Guam News - Guam News
In a release, Guthertz says that she has received a letter Acting Assistant Secretary of Dwefense Peter Lavoy in which he wrote: “We will continue to work with members of Congress and their staff to address concerns regarding the Guam buildup, including the conditions stated in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”
READ Senator Guthertz's release in FULL below:
SENATOR GUTHERTZ ASSURED SECRETARY OF DEFENSE IS PUSHING HARD TO CLEAR WASHINGTON ROADBLOCKS TO GUAM BUILDUP
Guam Military Buildup Chairperson Senator Judi Guthertz has received assurances from the Office of Secretary Defense Leon Panetta that the remaining Congressional requirements that led to the ‘Guam pause’ of funding for the buildup are being resolved.
In a letter to Senator Guthertz, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter R. Lavoy said, “We will continue to work with members of Congress and their staff to address concerns regarding the Guam buildup, including the conditions stated in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”
One of those conditions, “significant progress” on the relocation of the Futenma Marine Base on Okinawa has been informally resolved since Senator Guthertz’ December letter and details are being ironed out in talks with Japan in Washington.
The other conditions are squarely in the military court: the Commandant of the Marine Corps must still certify the overall “laydown” of Marines in the Pacific; the “Joint Guam Military Master Plan” must be finalized; and a study of civilian community infrastructure needs in support of the buildup must be completed.
Secretary Lavoy acknowledged Senator Guthertz’ urging that DoD also push for Guam’s long sought visa-waiver for Chinese and Russian tourists, saying only that “[DoD] is currently evaluating the merits as they relate to Department-wide equities and requirements,” suggesting that this awaits a request from the Department of Homeland Security.
Senator Guthertz had suggested Guam base security shouldn’t be an issue with granting the visa-waivers: “Each one is surrounded by chain link fences topped by barbed wire and video surveillance with armed roving patrols and guards at the gates. Chinese satellites can provide their government with anything they want to know about Guam. They don’t need to come to Guam to spy on us.”
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