Marine Commandant Amos Assures Bordallo Guam Presence Critical

192

Washington D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo again took the opportunity to seek further clarification on the Guam Military buildup during yet another budget hearing in Washington Thursday when she questioned Marine Commandant General James Amos and others about the recently announced changes to the realignment plan.

READ Congresswoman Bordallo’s release in FULL below:

Congresswoman Bordallo Addresses Build-Up at Hearing on Navy Funding for FY13
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –February 16, 2012– Washington, D.C. –

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today addressed the military build-up during a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on the budget request for the Department of the Navy for Fiscal Year 2013.  She asked for further clarification on the Marine Corps’s planed relocation from General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus. Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, also testified at today’s hearing.

The Congresswoman continued the dialogue with DoD on proposed modifications to the realignment of military forces in the Pacific. She addressed General Amos about the issue of a live firing range complex on Guam, noting that this plan was based on expectations that 8,600 Marines would be permanently stationed on Guam. The Congresswoman reiterated that, as the U.S. and Japan work out negotiations for a new realignment plan, they must be cautious about relying too heavily on a rotational presence of Marines. She also expressed her concern about whether the reduction in force has changed the Navy’s plans for the build-up and if any requirements have changed since DoD released the Defense Strategic Review. She also questioned Admiral Greenert about the role the Navy will play in strengthening the military’s strategic posture in the Pacific.

General Amos testified that it is critical to have Marines stationed on Guam to maintain a forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region. He clarified that although no plans have been finalized, the Marines will still need a live firing range to train on Guam regardless of the reduction in force. Secretary Mabus also testified that the Administration’s recently-released strategic guidance will not affect construction projects on Guam that are not tied to the military build-up.

“As the United States and Japan work to finalize plans to relocate Marines from Okinawa to Guam, I continue to stress my concerns about relying on a predominately rotational force on Guam,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “I appreciate that the Marine Corps is taking a second look at the training requirements that will be needed on island.  Our community made several recommendations for alternative site locations during discussions on the final EIS, which I hope will be taken into account.  I look forward to reviewing the supplemental EIS, which will revisit the size and location of a firing range.  I also appreciate that Secretary Mabus and Admiral Greenert continue to recognize Guam’s strategic importance in pivoting the Navy’s focus to strengthen its presence in Asia-Pacific region.”