By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The House of Representatives has approved the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes $765 million worth of military projects for Guam and requires a comprehensive plan for the proposed missile defense system on island.
The defense policy bill, which is now headed to the Senate, requires the Missile Defense Agency to develop the architecture and acquisition strategy for implementing a 360-degree integrated air and missile defense system on Guam in the next 10 years.
Mark Montgomery, a retired rear admiral and former director of operations for U.S. Pacific Command, said the U.S. needs to defend Andersen Air Force Base, the submarine base, and Guam in general.
"That investment is clearly called for in this year's” National Defense Authorization Act," Montgomery said at a Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance livestream event.
Noting China's power acceleration, Montgomery said the U.S. needs to prioritize Guam. "Every year we delay makes the problem harder and the solution more expensive. So, we really need to get on that this year," he said.
"At a critical time in our economic recovery these growing armed services investments into Guam will continue to provide much-needed capital influx to our island as we meet our National Security priorities," Congressman Michael San Nicolas.
"Additionally, we specifically push the advancement of missile defense on Guam with direct language requiring the Secretary of Defense to ensure that we are secured over the next decade," San Nicolas added.
San Nicolas said the legislation also provides for a 2.7 percent increase in basic pay compensation for military personnel across the country.