DoD submits long-awaited master plan - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DoD submits long-awaited master plan

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - It's been considered a major roadblock but now appears to signal a major step forward in the military buildup. The master plan has finally been submitted by the Department of Defense.

It's been mentioned time and time again in discussion on the military buildup and it appears the Department of Defense has finally submitted its long awaited master plan. The governor's buildup office director Mark Calvo said, "The administration is aware of the Master Plan that was submitted recently by the Department of Defense and we're very happy as its one of the few requirements that remains for Congress to lift restrictions for funds for the buildup on Guam."

This master plan has been a major roadblock for the release of Government of Japan funds for the Marines relocation from Japan to Guam. The US Senate Armed Services Committee has repeatedly included provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act over the last several year that prohibit the use of those funds until the master plan was submitted. "So we hope that congress will now lighten up with restrictions and start funding military construction projects and infrastructure projects on Guam," he added.

In a statement from Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, she states she has been briefed on the details of the master plan which satisfies requirements included in the annual defense authorization bill. Bordallo says she appreciates that it appears the total cost and timeline of the realignment that has been previously indicated remain consistent. DoD has indicated the master plan is not releasable at this time.

Calvo said, "We'd like to see it as well it has the details as far as where the cantonment and how it's going to look and the housing and all the other details for the Marine base on Guam."

Calvo says the total Government of Japan funds is estimated at about one billion dollars that has been available to the u-s treasury with only some of that already obligated for certain projects specifically approved by Congress. Bordallo meanwhile says she will continue to work with DoD to ensure they live up to their commitment of maintaining a net-negative footprint on Guam and on finding areas of cost-savings that would enhance the program overall. She adds the master plan will better inform congressional leaders as they move toward conference committee of the FY15 NDAA later this year. Calvo in the meantime says a coordinated federal response will then be delivered by the federal government on or about the time the final SEIS and the Record of Decision is issued early next year. In addition to DoD's deputy secretary Robert Work set to visit Guam next week, this master plan is a considered a positive step in the buildup process. 
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