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Moylan: Guam missile defense system 'not intended for war games'

 Congressional delegate reports $5 billion in defense spending authorization clinched for Guam projects

 By Mar-Vic Cagurangan


Guam stands to see $5 billion in a new wave of economic activity, courtesy of new defense spending authorizations, including the missile defense system for the island, Del. James Moylan said Monday.

“I am happy to report that in the fiscal year 2024 (National Defense Authorization Act), we worked with the committee to secure over $3.2 billion

in economic activity for Guam. And in the very recent version, another $1.8 billion was included,” Moylan said in his congressional address before the 37th Guam Legislature.

“This is what leads to the results Guam experienced in both the final 2024 NDAA and the 2025 version, which just passed the House and many have labeled as being Guam-centric,” he added.

Besides the military buildup ensuing from the impending relocation of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the Department of Defense also plans to build a missile defense system to counter China’s threats.

Moylan, however, emphasized that the Guam missile defense “is not meant to play war games or be utilized as an agitator for foreign enemies. Remember, it is a

 missile defense and not offense.”


The Missile Defense Agency is proposing to build an enhanced integrated air and missile defense system with multiple mobile components designed to provide 360-degree protection for Guam.

Moylan said the 2025 NDAA would increase the appropriation for the Guam missile defense by $180 million to ensure adequate funding for the project, which is a major component of the Indo-Pacific Command’s deterrence strategy.


 The MDA is scheduled to hold community briefings this month to explain the scope of the Guam missile defense flight test, which is being planned to begin later this year.


Moylan noted Washington’s heightened attention to Guam, a strategically important location in the face of increasing pressure in the region.

“Our home and people are under constant threat from foreign enemies in the Indo-Pacific, and attention to our island has reached an all-time high,” Moylan said.

 “If there is ever a time to not only strengthen our island's military capabilities but also leverage opportunities for infrastructure, it is now,” he added.


Moylan reported that the NDAA calls for contingency measures, which would require the Department of Defense to establish an emergency plan for Guam and the civilian population should conflict erupt.

“This includes an evacuation plan, an understanding of how medicine, food and other critical supplies would be distributed,” he said. “The plan would have to be thorough and include the protection of Guam's port and other critical infrastructures.”

One of Moylan's amendments would authorize $10 million for the Guam National Guard to harden its facilities and keep its lifesaving and warfighting capabilities operational.

Moylan is serving his first term and seeking reelection. He was the first Republican elected to the congressional seat in 30 years. He succeeded Michael San Nicolas, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2022.

Moylan is the Republican Party of Guam’s shoo-in candidate in the November general election.

On the Democratic side, San Nicolas, Sen. Amanda Shelton and Ginger Cruz are seeking nomination in the August primary.


“I would like to announce that the state of the island's relationship between Congress and the federal government is strong, it is healthy, and it is resurrected,” Moylan said.


He said he has engaged with the U.S. House Armed Services Committee to

alleviate the military buildup’s impact on Guam’s housing and infrastructure.

“We are doing this by providing more housing inside the fence, and the

last two NDAAs have experienced over $500 million in construction," Moylan said.


“We have also advocated for additional authority for the Department of Defense to seek derelict structures, including hotels or apartment units, with the intent of long-term leases, or outright purchases. The military's housing needs will be in the thousands, and it is important to think ahead,” he added.


The committee has approved his amendment to increase the funding for DoD infrastructure purchases up to $20 million per transaction.


“For every effort to reduce the demand for additional military housing, the cost of our housing outside the fence will be more realistic and attainable for the average Guam family,” he said.


Moylan said Guam also clinched $140 million for Defense Access Roads.  “In Guam, this is essentially almost every exterior lane on Marine Corps Drive and will go a long way to making our roads safer and more reliable,” he said.

Read the full transcript of the congressional address here.

Meanwhile, congressional candidate Ginger Cruz slammed Moylan's congressional report, saying it "was painfully lacking in any concrete results on

issues that the people of Guam care about."

"At this crucial moment in our history with the military buildup, a changing economy, environmental concerns, and critical infrastructure needs, there was

unfortunately no sense of direction or vision to the delegate’s address," Cruz said.

"We can do better than this. Our people are struggling with the high cost of living, the lack of affordable housing, the need for good-paying jobs and a host

of other challenges that working families face every day.

"Now that Guam is at the center of the attention of national policymakers, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make real changes in federal policies affecting our economy, funding for infrastructure, veteran’s services and support for health care," she added.

Shawn Gumataotao, chairman of the Republican Party of Guam, said the appropriations secured for Guam under 2024 and 2025 NDAA represented Moylan's "most important work."

"The amounts and scopes of work of just these two legislative acts are a testament to Jim and his congressional Staff’s concerted effort to prioritize the American warfighters in Guam and the Indo-Pacific region and importantly to ensure the defense of our American community during these uncertain times," Gumataotao said in a statement.

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