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Guam Industry Forum Unites Industry Innovation With DoD Opportunity

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070828-20
Release Date: 8/28/2007 4:24:00 PM

By Kyra Hawn, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs

TUMON, Guam (NNS) -- Senior members of the U.S. Congress, Department of Defense (DoD) and the Government of Guam attended the Guam Industry Forum Aug. 23-24 to provide an overview of the more than $10 billion in DoD contracts that will be awarded in the next several years in support of the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam.

The forum was the first in a series of related events held in Guam to prepare for the influx of an anticipated 20,000 additional service members and their families, scheduled to arrive by 2014.

Senior government officials presenting at the conference included Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment) B.J. Penn, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Ike Skelton, Guam’s Congressional Delegate to Congress Madeline Z. Bordallo, Governor of Guam Felix P. Camacho, Executive Director of the Joint Guam Program Office (JGPO) David Bice and Operations Officer for Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific Capt. Lou Cariello.

Army, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps senior officers were also on hand to provide answers to service-specific questions, and the government of Guam provided senior executives to answer questions on topics such as utilities, roadways, public works, labor, immigration, taxation and infrastructure development.

The two-day forum was co-hosted by NAVFAC Pacific and the JGPO. Initially planned for 600 attendees, the event drew over 1,000 industry participants from Guam, Europe, Asia, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, and was simulcast between two venues.

Camacho provided context for the event and welcomed participants to contribute innovative plans for Guam’s future. He explained that Guam is facing a new set of economic conditions and new realities that should be viewed as “an opportunity for the entire Western Pacific.”

Camacho’s remarks included a personal leadership mandate requiring that integrated plans developed between the DoD and the Government of Guam “move forward with purpose and with confidence to find solutions that must be realistic, relevant and acceptable to our community.”

Penn explained during an interview that his role was to provide “executive intervention” inside the beltway as an advocate for Marine relocation plans developed by JGPO and the Government of Guam. Penn reinforced that Guam’s geographic location and history provide opportunities for joint and combined exercises, and further elaborated that increased military presence on Guam will provide greater crisis response and humanitarian-aid capability in the Western Pacific.

Bice outlined the scope of change that will occur on Guam in the coming years. DoD construction costs are currently estimated at $10 billion and will include military construction projects, utilities and infrastructure upgrades, roadway improvements, environmental assessments, housing construction and public-private venture opportunities.

Bice is the senior DoD official responsible for collaboration with public and private entities and coordination of the myriad of moving parts that will affect the military build-up on Guam. One objective highlighted by Bice was to “optimize capabilities that already exist on Guam and surrounding islands.”

Navy leaders at NAVFAC Pacific have been tasked with putting a sequencing and procurement plan in place that will accommodate the multibillion-dollar development required to ready Guam. Cariello outlined the fundamentals of the Navy strategy.

“We are working to ensure that our staffs are plussed-up to handle the load, and we are coordinating with JGPO, Marine Forces Pacific and the Government of Guam to accommodate the needs of the Marines while remaining sensitive to the local impact on Guam’s community and environment. The acquisition (contracting) strategy is massive, and it is evolving and being refined rapidly. It’s an exciting time to be on Guam.”

Skelton emphasized the current strategic importance of Guam relative to the delicate balance of global stability.

“We don’t know what is hidden behind the corner or what the next military challenge will be,” he said. “When the decision was made to bring this build-up to the territory of Guam, that was the right decision.”

As formal sessions concluded, networking breaks gave participants the opportunity to socialize ideas and strategies.

“The forum went further and drew more widespread participation than originally anticipated,” reflected Andy Wall, acquisition director for NAVFAC Marianas and forum coordinator. “It was all about sharing ideas and generating momentum.”

Future events are being planned to address the needs of stateside and foreign contractors, as well as small business owners. JGPO anticipates release of a formal infrastructure and personnel phasing roadmap in 2008 in concert with the Program Objective Memorandum 2010 budget planning process.

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