Special Report

Pacific Outpost

About the Series

Will a military buildup in far-flung Pacific island territories destroy their unique environment? An in-depth report on military plans and how isolated communities are responding.
Can These Islands Survive America’s Military Pivot To Asia? Dan Lin/Civil Beat

Chapter 1: Can These Islands Survive America’s Military Pivot To Asia?

The Mariana Islands are still littered with dangerous debris left over from World War II but now, with an eye toward China, the U.S. wants to vastly increase its military presence there.

The Fight To Save Pagan Island From US Bombs Dan Lin/Civil Beat

Chapter 2: The Fight To Save Pagan Island From US Bombs

Pagan residents made it through Spanish colonization, Japanese occupation, World War II and a volcanic eruption. Now many just want to go home again.

Tinian: ‘We Believed In America’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chapter 3: Tinian: ‘We Believed In America’

Most of Tinian is already under lease to the military. But residents who were expecting a base may now get multiple live-fire ranges that could destroy the island’s environment and devastate its tourism economy.

Guam: Many In This Military Outpost Welcome More Troops Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chapter 4: Guam: Many In This Military Outpost Welcome More Troops

The military buildup is expected to help Guam’s economy. But will it make the island a target as well?

Missing Data Plagues Military Training Plans In The Marianas Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chapter 5: Missing Data Plagues Military Training Plans In The Marianas

A Navy plan to bomb Pagan and put a destructive artillery range on Tinian overlooks many potential impacts and suggests little to make up for the destruction.

Related Stories

Marooned! How 8 Days On A Remote Island Became A Magical Experience Dan Lin/Civil Beat

Marooned! How 8 Days On A Remote Island Became A Magical Experience

Little did we know that the island had its own plans for us. Nothing could have prepared us for what was to happen on this trip.

FDM: This Island Has Been Military Target Practice For Decades Courtesy of the Department of Defense

FDM: This Island Has Been Military Target Practice For Decades

Military officials say they are protecting bird species and other wildlife by confining the target practice to one part of the small island.

More Political Power For The Marianas? Cory Lum/Civil Beat

More Political Power For The Marianas?

Some residents of Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands think it may be time to change the political relationship with the U.S.

Ongoing Coverage

Navy Seeks Input On Undersea Sonar And Explosives In The Marianas Courtesy of Department of Defense

Navy Seeks Input On Undersea Sonar And Explosives In The Marianas

Plans to intensify bombing and extend undersea training and testing could harm whales and dolphins, environmentalists fear.

The US Military Won’t Bomb Pagan Or Tinian Just Yet

The US Military Won’t Bomb Pagan Or Tinian Just Yet

Military training plans for the Northern Marianas are still in the works, despite a lawsuit and islanders’ opposition.