Guam - In the nation's capitol hearings will continue this week before the House Armed Services Committee on the budget request for the various branches of the armed services. Over the weekend the committee heard testimony from secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force chief of staff General Mark Welsh III on the FY2014 budget request for the U.S. Air Force.  During the hearing Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo questioned them about the need to harden facilities at Andersen Air Force Base.

Secretary Donley stressed that Guam is an important anchor for the United States, saying, "We see ourselves in Guam in perpetuity Andersen is a very important asset to us 10400  and as potential threats in this region. We need to be able to respond to those threats. I think you put your finger on it, this is not a choice between dispersal or hardening it's a combination of factors that will help make our bases from which we fight resilient in any number of threat scenarios."

And General Welsh added, "Congresswoman I would just add to that operationally if we expect to be able to survive at attack with the weapons that are now available and to continue to operate from Guam harden facilities will be mandatory."

The congresswoman also asked about how the Air Force plans to sustain the Global Hawk Block 30 program past Fiscal Year 2014 and whether it will use funding provided in the appropriations bill to procure additional three Block 30 aircraft. Congress and the Air Force disagree on the future of this program. The Air Force leaders say it's not in their best interest continue it past FY14.