Readiness Subcommittee’s FY19 Mark Includes Guam Land Return, Ship Repair Provisions
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Readiness has marked up the Readiness portion of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019. The Readiness mark includes provisions important to Guam sponsored by Congresswoman Bordallo, who is the Ranking Member of the subcommittee.
Congresswoman Bordallo included a provision that requires the Secretary of the Navy to establish, maintain, and regularly update a publically accessible inventory of real property on Guam and administered by the Navy that the Navy expects to be transferred to the government of Guam as part of the Navy’s “net-negative” commitment. Congresswoman Bordallo’s provision also establishes a formal mechanism for the Governor of Guam to petition the Secretary to add specific parcels to the inventory. Congresswoman Bordallo sponsored the provision to codify and make transparent the military’s “net-negative” pledge to the people of Guam for the military to hold less land upon the completion of the realignment of Marines to Guam. This provision is also part of standalone legislation—H.R. 5328, the Guam Land Returns Act—sponsored by Congresswoman Bordallo earlier this year.
Congresswoman Bordallo also included language that would require the Navy to perform scheduled repairs and maintenance of all naval vessels in shipyards located in the United States or Guam. Congresswoman Bordallo is concerned by the Navy’s continued use of foreign ship repair facilities to perform scheduled maintenance, and she believes that the Navy should prioritize the use of U.S. ship repair capabilities that support American jobs. Her provision would treat Navy vessels without a homeport as if they were homeported in the United States or Guam. Congresswoman Bordallo also included language that would prohibit the Navy from developing the former Guam Ship Repair Facility (SRF) for use other than depot-level ship maintenance.
“I am pleased that the Readiness Subcommittee included key Guam provisions in our mark for the fiscal year 2019 defense bill. As the Ranking Member of the subcommittee, I thank Chairman Wilson and our subcommittee members and staff for working closely with me on these provisions to benefit Guam.
“Importantly, the Readiness mark will codify in federal law the military’s pledge to hold less land on Guam when the Marine realignment is completed. While I understand the military’s requirements, the DoD should not hold more lands than it needs to carry out its mission in the Pacific. My provision requires the Navy publish and regularly update the inventory of land it expects to return to GovGuam, and it provides the Governor with a formal process to request additional lands for the benefit of our people. I am committed to ensuring that the DoD meets this pledge in full, and I will continue to hold it accountable to make real concessions to our civilian community.
“I also continue to be very concerned with the Navy’s use of foreign shipyards. We should support American capabilities and jobs for this specialized work, and my provision would ensure that the scheduled maintenance of Navy ships is performed, as intended, at shipyards in the U.S. or Guam rather than in foreign shipyards. The subcommittee’s provisions also prohibits the Navy from redeveloping the former Ship Repair Facility on Guam for any purpose other than to support depot-level ship maintenance, to include the mooring of a floating dry dock. I continue to believe it is vitally important for the Navy to maintain a depot-level ship repair capability in the Western Pacific.
“Again, I appreciate the bipartisan partnership in supporting these provisions. I look forward to them being included in the full House bill and enacted into law.”