Monday, November 19, 2007

Camacho Expects DOD to Underwrite Buildup Costs

Government of Guam
November 20, 2007

(Washington D.C.) The Interagency Group on Insular Areas Working Group on Military Expansion met today and focused on the federal government's master planning efforts with the military buildup. Governor Felix P. Camacho is leading the Guam Delegation at a critical meeting with federal agencies in the nation's Capitol. The presentation on master planning efforts was given by the Joint Guam Program Office.

Governor's Chief of Staff J. George Bamba also led a presentation, which released a timeline through 2014 on the military buildup in Guam.

The Guam team and federal agencies participating in the Interagency Group of Insular Areas Working Group on Military Expansion also received a briefing from the Office of Management and Budget on the processes for funding of the Guam program.

The presentation is attached, along with the Governor's address before federal agencies.

"As Governor, I acknowledge there are many challenges that are Guam's responsibility, challenges that are factors of our current program levels and the natural growth of our island community. We are already taking steps to address those issues," Governor Camacho said. "However, I do expect the Department of Defense and the federal government to help underwrite the costs to Guam's local community that are directly and indirectly associated with the defense department's requirements for the move of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force to Guam."

The Guam team also participated in five working group sessions to discuss plans of actions, milestones and costs for the needs and processes of the Guam buildup in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010. Labor, the Port Authority of Guam, workforce and healthcare were among the priority issue sessions that elicited discussion among representatives of the Government of Guam and executive branch agencies.

"We cannot be expected to cover unfunded federal mandates or other substantial requirements of this military expansion," said Governor Camacho. "We have seen the effects of such mandates in other federal programs and if these are not addressed it will hinder our ability to deliver critical services."

Both David Cohen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Interior, and Major General David Bice, Executive Director of the Joint Guam Program Office, shared with the IGIA Working Group that the move of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force from Okinawa to Guam under the Consultative Agreement is not a U.S. Department of Defense project alone, but must be approached as a federal government responsibility.

"Success requires that all of us in this room work collaboratively and that we view each other as partners working toward a common good," Governor Camacho told federal agencies at the second meeting of the IGIA Working Group on Military Expansion.

The IGIA Working Group on Military Expansion was established in March 2007 following the request of Governor Camacho to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to direct executive branch agencies to address critical workforce needs and provide guidance in the completion of all expedited Capital Improvement Projects related to the military expansion in Guam. The working group would also help the Government of Guam and Guam's military partners in securing the necessary funding to make the upgrades necessary in anticipation of the increase in U.S. forces in Guam and improve the quality of life for both residents and military personnel.

Governor Felix P. Camacho attended the second meeting of the IGIA Working Group on Military Expansion. Governor Camacho led the Guam team at the quarterly meeting of the federal working group created to focus specifically on the challenges that the military buildup presents for the people of Guam. The purpose of this working group was to identify potential funding sources to meet near-term requirements to improve service levels as we prepare for the military's buildup efforts.

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