Conference Agreement Retains Restrictions on Marine Realignment
Language prohibiting the Defense Department from spending funds to realign 8,000-plus Marines from Okinawa to Guam until officials provide more detailed plans survived House-Senate conference negotiations over the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill.
The Marine Corps commandant would need to provide an updated force “lay-down,” and the secretary of defense would need to submit a master plan for all military construction costs and a schedule before funds could be spent on the relocation, according to a summary of the conference agreement provided Monday night by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The agreement also bars spending money allow military personnel in Korea to bring their families during their tours until the Army provides a master plan for all costs and a schedule to complete the initiative. Officials also would need to prepare an analysis of alternatives justifying the initiative’s operational need.
In all, the legislation would strip about $1.7 billion from the president’s request for military construction and family housing projects, including $150 million in projects to prepare Guam for the realignment and $180 million in overseas construction. Separately, the bill cuts $33.0 million for the Office of Economic Adjustment to support the realignment on Guam because the funds “appear to be ahead of need,” the committee summary stated.
The conference report also calls for a non-governmental entity to conduct an independent assessment of the military’s security posture in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.