Guam – The island is one step closer to securing upwards of $300 million dollars for its military construction projects and temporary healthcare workers, thanks to provisions to the NDAA by Guam Congresswoman and House negotiator Madeleine Bordallo.
The Pacific News Center’s Washington correspondent Matt Kaye expands:
“The final negotiated NDAA allows ‘continued employment’ of temporary health care workers on Guam, as well as those engaged in the military realignment. Senate negotiators also agreed to exempt returning workers from the cap on those workers, in the event of ‘a single departure and return to Guam.’ The final NDAA . . . requires naval vessels without a homeport, to be treated as being homeported in Guam or other US ports for repair and maintenance.
Top Armed Services Readiness Democrat Bordallo pressed for the change and others, to boost Guam’s naval ship repair industry, though the bill’s report language cautions Guam lacks needed dry dock capacity. Helping address that, the new NDAA bans any spending by the bill for construction, changes, repair or development of property that includes the Former Ship Repair Facility in Guam, unless for depot-level ship maintenance. And the final NDAA requires the Navy Secretary to create an inventory of US government property on Guam, the Navy expects to transfer to GovGuam. The governor could also petition the Secretary to add parcels.
Separately, the compromise-NDAA recommends cutting by just over half to 70-million the authorization to fund a machine gun range at Joint Region Marianas, Guam, even while negotiators back the full 141-million amount requested. They say they don’t believe the Navy can spend the full amount in fiscal ’19.
Other spending authorizations for Andersen Air Force Base replacement housing, X-Ray Wharf improvements and earth covered magazines bring the Guam total to more than 300-million dollars.”
The GOP-friendly language of the final NDAA all but guarantees its win in the House of Representatives this Thursday.