Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Japan Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, and Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera signed the Protocol Amending the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan Concerning the Implementation of the Relocation of III Marine Expeditionary Force Personnel and Their Dependents from Okinawa to Guam. The Guam International Agreement (GIA) was signed in 2009, implementing a key aspect of the 2006 realignment roadmap by providing a framework for reducing the footprint of the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, while still maintaining operational capability and a credible deterrent. The planned relocation, which is due to begin in the early 2020s, is an essential element of a strategic realignment to achieve a geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable military presence in Japan. In April 2012 , the United States and Japan decided to adjust the terms of the 2006 realignment roadmap by delinking the relocation from progress on the Futenma Replacement Facility and reducing the number of Marines relocating to Guam from approximately 8,000 (with significant numbers of family members) to approximately 5,000 (mostly rotational/without family members), while maintaining the overall reduction in the U.S. Marine Corps presence on Okinawa through additional relocations to Hawaii and rotations to Australia. The Protocol amending the GIA reflects these changes. Additional changes include: Clarifying that Japan will contribute up to $3.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2012 U.S. dollars in direct cash contributions to develop facilities and infrastructure in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.(The 2012 Security Consultative Committee Joint Statement estimated the total cost of the Guam relocation to be $8.6 billion.) Affirming that the Government of the United States of America, with the intent to provide reasonable access, shall favorably consider requests by the Government of Japan to use training areas in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. PRN: 2013/1227
Ultimately, United plans the new design to be on more than 60,000 seats on more than 500 aircraft, including, United anticipates, approximately 400 aircraft by 2015. “Our customers will see a distinctive, consistent look on our aircraft that underscores our modern fleet and our onboard investments to make their travels more user-friendly,” said Jeff Foland, United’s executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy. The airline developed the seats with global travel and transport design consultant Priestmangoode. Photos are available at http://newsroom.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/seatredesign . Customer-Friendly Upgrades In September, United ranked among the top airlines in “Best Economy Class Flight Experience” in the USA Today-sponsored “10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards” contest. As United continues to invest in customer products and service in the air and on the ground, the airline also offers: More aircraft with premium-cabin flat-bed seats than any other U.S. carrier More aircraft with extra-legroom economy seating than any other U.S. carrier Nearly 100 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft and plans to outfit approximately 30 aircraft with satellite Wi-Fi each month, with nearly all of United’s worldwide mainline fleet on schedule for completion in 2014 Upgraded United Club lounges in Chicago O’Hare Terminal 2, Seattle and San Diego More aircraft with live television available than any other airline in the world About United United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,341 flights a day to more than 360 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV on 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world.