Guam gets $566M under ‘11 DoD budget .
Friday, 21 May 2010 06:14
by Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Marianas Variety News Staff
THE U.S. House Armed Services Committee has unanimously approved its version of the 2011 defense spending legislation that appropriates $566 million for 12 new military projects on Guam, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo announced yesterday.
The bill also authorizes the Department of Defense to transfer operations and maintenance funding to Guam to bankroll local infrastructure projects to support the military expansion on island. If the appropriations measure is signed into law, the defense department would be authorized to transfer up to $500 million through fiscal year 2017.
“The bill will now move for full consideration on the floor of the House of Representatives next week,” according to a press release from Bordallo’s office.
The proposed allotment for Guam construction is a component of the $708 billion budget request for the Department of Defense’s ongoing contingency operations overseas outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, or H.R. 5136.
“The House Armed Services Committee renewed its commitment to ensuring that the military buildup on Guam is done right,” said Bordallo, who has sponsored several provisions that seek to address Guam’s infrastructure needs to support a population surge.
Another salient feature of the bill provides for the transfer control of Navy’s water, including Fena Reservoir, and wastewater system to the Guam Waterworks Authority.
“This authority will help to eliminate unnecessary redundancies and create economies of scales in our current water and wastewater system that could ultimately improve service across the island,” Bordallo said.
“More importantly, while GWA will have to ultimately pay a fair market value to convey the Navy’s system the total cost can be offset by the cost of unreimbursed Compact-Impact costs to Guam,” she added.
The water provision in the bill, Bordallo said, serves as the cue to start serious discussions over water issues and the possibility of an eventual transfer of Navy water assets to GWA.
Other highlights of the bill are as follows:
• Extends authority to provide travel and transportation allowances for inactive duty training outside of normal commuting distances for members of the Reserve Component. The authority directly supports the training and readiness requirements of the Guam National Guard and is critical for their recruiting of service members from locations outside of Guam;
• Requires the Secretary of Interior to prepare a report on civilian infrastructure needs for Guam. The report would detail the infrastructure improvements needed to directly and indirectly support and sustain the military build-up as well as outline potential funding sources for such improvements from other federal sources;
• Secured additional $635,000 in funding for the Navy Sea Cadet Corps to fully meet their funding requirements. The additional funding will help to lower the out-of-pocket costs for cadets across the United States including on Guam;
• Requires a report from the Secretary of Navy by December 31, 2010 on the methods that the Secretary will use to ensure common standards for workforce housing and medical care. The report is in response to concerns regarding the lack of a coherent and comprehensive framework from the federal government on their expectation of contractors regarding workforce housing and medical needs requirements. The report indicates Congressional preference to ensure appropriate oversight of these matters to avoid unnecessary negative impacts on the local community;
• The Comptroller General will review and assess the proposed design for the replacement Naval Hospital on Guam to ensure the size and scope of the new facility meets anticipated future mission requirements and increased retiree and veteran populations on Guam;
• Requires the Secretary of Defense to study the feasibility of establishing TRICARE Prime option for TRICARE beneficiaries in the territories including Guam. The report is due within 6 months of passage of the bill;
• Maintain $318 million for funding procurement of 8 C-27J “Joint Cargo Aircraft” as proposed in the President’s Budget; and
• Added $700 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account to improve readiness and preparedness for future missions. The increased funding for Guard and Reserve equipment begins to address nearly $42.5 billion in equipment shortages across all the Reserve Components.
box (if there is space)
Fiscal Year 2011 Military Construction Authorizations
Service Project Cost
Air Force Andersen AFB – Guam Strike Ops Group & Tanker Task Force $9,100,000
Air Force Andersen AFB – Guam Strike South Ramp Utilities, Phase 1 $12,200,000
Air Force Andersen AFB – PRTC – Combat Communications Operations Facility $9,200,000
Air Force Andersen AFB – PRTC – Red Horse HDQ/Engineering Facility $8,000,000
Air Force Andersen AFB – PRTC – Commando Warrior Open Bay Student Barracks $11,800,000
Army National Guard Combined Support Maintenance Ship Ph1 $19,000,000
Army National Guard Readiness Center (Assembly Hall/SRP) $778,000
Navy Marine Aviation - AAFB North Ramp Improvements Phase 1, Increment 2 $93,588,000
Navy Marine Aviation - AAFB North Ramp Utilities Phase 1, Increment 2 $79,350,000
Navy Apra Harbor Wharves Improvement Phase 1 $40,000,000
Navy Defense Access Road Improvements $66,730,000
Navy Finegayan Site Prep and Utilities $147,210,000
Defense Health Programs Hospital Replacement Increment 2 $70,000,000
Grand Total $566,956,000