Representatives from the Government Accountability Office will be on island next week to talk to stakeholders regarding the reported incidents of Agent Orange exposure on Guam.
U.S. Navy Capt. Jeffrey Grimes, the chief of staff for Joint Region Marianas, confirmed the series of meetings during the 24th General Assembly of the Association of Mariana Islands Mayors, Vice Mayors, and Elected Municipal Council Members yesterday at the Guam Reef Hotel.
During the assembly, Santa Rita Mayor Dale Alvarez asked if the herbicide was ever used on island. Grimes acknowledged that there have been plenty of studies and discussions on the issue.
Grimes said he received a phone call yesterday confirming the GAO team's visit.
"They will be here next week to further look on the discussions that are ongoing from the veterans and other people who have worked at Andersen (Air Force Base)," he said. "They will be interacting with the military. They will be interacting with the people, the government, and the Legislature."
Agent Orange was one of the defoliants – known as "rainbow herbicides" – used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. They were used to destroy bushes, trees and vegetation to deprive insurgents of cover and food crops, as part of a starvation campaign in the early 1950s, according to Post news files.