Senate Panel Demands Better Planning from DOD on Posture Shifts throughout East Asia
The Defense Department needs to do a better job of justifying the realignment of Marines from Japan to Guam and a plan to normalize tours in South Korea, according to the portion of the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill marked up Tuesday by a panel of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee’s section of the annual policy bill would deny funding to build a replacement for Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, prepare Guam to accommodate 8,000-plus Marines and allow military personnel in Korea to bring their families until DOD considers alternative basing options and provides a master plan, reported Stars and Stripes.
“This should provide Congress with greater clarity of the scope, schedule and cost of this large and complex undertaking,” Subcommittee Chair Claire McCaskill (D- Mo.) said, according to the story.
Last month, three senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee — Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) — called for the Pentagon to overhaul its plans to shift forces in Korea, Japan and Guam.
Current DOD realignment plans for East Asia are “unrealistic, unworkable, and unaffordable,” they warned.
The full committee began marking up the authorization bill Wednesday and could finish as early as today.