WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) raised yesterday the importance of the Marine realignment from Okinawa to Guam during a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.
Bordallo highlighted the need to build on the progress of the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which loosened restrictions on utilizing government of Japan funds for the realignment and authorized nearly $500 million in military construction for Guam. The congresswoman also raised the importance of U.S. engagement in helping to resolve the current diplomatic situation between South Korea and Japan. She stressed the importance of this multilateral engagement to ensure safety, peace and security in the East Asia region.
Testifying before the Committee were Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; Michael D. Lumpkin, acting undersecretary of Defense for Policy; and Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe, director for Strategic Plans and Policy.
“The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act made significant progress on the Marine realignment that I hope to build on in the coming year,” said Bordallo. “I appreciate that the [Obama] administration continues to emphasize the need to move forward with the realignment and demonstrate to our allies our commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The Marine realignment to Guam is a critical component of the rebalance strategy, and forward progress on this initiative is tangible evidence to our allies that we are serious about this strategic initiative. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and with the administration to build on the progress we have made and ensure that the realignment is positive for our island, nation, and the region. I also urged witnesses to ensure that the U.S. government engages diplomatically to help our allies Japan and South Korea as they deal with many challenges in the region.” (PR)