ASSISTANT Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel confirmed to Senator Judi Guthertz that the Guam military buildup plan will likely be different than what is reflected in the 2010 Record of Decision.
Pfannenstiel was responding to Guthertz’s requests for a copy of the current draft plan for review, which, according to Guthertz, has been “circulating for months in Washington.”
According to a press release from Guthertz, the Navy had originally said the finalized plan would be released in early July, following a congressional mandate. The General Accounting Office has been given a draft of the master plan, Guthertz said.
However, Guthertz said that according to Pfannenstiel, changes may be made before the new document is finalized and released to the public, due to the budgetary climate in Congress.
Pfannenstiel said the Navy’s commitment to possessing less land after the buildup than before would “require further adjustments to land-use plans.”
“Although it may not reflect the current state of play and potential future adjustments, we are willing to discuss with you the draft [master plan] associated with the decisions memorialized in the [Record of Decision],” Pfannenstiel wrote.
In response, Guthertz said that “more than ever, we must engage the [Department of Defense] and other federal stakeholders on all buildup plans to ensure the best interests of the people of Guam are met. I welcome Secretary Pfannenstiel’s offer and hope to review the draft plan with her as soon as possible.”
“We view this as a continued opportunity to offer Guam’s input to a process that is too often closed until decisions are made,” Guthertz said. “We’ll keep pushing until we achieve that ‘win-win’ outcome for all the parties involved in the buildup.”
Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, R-OK, publicly stated he wants to cancel the military buildup and close Department of Defense-funded schools.
Coburn presented his “Back in Black” plan to save $69.5 billion by reducing military spending overseas, including Guam.