Breaking down the FY2011 Defense Act - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Breaking down the FY2011 Defense Act

by Michele Catahay

Guam - The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 51-36 (also known as the National Defense Authorization Act) for Fiscal Year 2011. The Act authorizes spending and sets policies for the Department of Defense. It also includes an amendment introduced by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo.

The Act includes the "Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act".  Bordallo introduced the amendment. While efforts were underway to have the bill passed last year, it failed after the senate had some concerns about it. While the bill would have to pass the next hurdle, the defense act included provisions to ensure the military buildup benefits Guam to cover civilian infrastructure improvements for the island.

It allows the Secretary of Defense to transfer rights and management authority of Navy's water and wastewater system to the Guam Waterworks Authority, which will make the U.S. Navy a ratepayer to GWA and provides DoD with the authority to transfer operations and maintenance funding to GovGuam to support infrastructure needs. It expands on temporary transfer authority for the Port.

It extends authority to provide travel and transportation allowances for inactive duty training outside of commuting distances for members of the reserve component. It secures funding for the Navy Sea Cadet Corp. It'll ensure common standards for workforce housing and medical care, and will assess proposed design for the replacement of Naval Hospital.  It will additionally require a study to establish tri-care prime options for beneficiaries, maintain millions for funding procurement of joint cargo aircraft, and add millions for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account.

Fiscal Year 2011 military construction authorizations include $9.1 million for the Andersen Air Force Base Guam Strike Ops Group and Tanker Task Force, another $12.2 million for strike south ramp utilities, $9.2 for combat communications operation facilities, $8 million for the Red Horse Engineering Facility, $11.8 million for Commando Warrior Open Bay Barracks, $19 million for support maintenance ships, $778,000 for an Army National Guard readiness center, $93 million for Andersen North Ramp improvements, $79 million for North Ramp utilities for the Navy, $40 million for Apra Harbor wharves improvements, $66.7 million for defense access road improvements, $147 million for Finegayan site prep and utilities, and another $70 million for the hospital replacement increments.

The Defense Act now heads to the Senate for approval.

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