US Bomber Takes Off From Guam's Andersen Air Force Base

Best of bad options’ US has plan to strike N. Korea nuclear sites with B-1 bombers reports say

North Korean state media has reported that the country is considering plans to strike Guam this month.

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. "We are not just a military installation", said Governor Eddie Calvo.

The naval base is an important outpost for USA 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 American military presence on Guam consists of two bases — Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south — which are home to 7,000 US troops. North Korea says it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam to contain US bases there.

Here's a closer look at Guam and its role in the USA and North Korea's ongoing war of words. While there has been some resistance and displeasure from the people of Guam over the USA military's presence, it is also essential to the island's economy, second only to tourism in importance.

Andersen Air Force Base houses a Navy helicopter squadron and Air Force bombers that rotate to Guam from the USA mainland, including the B-2 stealth bomber, B-1 and B-52. If carried out, it would be the North's most provocative missile launch to date.

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A statue of Guam hero Ricardo Bordallo is pictured at the entrance of the Governor's Complex on the island of Guam , a U.S. Andersen Air Force Base hosts a Navy helicopter squadron and Air Force bombers that rotate to Guam from the USA mainland.

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

The U.S. took control of Guam in 1898, when Spanish authorities surrendered to the U.S. Navy. The air base was built in 1944, when the USA was preparing to send bombers to Japan during World War II. Residents do not pay USA income taxes or vote in the general election for US president. North Korea this week threatened to create an "enveloping fire" around the strategically important Pacific island, located about 2,100 miles to its southeast.

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely", the president said on Twitter, adding "hopefully Kim Jong-un will find another path!"

Having experienced a Japanese invasion in World War Two and countless earthquakes and super-typhoons, there was no United States community better prepared than Guam "for any contingency", Calvo, dressed in a light blue tropical shirt, said in an interview at his office.

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