9-MEMBER CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION VISITS GUAM

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By Gerardo R. Partido

HAGATNA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Jan. 2) – The visit over the weekend by a large congressional delegation will help Guam’s lobbying efforts with the military, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo said.

The nine-member delegation was led by Congressman Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland who is the chairman of the subcommittee on projection forces of the powerful House Armed Services Committee.

According to Bordallo, this subcommittee is instrumental in determining the deployment of the U.S. military abroad. Guam has long been lobbying for more military deployments to the island, including the home-porting of an aircraft carrier group.

"As with every Congressional delegation that visits Guam, I expect this group will leave Guam impressed by the patriotism and spirit of our people. The visits to our world-class military bases will surely leave a lasting impression on the delegation both because of the great facilities and because of the superb airmen, soldiers and sailors who serve in our armed forces here on Guam," Bordallo said.

While on Guam, the delegation laid a wreath at the Memorial Wall in the Asan Bay Overlook Unit of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park to honor the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, who fought in the Pacific Theater during World War II, as well as the Chamorro people who endured enemy occupation.

The delegation also met with Gov. Felix P. Camacho and First Lady Joanne Camacho who hosted a special dinner for the delegation attended by local dignitaries and community leaders.

The delegation was likewise briefed by military leaders regarding activities at Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam and future development plans for Guam.

The delegation is now scheduled to receive briefings from the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii about the impending build-up on Guam and the plans for the relocation of 8,000 Marines and their families from Okinawa, Japan to Guam.

In addition to Hawaii and Guam, the delegation is expected to make stops in China before returning to Washington, D.C. for the opening session of the 110th Congress.

According to Bordallo, the delegation is focused on evaluating the ongoing U.S. military realignment in the Asia-Pacific region as well as studying emerging energy policy issues, especially the implications of significant growth in demand from China for crude oil. The delegation will also evaluate the emergence of renewable energy technologies in the region.

"Learning more about the ongoing realignment of U.S. military forces in the Asia-Pacific region, including the movement of Marines to Guam, is a key purpose of this delegation. And the continued growth of China and its increasing demand for oil make the focus on energy policy and technologies an equally important aspect of the trip," Bordallo said.

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