Satellite imagery revealed that the United States is constructing a new military facility in the Pacific, possibly preparing an alternative landing site for its airforce should the military bases on Guam become inoperable.
Past satellite imagery from the Planet Lab suggests that construction work at the site started in May.
This appears to correspond to the Tinian divert airfield projects that commenced in February, which will cost about $162 million and are expected to complete by 2025.
US Upgrading Military Bases in Guam to Counter ChinaThe Pentagon said in its global defense review last year that Washington will be focusing on the upgrade and expansion of military bases in Guam and Australia “to deter potential Chinese military aggression and threats from North Korea.”
Mara Karlin, deputy assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, said the Indo–Pacific region was marked as the focal point for the U.S. military in the review, in which it “directs additional cooperation with allies and partners across the region.”
“In Australia, you’ll see new rotational fighter and bomber aircraft deployments, you’ll see ground forces training and increased logistics cooperation,” Karlin said.
“More broadly across the Indo–Pacific, you’ll see a range of infrastructure improvements in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Australia.”
The review was commissioned by the Biden administration in February 2021, and while it provided some details of the future of the military’s global posture, the review was largely classified.