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CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.


NEWS RELEASE April 26, 2002


Congressman Robert A. Underwood's third funding request for the Guam National Guard Readiness Center was approved by the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Installations during Friday’s mark-up of the Defense Department's military construction budget for Fiscal Year 2003.

The Subcommittee approved Congressman Underwood's request for $7 million for the third and final phase of the Readiness Center construction and another $15 million for a new water system at Andersen Air Force Base. The water system request was initially included in the President's supplemental budget for the Defense Department. The additional $22 million brings the total military construction request for Guam to $75 million for FY 03.

"The $7 million will fund the final phase of the Readiness Center project and its completion will fulfill the Guam Army National Guard's need for a modern, up-to-date armory that they can be proud of. Our success at securing the funding is in large part in recognition for the service they perform for us," the Congressman said.

"The proposed water system will do two things: it will release the water wells at Andy South for possible development by civilian sources, and it will offer the opportunity to provide an impetus for a combined or integrated water/waste water system or approach that will bring needed capital into Guam," he added.

The Subcommittee also approved the inclusion of a provision to address a recent court ruling over the military's live-fire use of Farallon de Mendinilla in the Northern Marianas. The provision allows the Defense Department to have "incidental," or accidental, taking of birds.

"This is not an attempt by the Department of Defense to get out of any Endangered Species Act requirements or to get away from dealing with endangered birds, but the provision is meant to facilitate the continued use of FDM in a way that will not threaten birds. " the Congressman said. "This is a critical issue because it not only leads to the readiness of the military in our area, but it also assists the desirability of both Guam and the CNMI as an area for the military to visit and participate in our economy. But it does so without threatening any birds, and without requiring the U.S. to renegotiate the Migratory Bird Treaty."

Joseph E. Duenas Special Assistant Office of Congressman Robert A. Underwood, M.C. Guam District Office 120 Father Duenas Ave., Suite 107 Hagåtña, Guam 96910 Phone: (671) 477-4272 Fax: (671) 477-2587

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