Hawai'i Rep. Kai Kahele, a member of the House Armed Services Committee,
has requested a congressional delegation visit to Guam to look into the Department of Defense's Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) investments on island, Congressman Michael San Nicolas said today.
Kahele is proposing a congressional tour amid the committee's demand for the DOD to provide a clearer picture of its plans for the Missile Defense Agency on Guam.
The department's proposed $6-billion budget for PDI included $118.3 million for MDA's programs on Guam.
"MDA activities in this category include funding for the initial development of survivable and operationally effective integrated air and missile defenses to defend Guam from ballistic, hypersonic, and cruise missile threats," the DOD stated in the budget proposal for fiscal 2022. "Funding includes development activities, such as further integration between Army and Navy assets, designed to support a range of architecture options."
In its markup of the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, the committee required the MDA to provide a detailed report on its plans for a missile defense architecture for Guam.
The PDI is the Pentagon's program to beef up U.S. military presence in the Indo-Pacific to counter China's expansion attempts and deter North Korea's threats of aggression.
“I am grateful Rep. San Nicolas took the time to share his perspective on Guam’s national security and domestic priorities—from missile defense to veterans health care to Supplemental Security Income,” said Kahele, who visited Guam and met with San Nicolas last week. “I look forward to working closely together in Congress to build a better future for Guam, Hawaiʻi, and the Indo-Pacific region.”
San Nicolas said Kahele had the opportunity to be briefed by senior military officials on Guam’s evolving role in the Indo-Pacific region.
"It is always a pleasure for the people of Guam to receive a member of Congress on our island who is seeking to better understand the needs of our community," San Nicolas said.
"A seasoned public servant like Congressman Kahele has a keen eye for how needs can be solved with policy, and we are so grateful he took the time to visit, listen, and learn how he can help his fellow American islanders," he added.