Updated: Jul 24, 2020
By Troy Torres
The Chinese government for years has been perfecting missile systems to take out military installations on Guam in the event of an American-Sino war, and Guam's defenses against those missiles are inadequate, according to the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific command, Admiral Phil Davidson.
Mr. Davidson is worried about Guam.
So, on Liberation Day, he made a pitch for an advanced missile defense system to be moved here: the naval Aegis Ashore Baseline 10 missile defense system.
"The reason I’m a key advocate for that is first: it is technology that is available to us now and could be delivered by 2026, when I believe the threat will require us to have a much more robust capability than the combination of [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense], which is deployed there now, and an Aegis ship in response can provide,” Mr. Davidson said.
The Chinese have ballistic missiles that can strike at a range of 2,500 miles. Guam is 1,800 miles from China. Do the math.
Earlier this year Mr. Davidson prepared a report to Congress calling for $20 billion in defense buildup activities for the region over the next six years. He called the defense system for Guam his "number-one priority" to deter the increasing Chinese threat of aggression.
"We fully support more robust defenses for our island and will work closely with the US Armed Services to do so," Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas said.
In the middle of the global Coronavirus pandemic and as the USS Teddy Roosevelt carrier was disabled by a Covid-19 outbreak, the U.S. military sent the USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups into the region, from the Philippine Sea into the disputed South China Sea in response to Chinese aggression. The move was followed immediately by the deployment of bombers and personnel from Louisiana and South Dakota air bases to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam for dual carrier exercises.
Indo-Pacific Command's proposed buildup activities are on top of what is commonly known on Guam as the 'military buildup,' which largely involves the movement of Marines from Okinawa to Guam on a new base currently under construction.
Missiles pointed at Guam?
Forbes published an article Thursday about Mr. Davidson's comments titled China Aims Missiles at Guam. How Should the Pentagon Defend America's Pacific Bomber Base?
Guam Homeland Security today sent out a statement about the article:
The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD), in conjunction with the Mariana Regional Fusion Center (MRFC), federal and military partners, continue to monitor events surrounding the region including open source reports such as an article claiming that China has aimed missiles at Guam.
The title of the article is not an accurate representation of the content of the article and it does not indicate an immediate threat to Guam.
Kandit News asked Guam Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Blas whether her agency or the Marianas Regional Fusion Center can confirm that China does not have any missiles pointed at Guam.
"I won't be able to provide information on whether they know or do not know," Ms. Blas said. "At this time, there's no indication of an immediate threat."
Asked whether GHS may comment on Mr. Davidson's proposal for a buildup, she responded, "Not at this time."