MilCon awards for Guam and to shore up Meck Island capabilities

RMA Architects Inc. of Honolulu was awarded Aug 23 (CHamoru Standard Time) a $50 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, architect-engineer contract for architect-engineer services for architectural projects at various locations “under the cognizance of Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific,” according to a release from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The work to be performed includes execution and delivery of military construction project documentation; final design construction documents; technical surveys and reports; surveys of topography, hazardous material, and munitions of explosive concern; interior design – including structural interior design and furniture, fixtures, and equipment; collateral equipment buy packages; and post construction award services.

Work will be performed in Guam and the [Northern Mariana Islands], 70%; Hawaii, 20%; and Australia, 10%. The contract has an expected completion date of August 2027. The contract was procured via the System for Award Management website with three proposals received for the NAVFAC Pacific award.

RMA was part of a joint venture of Guam-based and Hawaii-based firms awarded a $100 million Mamizu/Japan funded MilCon contract in 2020 as ASMD LLC. Other member firms included Guam’s Setiadi Architects, Guam’s EMCE Consulting Engineers – which does work throughout the North Pacific and beyond, and Hawaii-based architects AHL, Design Partners Inc., engineering firm SSFM International (which has offices in both Guam and Hawaii); and engineering firm Stanley Consultants, which also has a Guam office.

RMA was also previously awarded $30 million contract in 2017 as part of a joint venture with Hawaiian firm Architects Pacific – also with 70% of the work to be done in Guam.

Nan Inc. of Honolulu was awarded Aug. 19 (CHamoru Standard Time) a $32. 45 million firm-fixed-price contract to repair the Meck Island electrical distribution system.*

Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in [Kwajalein Atoll in] the Marshall Islands, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 18, 2024. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test, and evaluation Army funds were obligated at the time of the award. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Honolulu made the award, for which two bids were received.

In other U.S. military news, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam will conduct a search and rescue exercise in Saipan on Aug. 23 and Aug. 24 with the Northern Mariana Island Department of Public Safety, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Division of Environmental Quality – Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency management, the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, the Commonwealth Port Authority, the Division of Customs, and other local officials and representatives, according to an Aug. 22 release.

* Meck Island is part of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in Kwajalein.


Palau and telecom company discuss mutual opportunities

Photo is Courtesy of SK Telecom

Top executives of Korea’s SK Telecom visited Palau to seek the country’s support for Busan’s bid to host the World Expo 2030.

Vice Chairman Park Jung-ho and CEO Ryu Young-sang met with Palau President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. on Aug. 18, according to an Aug. 21 release from SK Telecom.

The SK Telecom CEO also suggested cooperation with the Palauan government to upgrade Palau’s current 4G LTE infrastructure to 5G. “Based on SKT’s technologies and experience accumulated through the world’s first commercialization of 5G, we can work together to build 5G infrastructure in Palau,” the executive said.

Whipps “showed great interest in SKT’s 5G infrastructure built across Korea and other advanced technologies including AI, metaverse, IoT, and cloud services. There also was discussion about renewable energy, an industry that SKT also has much experience in,” the release said.

SK Telecom began providing LTE roaming services to customers traveling to Palau in June.

The SK Telecom executives also visited Melekeok Korean Commemoration Park, established in 2004 to commemorate the Korean victims who died in Palau during World War II, and discussed ways to improve roads and facilities inside the park to attract more Korean visitors, the release said.

Whipps and the executives also discussed opportunities to highlight climate change at any expo in Busan, as well as Korean technologies “to respond to climate change.”Busan and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia are finalists for World Expo 2030.  

Members states of the Bureau International des Expositions will elect the winner in late 2023, with each member country having one vote. 

Osaka will host the World Expo 2025.

World Expos welcome millions of visitors and build pavilions of lasting value to host cities as they are often in underutilized areas of a city. The expos also give multiple nations a chance to present their image, also to potential visitors. Funding comes from both governments and private sector sponsors.

SK Telecom became a shareholder of Citadel Pacific Ltd.’s regional telecom company IT&E in September 2018 – through an investment of $33 million, according to Journal files.


Tourism update:

The Guam Visitors Bureau released July visitor numbers for July – with arrivals at 41,091 in July.

Figures were boosted by a strong Korean tourist presence in Guam, with 28,063 visitors and 68% of arrivals – an increase compared to June with 16,298 Korean visitors. and an increase in each month from February.

GVB noted that fiscal year arrivals-to-date are now at 150,874, a 219.7% increase over fiscal 2021 and around +16% above fiscal 2022 original forecasts. Calendar arrivals are at 126,257 visitors.

U.S. arrivals (including Hawaii) stood at 6,389 for July – a 16% market share. This included 5,203 arrivals from the U.S. military.

The Guam visitor industry still has a long way to go before its return to 2019 levels.

In July 2019 arrivals stood at 136,878 visitors – and fiscal year to date numbers were at 1,333,513 visitors.


Grants updates:

The Guam Economic Development Authority presented $323,446 in Guam Regional Medical City-funded Qualifying Certificate Community Contribution Series 6 grant awards on Aug. 18 to 15 recipients. They are:

Applicant NameAward AmountProject/Use of Funds
Guam Memorial Hospital$25,000Improve Patient Experience Program. Institutional membership with Beryl Institute.  Formation of a Patient Family Advisory Council. Relationship-centered communication training. Patient Experience Consultant consultation/subscriptions/memberships
Guam Police Department$25,000Three Unmanned Aerial Vehicles & FAA Certification & Operator/Pilot Training
University of Guam Endowment Foundation$23,00050-foot canoe house for UOG’s Traditional Seafaring Program
Catholic Social Services Guam$14,028Replenish foods in the Food Pantry for households and homeless individuals
Manhoben Swim Club$10,970Pool rental fees and lifeguard fees for 12 months, CPR certification for 20 participants, misc. swimming equipment to be utilized by club members
Red Cross, Guam Chapter$25,000Generator & negotiated indirect costs
Diabetes Foundation of Guam Inc.$24,998Community Health Care Worker Training and a 9-month Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Program
Guam Homeless Coalition$25,000Project coordinator & marketing company to create shorts videos that highlight GHC’s programs for individuals and families experiencing homelessness
Hui Nalu Ocean Club $25,000Water safety and swimming skills for beginners to include CPR/first aid training and certification, preserving & eeveloping island knowledge of reading and interpreting ocean environments. Ocean etiquette and beach use, to include fishing and surf etiquette. Develop ocean recreational skills (stand-up paddling, surfing and fishing
Women in Aviation Int’l, Guam Chapter$12,000One scholarship to become certified as a pilot on a Cessna 172P to an individual interested in being a pilot or pursuinh an aerospace career 
Asmuyao Community School$25,000Peer support/peer counseling training to assist individuals in middle and high school or adults, who may be pre-suicidal or depressed. Short-term staffing & printing & publishing instructional materials
Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic$25,000Newstart Nutrition program for un-insured or Medicaid/MIP patients. Food for the program, staffing & advertisement costs
Kuchu Organization$25,000Design & building open air gym, w/office & restrooms
American Legion Mid Pacific, Post 1$13,450Development and Training for Youth and Senior Veteran’s (Disabled) Outreach Program. Provide  support to local youth academic and athletic programs . Purchase needed equipment (Wheel chairs, crutches, canes, etc.) for senior and disabled veterans. Meals for at risk youth
Ulitao$25,000Youth-focused apprentice seafarers who will be taught to construct and sail canoes while connecting them to their culture, valuable skills, and infusing in them core CHamoru values    


In other grant award news, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs announced the following grants totaling $3.47 million for the Northern Mariana Islands:

Technical Assistance Program grants totaling $2,385,622 include:

$298,081 – Office of the Governor to support the Marianas Resilience and Sustainability Planning Group which aims to develop policy solutions and recommendations on matters affecting the NMI and Guam on climate change, the labor market, health, economic initiatives, natural resources, the military buildup in the NMI, education, renewable energy, and areas for collaboration across the Mariana Islands.

$180,669 – Office of Grants Management & State Clearinghouse to build local capacity of government agencies in the NMI in competing for and managing federal funds.

$551,612 – Department of Finance to complete the development and implementation of its Revenue Management Information System. 

$45,348 – Department of Commerce to fund a climate change and environmental literacy workshop for up to 500 government employees.

$106,763 – Municipality of Rota to bolster the Rota Aquaponics Initiative.

$214,946 – Rota Department of Fire and Emergency Services to finalize completion of the Emergency Responders Radio Repeater Site Security and Improvement Project. 

$468,120 – Commonwealth Ports Authority to purchase a Light Rescue Utility Truck for the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Department and for fire system upgrades and sprinkler repair in the Customs and Border Protection inspection area at the Saipan International Airport.
$293,025 – Commonwealth Utilities Corp. – to develop capacity in grant writing and grant management and to train and certify employees to meet local and federal regulatory certification in water and wastewater management.  

$227,058 – Commonwealth Healthcare Corp $to upgrade the hospital’s public address system and to expand dental services from Saipan to Tinian and Rota through an inter-island tele-dentistry program. 

Maintenance Assistance Program grants totaling $1,087,740 include:

$403,146 – NMI Public Schools for deferred school maintenance on Saipan and Tinian.  

$339,937 – Department of Public Works for an 18-Wheeler Tractor and Trailer Flat Bed. 

$262,600 – Commonwealth Utilities Corp. for a Backhoe Loader and a Water Pipe Trencher $82,057 – Municipality of Tinian & Aguiguan for renovation of the public restrooms at Jones Beach.

DOI also announced Aug. 17 $3.8 million to counter the brown tree snake in Guam, variously awarded in Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii. In addition, DOI awarded

$1.5 million in grants for fiscal 2022 to the Marshall Islands.


The Guam Bureau of Women’s Affairs received $254,348 from the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau “Fostering Access, Rights, and Equity” grant program to fund 15 informational sessions and outreach about workplace harassment through March 2023. Sessions will focus on what workplace harassment is; different ways workers experience harassment; and how employees can stop it, according to an Aug. 23 release.


And also:

Guam Community College will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 24 for its Student Center Concrete Canopy, to allow students to always use the Student Square and to host more outdoor community events in the 4,300 square feet (including a stage) that the canopy will cover. The $1.35 million canopy is funded by CARES Act funding, according to GCA.

BME & Sons Inc. is the contractor for the canopy.

The Guam Department of Health and Social Services continues to inspect temporary workforce housing and child/day care facilities.

In its report on sanitation inspections released Aug. 23, DPHSS reported on 14 temporary workforce housing facilities which saw eight saw mentions that ranged from improper maintenance to inadequate facilities – some with more than one mention.  

In its report on sanitation inspections released Aug. 17, DPHSS reported on 14 temporary workforce housing facilities of which 11 saw mentions that ranged from improper maintenance to inadequate facilities – some with more than one mention. 

The Guam Power Authority advised Aug. 22 GPA’s Cabras 2 unit came back online after repairs to multiple boiler tubes. “With Piti 8 unit also back online along with Cabras 1 unit, GPA has the capacity to meet the power demands of the island, thwarting load shedding and power interruptions,” the agency said. The Piti 9 unit is still unavailable as it continues its conversion to ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel,” the release said.

In other GPA news, the GPA Energy Sense Rebate Program applications for commercial and residential customers can now be completed online, effective Aug. 17. For more information on the program, go to

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management renewed its Federal Employee Health Benefit Program with TakeCare Insurance Co. Inc. Open season for the 2023 benefit year will be from Nov. 7 to Dec. 12, TakeCare.said. mbj