A Honolulu-based joint venture won a $53.9 million contract to build a Marine headquarters building on Guam as part of the planned relocation of thousands of Marines to the U.S. territory, according to a press release Thursday.

In all, the Navy Facilities Command Pacific at Pearl Harbor announced nearly $1 billion in construction contracts that will be funded by the Japanese government.

They will be used to build barracks and dorms, dining facilities, training ranges, educational facilities and roads in a construction initiative that will pave the way for Marines to move from Okinawa to Guam, Australia and Hawaii.

The Navy awarded the Hensel Phelps-Shimizu Joint Venture of Honolulu an initial $53.9 million for the construction of an administration building at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz, the Marines’ newly activated base on Guam. The Hawaii-based joint venture is the first of seven companies to receive funds for the multi-award contract.

Provisional Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Hawaii (PMEB-HI), made up primarily of III Marine Expeditionary Force units based in Hawaii and The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members were conducting the landing with Company E, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion assist in carrying inflatable boat on shore Pyramid Rock Beach during RIMPAC amphibious exercises. 30 july 2016
The contract is part of a massive initiative that will relocate thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, Australia and Hawaii. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Col. Bradley Magrath, the commander of the new base, said in press release that the building “will be the new command headquarters for Camp Blaz and we are very excited about this project and our progress.” It is expected to be completed by May 2023.

The Japanese government has agreed to ultimately spend about $3 billion on new facilities. Most of the other contracts will also be on Guam, but a handful will be on neighboring islands in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

Japanese officials have worked closely with U.S. military planners and contractors on the new facilities, and at least one Japanese company has teamed up with Hawaii-based companies in a joint venture in a previous round of contracts.

Base planners had worried that potential labor shortages would hamper construction efforts and floated the idea of bringing in foreign laborers and subcontractors from the Philippines and South Korea.

The latest iteration of Congress’ annual defense spending bill included a provision that would make it easier for foreign laborers to take both military and civilian contracts in Guam.

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