Congressional delegation visiting Guam
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
A congressional delegation led by Rep. John Carter of Texas is scheduled to visit Guam this week to look into the status of defense construction on island.
Carter, chair of the House Appropriations Committee on Military Construction, will be joined by Guam Delegate James Moylan, as well as Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas and Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia.
Besides Guam, the congressional delegation will also visit Hawaii and Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
“They will be visiting military installations and key personnel as it related to the Indo-Pacific theater,” said Bobby Shringi, Moylan’s chief of staff. “This would include high level updates on where things stand.”
The U.S Congress has authorized $11 billion in defense spending for military construction that will pave the way for the relocation of 5,000 marines from Okinawa to Guam, which is scheduled to begin in 2025.
Last month, the U.S. Marine Corps activated Camp Blaz in Dededo, which will be home to the Marines who will be deployed to Guam.
“During the orientation sessions, Congressman Moylan requested Congressman Carter for a CODEL to Guam early in the term as a means to start the process of educating members of Congress on activity and priorities outside the base,” Shringi said. “Thus, this is the first of several we plan to pursue this year."
Guam plays a major role in the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which is being enhanced amid the escalating tension in the region triggered by China’s persistent threats to take over Taiwan.
Besides construction related to the relocation of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the Department of Defense has also proposed to build a $1 billion integrated missile defense on island.
“Our belief is that understanding Guam’s unique needs are better understood if the members were to land here and see things firsthand,” Shringi said. “The mission is an educational one.”
The delegation’s itinerary is currently not available.