The U.S. Marine Corps reactivated a new base on Guam in a ceremony, Jan. 26, honoring the long-shared history of the Marine Corps and Guam and establishing a forward presence in the Indo-Pacific that will endure into the future.

Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Blaz is the first newly constructed Marine Corps base in 70 years and serves as a testament to the U.S.-Japan alliance. Guam was chosen as the location for the new base during the 2012 Bilateral Agreement between the U.S and Japanese governments, under the Defense Policy Review Initiative, which set the framework for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The base is named in honor of Brigadier General Vicente Tomas “Ben” Garrido Blaz, the first CHamorro Marine to attain the rank of general officer.

“Today is an important day that marks the future of the Marines on Guam, and it is also a day to reflect on the century-long history of the Marine Corps in this beautiful place we call home,” said Col. Christopher Bopp, Commanding Officer, MCB Camp Blaz. “On this island Marines and their CHamoru brethren have lived in peace and fought in war together and we are proud to carry on this legacy of honor and courage.”

Guam’s history is marked by the enduring partnership between the U.S. military and the people of Guam. Since the establishment of Marine Barracks Guam in 1899, the Marine Corps has had a nearly continuous presence on Guam. The Marine Barracks was reactivated after World War II and deactivated November 10, 1992.