Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero speaks during the ceremony reactivating the U.S. Marines bae in Guam. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps
Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The Marine Corps said Thursday it has reactivated a base in Guam, establishing the branch's first newly constructed base in 70 years.
Camp Blaz in Asan Beach, Guam will serve as the location of the U.S.-Japan alliance under the 2012 Bilateral Agreement between the U.S and Japanese governments, under the Defense Policy Review Initiative.
That agreement set into motion the framework for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam. The Marines named the base after Brig. Gen. Vicente Tomas "Ben" Garrido Blaz.
"Today is an important day that marks the future of the Marines on Guam, and it is also a day to reflect on the century-long history of the Marine Corps in this beautiful place we call home," Col. Christopher Bopp, the commanding officer of the MCB Camp Blaz, said in a statement.
"On this island Marines and their CHamoru brethren have lived in peace and fought in war together and we are proud to carry on this legacy of honor and courage."
The base construction projects currently underway are partially funded by a large monetary contribution from the government of Japan.
"I believe that on the horizon lies the opportunities that Ben (Blaz) wished for our people," Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in a statement. "No longer are we dealing with challenges and isolation, we are cultivating a more sustainable and comprehensive Indo-Pacific allyship.
"The future of Guam is inseparable from the future of the broader Indo-Pacific and the success of the Marines is inseparable from the success of Guam's people. Together we are an island and an ocean united; together we are always better and always stronger; together we are always faithful. Semper Fidelis."