Because most items must be flown or shipped in, the cost of living on Guam is quite high. Guam has a hidden tax that is included in the price of items or services. To assist with the cost of most items, Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base Exchange and Commissary will accept coupons 6 months past the expiration date.
Guam is situated in a prime tropical cyclone formation area of the western Pacific and cyclones can and do occur. Typhoons can occur throughout the year but are more likely during June through December. Homes are built to be typhoon resistant and can handle the weather. Although recovery is sometimes long and difficult, Guam and its people are practiced in storm recovery and deal well with the situation. In order to increase your comfort during recovery it is recommended that you bring a generator as generators on the island are costly and hard to find when needed.
Guam law requires all civilian employees and military dependents to obtain a Guam driver's license within 30 days of arriving on Guam. If they have a current U.S. state or territory driver's license they are exempt from taking either a written examination or demonstration test but must surrender their current driver's license to obtain a Guam license. Active duty military members with a valid U.S. driver's license are not required to obtain a Guam license.
If their stay is less than 30 days they are not required to obtain a Guam driver's license. If their stay is more than 30 days, but less than 1 year, they can extend their current stateside license but must register their license with Department of Revenue and Taxation. Upon approval by Department of Revenue and Taxation, a registration fee is assessed and a Certificate of Registration is issued with the licensee's name, age and the expiration date of the certificate and the current driver's license number.
For motorcycle licenses if the current stateside license has a motorcycle endorsement your Guam license will be endorsed by Department of Revenue and Taxation without the required written and road tests. Joint Region Marianas policy states that all Naval personnel operating a motorcycle must attend a Motorcycle Safety Course. Service members who have passed the course at other installations are still required to take the course here. Guam does not have a helmet law but Joint Region Marianas policy states that all military personnel stationed on Guam will wear a helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle on or off base. For more information on Installation Safety, please contact (671) 339 - SAFE (7233).
Guam's roads are not well lit or marked and roads tend to become very slippery when it rains. Drive with caution.
Guam is situated in a prime tropical cyclone formation area of the western Pacific and cyclones can and do occur. Typhoons can occur throughout the year but are more likely during June through December. Homes are built to be typhoon resistant and can handle the weather. Although recovery is sometimes long and difficult, Guam and its people are practiced in storm recovery and deal well with the situation. But in order to increase your comfort during recovery, it is recommended that you bring a generator, as generators on the island are costly and hard to find when needed.
Joint Region Marianas’ policy states that all naval personnel operating a motorcycle must attend a Motorcycle Safety Course prior to operation. Guam does not have a helmet law but Joint Region Marianas’ policy states that all naval personnel stationed on Guam will wear a helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle. Guam's roads are not well lit or marked and roads tend to become very slippery when it rains. Drive with caution.
Within 30 days of arriving, family members with a valid driver's license from one of the 50 United States or a United States territory must obtain a Guam driver's license.
The following are required to apply for a Guam Driver's License:
The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act does not exempt dependents from having to adhere to this rule. The dependent having all these documents will surrender their valid license; complete the driver's license application form, have their picture taken, and pay a fee of $25.00 for a valid Guam driver's license. This license is valid for three years. A $45.00 fee may be paid for a five-year license.
For those who are not staying in Guam for over a year but longer than 30 days, there is the option of an extension that will allow one to keep their out-of-state license longer, for a fee of $25.00 which will have to be submitted and paid for at the Guam Revenue and Taxation office in Barrigada.
Call the Department of Revenue and Taxation call center at 671-635-1779 for questions. Also, you can visit the website and download the application.
Defense Service Network Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense. Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 315 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial 719-567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
The mission of Naval Base Guam is:
On March 6, 1521 Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who later obtained Spanish nationality, landed on the southern end of Guam. Thirty-five years later, in 1556, Queen Maria Ana, the queen of Spain at the time, claimed Guam and the islands North of Guam as property of Spain. The islands were named the Marianas Islands, in honor of the Queen. After Spain lost the Spanish-American War, Guam was ceded to the United States on December 10, 1898. Guam was placed under Naval government; U.S. Naval Station was established on August 7, 1899, and the entire island of Guam was designated as Naval Station.
The United States controlled Guam until the island was surrendered to the Japanese during World War II on December 10, 1941, a few days after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Guam would later be liberated by the United States from Japanese rule on July 21, 1944. Guam played an important role during World War II. In 1944, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz came to Guam as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and strategically planned the defeat of the Japanese Imperial Forces which aided America’s efforts to bring World War II to a close and ultimately victory.
Guam continued under naval rule till the Organic Act was put into effect in 1950. The Organic Act made Guam a self-governing territory of the United States and the citizens of Guam became citizens of the United States.
Joint Region Marianas was established in 2009 as the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force on Guam combined headquarters at Nimitz Hill. Today, under Joint Region Marianas, U.S. Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force base each maintain commanding officers who oversee their respective missions. For more information on Joint Region Marianas visit the installation’s homepage.
Naval Base Guam (NBG) is responsible for all naval properties on the island and hosts several key tenant commands such as the Commander, Submarine Squadron Fifteen (CSS-15), the USS Frank Cable, the USS Emory S. Land, and the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam. For information on Naval Base Guam, visit the installation's homepage.
21,700 military members and their families.
Guam's population is 153,836 (2020 Census).
Guam has a population of 153,836 residents (2020 Census) and approximately 21,700 military members and their families.
Guam is located at 13.28° N, 144.47° E in the western North Pacific Ocean. Guam is a tropical island and is the largest and southernmost island in the Marianas Archipelago, which consists of Guam, Rota, Tinian, Saipan and ten other smaller islands. Guam is about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines and is across the International Dateline from mainland United States. From Guam many exotic ports are within a three to five hour flight such as: Japan, China, Philippines, and Singapore just to name a few. Because most items must be flown or shipped-in the cost of living is quite high. Guam is known worldwide for its friendly and patriotic community, beautiful sunsets, and warm clear ocean waters which are ideal for scuba diving.
Guam is 212 square miles in area, about 32 miles long and 8 miles at the widest part of the island. Of the 212 square miles, the Department of Defense owns about one-quarter of that. On the northern end of the island is Andersen Air Force Base which houses the Navy's Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Twenty-five (HSC-25) and on the southern end of the island is Naval Base Guam (NBG). NBG is the Navy's most developed base on Guam and is about 38,000 square acres. The phone number for Joint Region Marianas operator is 671-355-1110 or DSN 315-355-1110.
Because Guam is a United States territory, Guam falls under the United States country code. When calling, dial 1 before the area code; refer to your phone provider to check if additional charges apply. To call Guam from the mainland, dial 1, the area code 671- and the seven-digit number - like making a long distance call in the states. Guam's DSN country code is 315. Dial 315 and the regular seven-digit phone number. Andersen and Navy's commercial prefixes, minus the area code, are also DSN prefixes.
From A.B. Won Pat International Airport to Naval Base Guam (Joint Region Marianas)
The best way of getting from the airport to your temporary living quarters is by having your sponsor or the command duty driver meet you at the airport. Guam has a mass transit system, but services are very limited with an unreliable bus schedule and commercial taxis are quite expensive. To get around you may want to rent a car until your privately owned vehicle arrives or you find a more permanent mode of transportation. Many of the national brand rental car agencies are available on Guam, although rental rates are expensive.
If you are renting a car from the airport, exit the airport by taking a left onto Route 10A West. You will pass Home Depot, located on your right; at the next traffic light take a left onto Route 1, Marine Corps Drive. Follow Route 1 South for approximately fourteen miles from the airport to the Main Gate of Naval Base Guam; Route 1 South runs directly into Naval Base Guam.
If you are staying at the Guam Navy Gateway Inns and Suites (NGIS), call 671-339-5259/5139.
The Guam USO locations are not located in the airport. The USO on Naval Base Guam is located at Building B-521, Camp Covington. For more information on this site, please call 671-563-4876. There is also a USO location on Andersen Air Force Base in Building B-26006. For more information on this site, please call 671-654-4876. A third USO location is in the tourist district of Tumon. USO Tumon Bay is located at Dusit Hotels-Plaza, 1275 Pale San Vitores Road, Suite 292. For more information on this site, please call 671-647-4876.
If you are traveling with pets and you have the proper paperwork, documents and entry permit, you may be able to pick up your pet at the Guam airport customs office upon arrival. If your pet is to stay at a quarantine facility until all required tests and vaccinations are complete, your pet will be transported directly from the airport to the pre-arranged quarantine facility.
You should have a sponsor assigned to you by your gaining command. Your sponsor should pick you up at the airport or arrange for your pick-up. If for some reason you are not met at the airport, go to the Discover Guam Welcome/Information Center at the arrivals area of the airport. This desk is manned during peak arrival times, usually from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. A phone is available to use when the desk is not manned. You may call your command quarterdeck or the Naval Base Guam CDO (Command Duty Officer), 671-488-7147.
Please Note: Contact your sponsor to make transportation arrangements or plan accordingly. This will ensure the transition into your new command will be smooth and pleasurable.
Naval Base Guam and Joint Region Marianas does not have a base shuttle or on-base taxi. Guam has a mass transit system, but services are very limited and unreliable. Off base taxis and rental cars are quite expensive. It is difficult to get around Guam without a personally owned vehicle. Please make temporary transportation arrangements with your Sponsor or Command. Do your research and plan accordingly.
Naval Base Guam has a 24-hour operator and can be reached at 671-355-1110, or DSN 315-355-1110.