by Nick Delgado
Guam - Chairperson for the Legislative Committee on the Guam Military Buildup, Senator Judi Guthertz, has received confirmation from Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyn Pfannenstiel that budgetary problems and congressional concerns make it unlikely the final master plan would be guiding the buildup anytime soon.
Although the Navy's original finalized plan was set to be released in July and has since passed, Secretary Pfannenstiel acknowledged that recent developments such as the fight over the level of the U.S. budget and alternative military strategies advanced by some members of Congress will likely produce a final buildup plan much different than that reflected by the 2010 Record of Decision.
Although she hasn't seen the plan yet, Guthertz was assured that she will be briefed soon. She said, "I don't think it's because they didn't want to give it to us, it's simply because they don't have it ready and they still don't have it ready and now she recognizes its time to work with us and particularly with all these elements being so fluid in Congress in reference to financing of the buildup."
Guthertz adds that she was informed that the General Accounting Office has been given a draft of the master plan inclusive of its changes. She says this is the first time the Department of Defense has committed to having Guam play a role in the master plan. She is awaiting a response from her follow-up letter sent yesterday formally inviting the secretary to meet with the Guam Legislature.