HASC approves Nat'l Defense Auth Act - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

HASC approves Nat'l Defense Auth Act

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The House Armed Services Committee has passed the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, providing $357 million in military construction projects for Guam, removing a 33 % voting share for the Navy on the Consolidated Commission on Utilities, but keeping intact the use of unreimbursed compact impact to offset the fair market value for the transfer of Fena.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo says the NDAA also provides for a 1.6% pay increase for service members and allocates an additional $33 million in federal assistance to Guam for infrastructure improvements. The congresswoman says the bill makes significant investment in the military buildup by fully authorizing all military construction projects on Guam.

The full House of Representatives is expected to consider the bill beginning May 23.

 


Statement from Madeleine Bordallo's Office

 

The FY12 NDAA eliminates a 33% voting share of the Department of the Navy on the Consolidated Commission on Utilities as part of authority to transfer the Navy's water and wastewater assets to the Government of Guam.  This amendment was offered by Congresswoman Bordallo during last week's mark-up of the Readiness Subcommittee, where she serves as the Ranking Member of the subcommittee.  The bill leaves intact a provision included in the FY11 NDAA that authorizes the use of unreimbursed Compact-impact to off-set the fair market value for the transfer of these assets.  In discussions with the Governor and the Legislature, local leaders reached a consensus that keeping this Compact-impact offset provision could be of value to Guam and helps to make the case for a federal obligation. 
 
"The House Armed Services Committee today favorably reported its version of the FY12 NDAA to the full House," said Congresswoman Bordallo. "This bipartisan legislation reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that our men and women in uniform have resources necessary to carry out their missions.  The bill makes significant investment in the military build-up by fully authorizing all military construction projects on Guam.  It also removes the 33% voting share by the Navy on the CCU as part of an agreement to transfer the Navy's water and wastewater systems to GovGuam.  The bill will be considered by the full House of Representatives next week, and I encourage my colleagues in the House to support this legislation" 
 
A table of the President's budget request and a summary of Congresswoman Bordallo's requested and supported provisions included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 are listed below:
 
  • Eliminates language enacted in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 that provided for the Department of the Navy to hold 33% voting representation on the Consolidated Commission on Utilities as a condition of transferring the Navy's water and wastewater assets on Guam to the Government of Guam;
  • Provides the Department of Defense with authority to transfer operations and maintenance funding to state and local governments, including the Government of Guam, or federal agencies to fund and support infrastructure improvements through 2018;
  • Requires the Navy to establish a Lead Systems Integrator for work force health care for Guam military construction projects.  The LSI would provide a coordinated and comprehensive solution to the health care needs of H2-B workers;
  • Require the Secretary of Defense to certify the national security interests for training ranges on Guam.  The certification would establish why it is critical for training facilities to be constructed on Guam to support the Marine relocation to the island;
  • Reauthorizes travel reimbursement authority for the National Guard for one year and separate language provides the services with authority to establish pilot programs to test alternative methods for performing and reimbursing travel, for limiting the need for travel, and for reducing the environmental impact of travel;
  • Enhances the Department of Defense's Legacy Resource Management Program for natural and cultural heritage preservation.  The Program, guided under the principles of stewardship, leadership, and partnership, assists DoD in safeguarding, protecting, and enhancing resources for future generations while supporting military readiness;
  • Enhances foreign ship repair report requirements to require the Department of the Navy to justify utilizing foreign ship repair facilities when conducting maintenance and repair work on U.S. Navy vessels;
  • Urges the Department of Defense to enter into cooperative agreements with institutions of higher education for research and studies in support of the Defense Review Posture Initiative;
  • Supports the President's budget request for 9 C-27J "Joint Cargo Aircraft."  The language would prohibit the retirement of the C-23 "Sherpa" aircraft until the Department of Defense develops a plan to address homeland security, homeland defense, and humanitarian missions in the pacific; 
  • Provides servicemembers with a 1.6% increase in pay;
  • Prohibits the Department of Defense from increasing the enrollment fee for TRICARE prime through fiscal year 2012;
  • Establishes the position of Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau.  The Vice Chief will be a general officer with a grade of lieutenant general;
  • Amends the Sikes Act to include state owned National Guard Facilities and add provisions for funding integrated national resource management plans.  The Sikes Act authorizes the Secretary of Defense to develop cooperative plans for conservation and rehabilitation programs on military reservations and to establish outdoor recreation facilities;
  • Extends Sikes Act Coverage to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa;
  • Provides an additional $983,000 to the Navy O&M accounts to fully fund the requirements of the Navy Sea Cadet Corps program.  The Navy Sea Cadet Corps is a critical program that assists the Navy in meeting recruiting goals;
  • Provides an additional $2 million to the Office of Naval Research for a study of renewable and alternative energy applications for military installations and operations in the Pacific region;
  • Provides an additional $10 million for operational facilities within the Army National Guard for military constructions projects.
 
Fiscal Year 2012 Military Construction Authorizations for Appropriation
 
Service Project     Cost
Marine Corps North Ramp Utilities $    77,260,000
Marine Corps Finegayan Water Utilities $    78,654,000
Air Force Air Freight Terminal Complex $    35,000,000
Air Force Guam Strike--Clear Water Rinse Facility $      7,500,000
Air Force Guam Strike--Conventional Munitions Maintenance Facility $    11,700,000
Air Force Guam Strike--Fuel Systems Maintenance Hangar $    64,000,000
Air Force PRTC--Combat Communication Combat Support Facility $      9,800,000
Air Force PRTC--RED HORSE Cantonment Ops Facility $    14,000,000
Air Force PRTC Combat Comm Transmission System $      5,600,000
TOTAL   $  303,514,000
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