Guam News - Guam News
Guam - Fresh off a trip to Washington D.C. the governor's buildup office director Mark Calvo says they were given re-assurances that the U.S. is committed to the Guam buildup; however sequestration could affect the funding for the buildup and result in less money for the construction of marine facilities and other buildup related costs.
Governor Eddie Calvo, his chief of staff, chief policy adviser, and buildup office director Mark Calvo met with several high-level officials in D.C. including Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.
"The big takeaway we got from Secretary Carter is that they have no intent the department of defense nor the administration has any intent to change strategic initiatives especially the pacific pivot and with that said it meant that the buildup on Guam is still planned,” said Calvo.
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However because of the fiscal condition of the federal government military construction projects might not be funded according to their desires. However, if the federal government can come to some sort of financial compromise and stop sequestration, Guam may have more allies in congress when it comes to funding the buildup than it previously did. Calvo explains that they met with members of the House armed services committee who remain committed to the buildup but more importantly they also found that the makeup of the Senate armed services committee has changed. Calvo says that senator John Mccain who has been critical of the money that is to be spent on the buildup is no longer the chairman of the Senate armed services committee. Calvo says the chairman now is Senator James Inhofe. "And Senator Inhofe's staff showed some significant changes for the way forward which is an indication for us that there is going to be more support in the senate side for infrastructure funding for Guam," said Calvo.
In fact the governor pressed officials in D.C. to stick to their agreements to fund civilian infrastructure improvements specifically upgrades to the northern waste water treatment facility. "The governor's arguments were exercises are already increasing on Guam and we're looking for capacity building and primarily protecting the northern aquifer,” said Calvo.
Calvo says that the ramped up military training exercises on Guam is an indication of the increasing importance of Guam in the U.S.'s strategic position in the pacific.
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