What Does the US Military Do on the Island of Guam?

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NBC's report comes after a state-media outlet said Pyongyang was "seriously considering" an attack on Guam.

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) - Residents of the tiny Pacific island of Guam say they're afraid of being caught in the middle of escalating tensions between the USA and North Korea after Pyongyang announced it was examining plans for attacking the strategically important US territory.

Governor Eddie Calvo describes his island to those who don't know it as a "mini Hawaii" and puts the chances of a direct missile hit at a million-to-one because of the multi layers of Pacific defences, the last being those on Guam itself.

The naval base is an important outpost for US fast-attack submarines that are a key means for gathering intelligence in the region, including the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea where China has been building military bases on man-made islands.

The officials told NBC that the attack would originate from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. A THAAD battery includes a truck-mounted launcher, tracking radar, interceptor missiles and an integrated fire control system.

The U.S. military has said it plans to increase its presence on Guam and will move thousands of U.S. Marines now stationed in Japan to the island between 2024 and 2028.

Air Force B-1B Lancer Bombers arrived on the island of Guam Friday morning.

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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. The air base was built in 1944, when the USA was preparing to send bombers to Japan during World War II.

There's a sense of patriotism among those who cite the island's history of Guam residents serving in the USA military. They threatened US, other countries, and they threaten Guam. Guam was also a refueling and transfer spot for military personnel heading to Southeast Asia.

"Being on the front line of the threat from North Korea, along with our brothers and sisters in Guam, I place my full faith and trust in our president to make the appropriate decisions for the security and protection of our nation", Torres said in a statement.

He said now is the time to pray that the leaders of the US and North Korea will choose peace over war.

Guam is armed with the U.S. Army's defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, which can intercept missiles.

"There are many moods on Guam right now", Hartz says.

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