Guam – The new Director of the Joint Guam Program Office visited the island’s new governor today to pledge a strong relationship with his administration.
“We’d like to develop a strong relationship with you and the people of Guam,” Joseph Ludovici told Governor-elect Eddie Calvo in their meeting this morning. “There are three big stakeholders in this military buildup. Guam is a huge stakeholder. Japan is a huge stakeholder. The Marine Corp is a huge stakeholder.”
“I’ve said from the start that in our administration, Guam will be a partner, not a spectator in the buildup,” Governor-elect Calvo said. “Our relationship is starting in the right direction with the recognition that Guam is one of the three stakeholders in this process.”
Bringing the Decision Makers to Guam, Collaborating with Governor
Ludovici revealed several plans to the governor-elect in their meeting, which included JGPO Deputy Director Navy Captain Daniel J. Cuff. One of those plans is a meeting between Governor-elect Calvo and Assistant Secretary Jackalyne Pfannenstiel. The Assistant Secretary intends to visit the governor-elect in Guam in the near future.
“We’re trying to bring the decision makers to you,” Ludovici told the governor-elect. “Their ears are very attuned to your concerns.”
The JGPO is the conduit between the government and people of Guam and the Department of Defense. Governor-elect Calvo told Ludovici he will be upfront about Guam’s needs and asked Ludovici to be a voice for the island. Ludovici agreed, saying his office and DOD also want a direct and collaborative relationship. Calvo said this is particularly important as GovGuam and the military address issues of concern, such as the land needed for Marines training.
“We have the understanding that it’s got to work for Guam,” Ludovici said. “We have to fix the water and wastewater infrastructure before we bring in the workforce. We’ll have to work collaboratively on a solution to the land for training. We are sincerely looking at ways not to affect Pagat. We’re going to find ways to make it work for everyone.”
Transition Team Briefing
Governor-elect Calvo told Ludovici, “A longer [buildup] process is better for us. A rapid buildup will be hard on the community. You see what’s already happening on our roads.” Ludovici agreed. He said his office is preparing to brief the governor-elect’s transition team on the current process and what the island can expect moving forward. The governor-elect asked Ludovici to get together with his transition’s military buildup subcommittee.
Funding & Contracts
“We’ll put it together,” Ludovici said. “We’ll let you know where we are with the process with Japan and U.S. funding. We have a lot of contracts ready to award and we’ll have more information very soon.”