Written by ADAM BROWN
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
GUAM – With a flexible structure and timeline, the Guam military buildup can easily absorb changes and cuts such as the Senate Appropriation Committee's $155 million reduction. In fact, the cut, if implemented, may be barely felt in the long run as the military fine-tunes its plans.
The Senate decision to cut the construction budget for the Guam military buildup for fiscal year 2012, which came amid a pre-election posture of austerity and still must be approved by the full Senate and reconciled with the House's version, amounts to only a portion of the funding that is already waiting to be spent or transferred. And, if the cuts go though, flexible planning and timing can accommodate it.
The money in the committee cuts amounts to about the same as the military and buildup-related contract awards from June alone, which totalled $157 million for contracts to paint, pave and repair some military properties on Guam and build some new facilities, including a barracks and a headquarters building.
Funds appropriated for the buildup since 2008 -- not including fiscal year 2011 funds from Japan – total $1.32 billion. Early delays and an effort to pace construction to avoid overwhelming the island's infrastructure have left a large portion of program appropriations unspent. With fiscal year 2012 approaching, only $264.3 million for 12 major design-build task orders under the Small Business multiple award construction contract and Design-Build MACC for the buildup have so far been awarded.
Japan, which has committed to spending more than $6 billion for the buildup, also approved $420 million for this year as part of its $1.1 trillion fiscal year 2011 budget. Japanese lawmakers are still debating how the budget will be financed.
As it stands, the buildup plan includes the transfer of at least 8,600 Marines and their dependants and support staff to Okinawa from Guam. The number to be transferred, though, may be changed to as many as 9,700, according to a senior policy maker. So too may be the mix of troops, allowing for more fighting soldiers and fewer administrative staff which, in turn, would alter the amount of dependants and support staff needed as well as change some of the types of facilities to be built.
The deadline for the transfer was also altered on June 21 in a Washington meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Japan Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and Japan Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto. From a firm, albeit unrealistic, deadline of 2014, the four members of the bilateral Security Consultative Committee set a vaguer deadline of "the earliest possible date after 2014."
The new, flexible deadline allows for fiscal constraint in Washington and the type of political wind change reflected in the Senate committee's decision to cut the $155 million as part of an overall $1.25 billion in cuts from President Obama's military construction budget request for fiscal year 2012.
The Senate committee's budget cut, the Security Consultative Committee's new deadline, the possible changes to the plan and other developments on the Guam military buildup planning point to the words of John Jackson, the outgoing forward director of the Joint Guam Program Office.
"The buildup will continue but it will not be at the billion dollar of threshold of construction every year but it will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars every year," Jackson said in an interview with GuamBuildupNews.com. "Instead of having a big curve that goes really, really steep and lasts for just a two or three year period, I think we're going to have a flatter rise in construction costs and over a much longer period of time."
Image used in this article courtesy Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- 07/07/2011 10:50 - Navy Planning to Award Three New Contracts to Build Guam Strike Global Intelligence Hub and Army National Guard Facilities
- 07/07/2011 10:45 - Hanson Cement Overhauls Shipping Line to Boost Capacity 50 Percent Ahead of Guam Military Buildup Demand
- 07/07/2011 10:32 - UPDATE: Full Solicitation Issued, July 19 Deadline Set on $4 Million Dept. of Interior Training Contract for Guam, Hawaii, Pacific Region
- 07/07/2011 10:19 - One for the Contract Books: Air Force Seeks Supplier of Federal Acquisition Regulations Books For Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base
- 06/07/2011 11:52 - NEWS ANALYSIS: Guam Military Buildup May Serve as Part of Marine Corps’ Return to Pacific Roots as Engagement in Afghanistan Winds Down
- 06/07/2011 10:13 - FEMA to Seek Hand-Crank Flashlight/Radios for Distribution Centers in Guam and Hawaii
- 06/07/2011 10:05 - U.S. Department Of Interior Seeks Small Business for $4 Million in Facilitation and Training for Guam, Hawaii, California
- 05/07/2011 13:39 - Guam Bonding Market to See Most Benefits From Guam Military Buildup ‘After the Earth Is Moved and Construction Starts,’ Takagi Says
- 05/07/2011 13:06 - Dollars and Contract Awards in June: Nearly $160 Million in New Revenue from Military Buildup, Federal Work on Guam
- 05/07/2011 07:44 - UPDATE: U.S. Navy Seeks 8 (a) Small Disadvantaged Business for $20 Million Contract On Environmental Monitoring And Management On Guam, Hawaii