US Bomber Takes Off From Guam's Andersen Air Force Base

13 Août, 2017, 07:31 | Author: Claudine Rigal

The tiny US territory of Guam feels a strong sense of patriotism and confidence in the American military. But residents are increasingly anxious over Washington's escalating war of words with North Korea.

Many across the island say they feel assured and protected by the military.

There are two major bases on Guam: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.

Governor Torres said he had faith in President Trump to make appropriate decisions for the security and protection of the CNMI and neighbour Guam.

A travel agent on Guam said they haven't had a surge of customers seeking to book flights off the island.

The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is considered remote but worldwide alarm has been escalating in recent days.

North Korean state media has reported that the country is considering plans to strike Guam this month. It did so to compensate for USA forces diverted from other bases in the Asia-Pacific region to fight in the Middle East.

Air Force B-1B Lancer Bombers arrived on the island of Guam Friday morning. Their location in a USA territory means its military is just hours from potential flashpoints in the western Pacific.

Jacob Martinez, 29, a purchasing officer at a high-end hotel, said he was frustrated that Guam, an island smaller than Singapore and about 11,000 km away from the US mainland, might be dragged into a major conflict.

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Locals here remember 2013, when North Korea threatened the Andersen Air Force Base, which hosts the U.S. Pacific Command's bomber fleet. President William McKinley ordered Guam to be ruled by the U.S. Navy. "I feel it would be a pretty stupid idea to do that", she said.

Here's a closer look at Guam and its role in the USA and North Korea's ongoing war of words.

The naval base dates to 1898, when the USA took over Guam from Spain after the Spanish-American War. Guam was also a refueling and transfer spot for military personnel heading to Southeast Asia.

But there's also some resentment about not being able to vote in the general election for USA president. The air base was built in 1944, when the US was preparing to send bombers to Japan during World War II. A huge red, white and blue ribbon is outside the airport terminal. The U.S. took back control of Guam on July 21, 1944.

"They believe that we are not true USA citizens, when we do have plenty of Chamorro people going into the USA military and serving for their country and dying for their country", he said.

People walk around Hagatna, Guam Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. "And not a lot of Americans know that".

The strip of land in the western Pacific Ocean is roughly the size of Chicago, and just 4 miles (6 km) wide at its narrowest point.

North Korea warned that they are finalizing a plan to fire four Hwasong-12 missiles over Japan and into waters around Guam.

In August previous year, the North's Foreign Ministry warned that all USA military bases in the Pacific including Guam would "face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack" by the North's military. The North said the plan, which involves the missiles hitting waters 19 to 25 miles (30 to 40 kilometres) from the island, could be sent to leader Kim Jong Un for approval within a week or so.

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