ASAN, Guam—Gov. Eddie Calvo and Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas, signed last April 12 a charter for the Civil-Military Coordination Council at the Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex in Hagåtña.
The charter outlines the scope, membership, structure, roles and responsibilities, and operating procedures for its participating members from the government of Guam and federal agencies.
“The function of this council is truly unique,” Chatfield said. “Opportunities like this allow us to have an open and transparent dialogue about the pace and sequence of proposed military construction projects to ensure that these projects are mutually beneficial to the safety, security of the military and local communities and to promote the economic prosperity of the island of Guam.”
During the meeting, council members discussed military construction projects, Guam Environmental Protection Agency permit reviews, and the partnership between the Department of Defense and the Guam Department of Labor regarding the H-2B visa approval process, which has recently resulted in several new H-2B visa approvals for military projects.
Calvo continues to raise the issue that construction projects outside of the military facilities, that are not necessarily directly associated to the military buildup in Guam, also are able to get the necessary skilled labor force.
“This is a milestone in the history of the military buildup here on Guam,” Calvo said. “This charter we are signing…cements the One Guam approach, which benefits the entire island community. The biggest challenge in the buildup was the lack of skilled laborers to augment the local workforce and we’re starting to see some positive movement in that regard. Projects that support economic growth, education and health are critical to the overall quality of life for the people of Guam—both civilian and military.”
The governor noted that he looks forward to the next few weeks. Department of Labor anticipates USCIS will be responding to H2-B visa applications for non-military construction projects.
The charter fulfills the commitments made in the 2010 and 2015 Records of Decision for establishing final operational procedures of the council.
The event marked the fourth meeting of the council since its inception. (PR)