09 Apr 2015
By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor
The training proposed and the type of weapon systems to be employed for Pagan are not the same as those on Vieques in Puerto Rico. This was the assurance made by the visiting Marine Corps Forces Pacific during a meeting with the lawmakers on Capital Hill, Tuesday.
Responding to Speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero’s concern about whether Pagan would be in a similar fate as Vieques that had been contaminated following the massive military bombing of the island, Marine Corps Forces Pacific environmental specialist said, “The way we use ranges, the type of weapons we will use is totally different to what was used in Vieques.”
She said it will be a totally different training to be had on Pagan.
“I don’t think we are comparing apples to apples,” she said.
Vieques is an island of Puerto Rico which was occupied by the U.S. Navy in 1941-2003. It was used as a live-fire training ground for warships and aircraft. It was reported that the Navy claimed it had accidentally fired 263 rounds of ammunition with depleted uranium in 1999. Vieques residents complained of contamination and blamed the federal government for high incidence of cancer.
A report by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry showed that there is no link between the military operations and the residents’ health issues.
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