Rota and Tinian, then they also see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Torres said.
With respect to Rota, Torres said the island has roughly $6 million or $7 million in disaster relief that will be intended for projects that Mayor Efraim M. Atalig has identified as a priority.
The governor also disclosed that he had just met with officials of the Department of Public Lands, which is working on giving more agricultural homesteads lots on both Rota and Tinian. “So, hopefully in the next few months, we will see more agriculture homesteads being open on both islands,” he added.