Readiness Subcommittee’s FY18 NDAA Mark Includes Bordallo Provisions
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness has marked up and reported to the full Committee the Readiness portion of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. The Readiness mark includes Guam-specific provisions sponsored by Congresswoman Bordallo, who is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee.
Congresswoman Bordallo included a provision that directs the Secretary of the Navy to convey the land, facilities, and equipment at the Former Ship Repair Facility to the Guam Economic Development Authority for the use of ship repair and other military maintenance purposes, at no cost to the Government of Guam. Congresswoman Bordallo has been a strong proponent of increasing ship repair capabilities on Guam and expanding opportunities for these highly skilled jobs.
She also included a provision that requires the Government Accountability Office to perform an independent review of the federal government’s handling of Agent Orange on Guam. Congresswoman Bordallo is concerned with the claims that Agent Orange was actively transported through, stored, or used on Guam and has written to, and met with senior Department of Defense officials on this matter. The report will provide a fact-based, independent analysis to determine if Agent Orange, or other dioxin-based herbicides, were ever transited through, or stored or used on Guam. GAO will provide a report after thorough analysis of available documentation, as well as stakeholder engagement.
Finally, Congresswoman Bordallo included a provision that requires the Navy to address outstanding concerns regarding the clearance of Munitions and Explosives of Concern (MEC). The Congresswoman’s provision would require the Navy to brief Congress on the status of the MEC response on Guam, the hiring of full time MEC personnel, and plans to update the MEC Likelihood Map for Guam to reflect data on hazardous versus non-hazardous anomalies. Furthermore, the provision urges the Navy to continue to issue amendments to ensure the MEC clearance requirements reflect stakeholder engagement and data gathered.
“As the Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee, I worked diligently with Chairman Wilson and the members of our subcommittee to include provisions that specifically benefit Guam and our community. I am pleased that we included language that would direct the Navy to turn over the old Ship Repair Facility to GEDA, at no cost to the government of Guam. This will allow us to leverage this asset and enhance ship repair capabilities that will benefit our civilian and military communities. I am hopeful that transferring the old SRF will also lead to increased job opportunities for local skilled laborers.
“Additionally, I continue my efforts to obtain fact-based information on any use of Agent Orange or other dioxin-based herbicides on Guam. I continue to be dissatisfied with the DoD’s lack of evidence to support their assertion that these toxins were never present on Guam, especially in light of information provided by members of our community and former servicemembers. This provision requires the GAO to review this matter and provide their independent analysis based on available documentation and stakeholder engagement.
“I appreciate that there was bipartisan support of these provisions in our subcommittee, and I look forward to them being included in the House bill when it is marked up by the full House Armed Services Committee next week.”