WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) returned yesterday from a congressional delegation trip to Alaska, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hawaii. The trip, led by House Armed Services Committee chair Mac Thornberry, met with key government officials and military leaders to discuss the U.S. regional posture, military-to-military cooperation, and ongoing challenges in the region, including North Korea and disputes in the South China Sea, as well as broader areas of cooperation such as maritime security, counter-terrorism efforts, trade, and climate change. The delegation also participated in the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Shangri-La Dialogue: The Asia Security Summit.
During the trip, Bordallo stressed the importance of the United States maintaining a forward posture in the region to deter and swiftly respond to contingencies in the region. She stressed that the realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam was critical to maintaining this forward presence. Bordallo discussed these issues with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Singapore, who reiterated the DoD’s continued commitment to the Guam realignment, as well as with U.S. Pacific Command commander, Adm. Harry Harris.
In addition to Bordallo and Thornberry, the delegation also included Reps. Bradley Byrne of Alabama, Austin Scott of Georgia, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, and Salud Carbajal of California.
“The Asia-Pacific region continues to play an increasingly important role in U.S. national security and economic policy. Our delegation was able to gain firsthand insight into the challenges and partnerships, and to reaffirm our commitment to the region. I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Shangri-La Dialogue, which brought together government officials, military leaders, and subject matter experts to discuss the ongoing security issues in in Asia and the Pacific. During each visit, I was able to impress Guam’s critical role in regional security issues and highlight the advantages of having a strong U.S. military presence on our island. I thank [Thornberry] for leading this bi-partisan [congressional delegation]. I look forward to continue working with him and my HASC colleagues to promote our needs on Guam and the broader Asia-Pacific region.” (PR)