Tinian Divert Infrastructure
Improvements (Divert) Project


The Divert Activities and Exercises Project (“Divert”) is intended to provide resiliency, training resources, and mission capabilities that could be called upon if and when access to Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base is limited or unavailable for weather or other reasons. It includes two primary components: (1) airfield improvements providing additional capacity for military aircraft in training activities, humanitarian assistance, and support for disaster relief; and (2) facilities and infrastructure to support KC-135 tanker aircraft.

Initial Project
In 2012, the United States Air Force identified Saipan International Airport as its “preferred” location and published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) containing detailed plans for runway and military use of the Airport. Commenters – including Lt. Governor Eloy Inos and Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz – suggested Tinian would be a more appropriate location for the project.

In response, the Air Force modified its proposal to provide additional options on Tinian, as well as a “hybrid” alternative involving facilities on both Saipan and Tinian. The CNMI government expressed concern about several of these options, noting that they would involve acquisition of additional lands by the United States. Commenting on the modified proposal, Lieutenant Governor Ralph DLG. Torres explained that such acquisitions would violate both the letter and the spirit of the Covenant and Technical Agreement between the CNMI and the United States.

In 2016, the Air Force approved a further modified version of the Divert project located on the north side of Tinian International Airport.

Supplemental Review
Following initial approval of the Divert project, the CNMI and the Air Force negotiated an Airport Layout Plan and lease. As part of the negotiations, the Defense Department agreed to take the (larger and more impactful) CJMT project “off the table” and focus instead on Divert. In 2019, the CNMI and the Air Force agreed to terms worth roughly $22 million.

While negotiations were ongoing, however, the Air Force reconsidered its initial plan to supply fuel to project facilities by truck, noting that a fuel pipeline might be safer and cause less damage to the Tinian roadway system. The Air Force then prepared a Draft Supplemental EIS evaluating an updated project design involving a fuel pipeline connecting the Tinian seaport to Tinian International Airport, related infrastructure improvements at the seaport, and road improvements.

Current Status
In July 2020, the Air Force released a Final Supplemental EIS finding that construction of the fuel pipeline would be safer and less environmentally impactful than its original plan to transport fuel by truck.

Additional information about Divert can be found here.

The Divert project involves development of new Air Force facilities at Tinian International Airport, as well as fuel distribution infrastructure linking the airport and the Tinian seaport

Project Effects

Effects Identified as Potentially Significant in EIS

Construction noise; airspace changes; soil erosion, compaction, runoff, and related issues; terrestrial wildlife and habitats; cultural resources; hazards and hazardous materials; socioeconomic impacts; inconsistency with surrounding land use

Additional Areas of Concern

Noise from aircraft operations; potential spills from fuel distribution infrastructure; biosecurity

Timeline of activities

The following timeline pinpoints important milestones for U.S. military operations and proposals in the CNMI. As shown, the U.S. military has been a part of CNMI culture and economy for many decades.


The Covenant establishing the CNMI as a U.S. Commonwealth was signed by negotiators on February 15, 1975. Section 803 required that a separate Technical Agreement Regarding Use of Land To Be Leased by the United States in the Northern Mariana Islands be executed simultaneously with the Covenant.


U.S. Department of Defense, Military Training in the Marianas Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (June 1999)


Joint Region Marianas (JRM) was established in accordance with congressional legislation implementing the recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.


Mariana Islands Range Complex Final Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement, published May 2010.

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) evaluated global U.S. military strategy and priorities (Department of Defense 2010, CNMIJointMilitaryTrainingEIS.com), and called for development of additional training capabilities for unit, combined, and joint forces in the Western Pacific.

Guam and CNMI Military Relocation Final Environmental Impact Statement: Relocating Marines from Okinawa, Visiting Aircraft Carrier Berthing, and Army Air and Missile Defense Task Force Volume 3, published in July 2010


Training Needs Assessment: An Assessment of Current Training Ranges and Supporting Facilities in the U.S. Pacific Command Area of Responsibility (hereafter the “Assessment”) identified and validated unfilled training requirements for units/commands in the U.S. Pacific Command Area of Responsibility (Department of the , 2013, CNMIJointMilitaryTrainingEIS.com.


Mariana Islands Range Complex Airspace Environmental Assessment/Overseas Environmental Assessment, published in June 2013.


The 2014 QDR confirmed the U.S. military’s continued commitment to rebalance the Asia-Pacific region, which is increasingly central to U.S. political, economic and security interests.


Record of Decision for the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Military Relocation


U.S. Air Force (USAF) Tinian Divert Infrastructure Improvements Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)

Mariana Islands Training and Testing SEIS/Overseas EIS, published June 2020

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