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Leaders look ahead to buildup progress

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Although the signing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act adds to another setback regarding the military buildup on Guam, island leaders like Governor Eddie Calvo and Military Buildup Chair Senator Judi Guthertz are instead looking at things more positively considering other recent progression.

The governor said, "We're all aware of the National Defense Authorization Act and no one was happy with it, but we still have the omnibus spending bill - that is at the president's desk as well. And the Omnibus Spending Bill does have the $33 million that the federal government agreed to in the contract with the Programmatic Agreement."

"I hope that when President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act," said Obama, "that he recognized that his initiative to support the Guam military buildup was not funded, that he will make a special effort in continuing to speak strongly and support of the Guam initiative."

Guthertz adds the release of the EIS on the Futenma Replacement Facility last week from the Japan government showed good faith on their commitment and was an important step toward progressing the Guam realignment. President Obama signed the NDAA on New Year's Eve in Hawaii, which cuts over $100 million in funding for the Marine relocation from Okinawa to Guam.

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