GUAM – Since enactment by the House of Representatives on Dec. 14 and by the Senate on Dec. 15, the compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 is now on President Obama’s desk for signature.
Programs that were cut from the final bill include over $150 million in construction on Guam related to the planned transfer of thousands of U.S. Marines from Okinawa. The Senate succeeded in its push to freeze Guam military buildup funding this year, at least until the Pentagon can deliver a more detailed implementation plan for the troop realignment.
The bill went through a final codifying process before landing on Mr. Obama’s desk on Dec. 21. The President left Washington for vacation in Hawaii on Dec. 23, and the signing may wait until his return after the New Year. The White House has said Mr. Obama will sign the bill, indicating that its compromise version satisfies his earlier concerns over Senate-backed terrorist-detainee provisions.
The annual Defense policy bill authorizes appropriations for military activities of the Department of Defense, military construction and defense activities of the Department of Energy. Once it becomes law, it will cap 2012 defense authorizations at $662 billion, or $26.6 billion less than the President’s full budget request.
The Guam cuts will directly affect a planned upgrade to North Ramp utilities at Andersen Air Force Base and new water utilities at the location of the planned Marine base at Finegayan in Dededo. It also means that only incremental funding will be authorized for an Air Force fuel systems maintenance hangar for the Guam Strike – a program that is transforming Andersen Air Force Base into a Pacific hub for global reconnaissance that includes new Global Hawk technology.
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Image used in this article courtesy whitehouse.gov.