By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The compromise version of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act includes $3.2 billion in new defense projects for Guam, which is above the $1 billion initially expected.
The NDAA 2024 has been forwarded to the Senate and House rules committees for further action,
According to the Office of Guam Del, James Moylan, the defense spending policy measure identifies more than $2.2 billion in existing and new military construction projects including $545 million for the Guam missile defense system.
“The amount of construction activity heading to Guam will certainly create an economic resurgence for our island," Moylan said. "This will create many new jobs, establish new service agreements along with sub-contracts, increase spending in local establishments throughout the island, enhance training
opportunities for our community, and of course will result in a surge in our tax base, inclusive of local withholding taxes, and through Section 30
Authorized projects under the NDAA 2024 include the following:
o Over $1.6 billion of projects inside Anderson Air Force base, Joint Region Marianas and Naval Base Guam;
o $166 million for the communications upgrade of the Joint Region Marianas;
o $411 million for Join Region Marianas projects for the Air Force;
o $27 million to construct the Air Force Reserves Aerial Port Facility;
o $6.9 million to complete the Army National Guard’s Readiness Center'
· $545 million to fully fund the Guam missile defense system ($147 million over the President’s budget);
· $169 million for the Defense of Guam procurement; and
- $290 million to construct new military housing.
"There is also the boost in economic activity which the island will experience
through an extension of the H2B program, which is part of the NDAA”, Moylan said.
“By securing nearly $300 million for military housing, we will reduce the military’s utilization of the limited local inventory, which does adversely impact the cost of rentals for island residents" he added.
Moylan said the House plans to vote on the bill by the end of the week.
“The 2024 NDAA represents a huge increase in authorizations versus the 2023 NDAA, and this was because we worked closely with House and Senate offices, military, local government, and civic partners, while remaining active, visible, and involved," Moylan said.
He said the five-year extension of Guam's exemption from the national cap for the H2B program "now sets our direction for 2024, which will be a focus on improving Guam’s public infrastructure and resilience. The groundwork has
started, but once the 2024 NDAA is enacted, we can start placing the language for the next on." Moylan said.