CEREMONY: A group of soldiers from SECFOR 6, a security forces unit of the Guam Army National Guard, stands in front of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, which the unit is tasked to defend, during a transfer of authority ceremony Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, at the Arc Light Park on Andersen Air Force Base. Jonah Benavente/The Guam Daily Post

HAGÅTÑA (THE GUAM DAILY POST)— The Naval Facilities Pacific area of operations has invested US$2.5 billion into building up internal capacities behind the fence on Guam and the region by 2028.

The US$2.5 billion award is split between seven construction companies and joint ventures contracted to design and build facilities within Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii and other areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, including local company Core Tech International Corp.

According to a news release, about 80% of the construction work will be done on Guam, with the remaining projects spread across the CNMI, Hawaii, and other areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

“The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of March 2028,” a release from the Navy stated.

The awardees identified in the release are Black Construction–Tutor Perini JV, Core Tech-HDCC-Kajima LLC, Gilbane Federal JV, Granite-Obayashi 2 JV, Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Nan Inc. and RQ Construction LLC.

The Guam Daily Post is an affiliate of Core Tech International Corp.

Six of the seven awardees will first receive a task order for US$25,000, the minimum contract guarantee per awardee required at the contract’s award, the Navy stated.

“Fiscal 2023 supervision, inspection and overhead funds in the amount of $150,000 are obligated on these awards and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year,” the release stated.

The remaining awardee, “Granite-Obayashi 2 JV, is being awarded a task order in the amount of US$126,132,400 for the construction of facilities for the Ground Combat Element Infantry Battalions 1 and 2, which includes an auto shop, an electrical/communications building, a vehicle wash facility, vehicle laydown areas, roadway construction, ancillary mechanical enclosures and incidental work at Naval Support Activity Guam,” according to the release. “The task order also includes one option item that is being exercised at time of award and is included in the US$126,132,400.”

The project is scheduled to be finished in December 2025.

According to the Navy, a portion of the funds to support the project, US$1.2 million, was obligated from the fiscal year 2023 military construction budget.

“All other funding will be made available at the task order level as contracting actions occur,” said the release. “The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of March 2028. This acquisition was competitively procured via the Sam.gov website with nine proposals received. These seven contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contracts.”

Guam’s government and local companies could be slated to get tax revenue and project awards for more projects planned by the military.

The Department of Defense’s fiscal 2024 budget request includes US$9.1 billion “in support of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative,” which includes Guam, according to a release from DOD.

“The effort includes resilient and distributed air basing, new missile warning and tracking architecture, construction to enable enhanced posture, funding for defense of Guam and Hawaii, and multinational information sharing, training, and experimentation,” the Pentagon stated, which labeled the request as the “largest ever” for the initiative.

The DOD also said its budget request includes an additional US$1.5 billion for the “defense of Guam against the missile threat from China.”

The Missile Defense Agency held a media conference on March 14 to provide more details of its own sought-after spending plan, in which Guam is noticeably included as well.

“Current forces are capable of defending Guam against today’s North Korean ballistic missile threats. However, the regional threat to Guam, including those from (the People’s Republic of China), continues to rapidly evolve,” Michelle Atkinson, MDA director for operations, said.

Next year’s request builds off of ongoing work to develop a 360-degree missile defense system for the island. Among the projects eyed for 2024 are the development of a new radar system and a new Aegis intercept site, including “procurement of launch equipment,” according to Atkinson.

Guam’s portion of next year’s Aegis-related acquisitions amounts to US$80.4 million, an MDA budget booklet stated.

“This funds the development of the Aegis Guam System Software configuration for land based Defense of Guam capabilities integrated with dispersed AN/TPY-6 Radar and multiple launchers,” according to the booklet.

It appears additional funds will be spent on testing the new system as well, with MDA outlining US$42.1 million for Guam in order to support “comprehensive testing of Aegis components and demonstrates their interoperability with the missile defense system.”

Another US$53 million is requested to develop, produce and launch targets required for local testing done by MDA.

“In response to increasing threats in the Indo-Pacific region, MDA is supporting efforts to improve the warfighter’s capability to defend Guam against regional ballistic, and cruise missiles. FY 2024 funding will support activities to continue development and deployment of an effective defensive architecture solution,” the agency stated.

MDA’s request for the “defence of Guam” next fiscal year totals US$801 million, Atkinson said….PACNEWS

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