12/11/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/10/2023 22:52
Hagåtña, Guam - Immediately following Governor Lou Leon Guerrero's meeting with Deputy Secretary of Defense last week, the Pentagon issued the following readout on December 8, 2023:
"Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks met today with Territory of Guam Governor Lourdes Leon Guerrero to reaffirm the strong ties between the Department and the Territory. Deputy Secretary Hicks expressed her deepest condolences to the people of Guam following the devastations from Typhoon Mawar, and said the Department is committed to improving the quality of life for the people of Guam and service members and families serving there. The Deputy Secretary and the governor also discussed ways in which the Department can support civilian infrastructure that benefits both the U.S. military and local community in Guam now and in the future. The Deputy Secretary also thanked the governor for Guam's contributions to U.S. national security, recognizing the service and sacrifices of the Chamorro people."
In response, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration issued the following statement:
"The Pentagon's public support for the island's civilian infrastructure and acknowledgment of the Chamorro people's sacrifices during the Japanese-American War affirm Guam's importance as both a strategic defense location and a key American community," said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. "During our meeting, Secretary Hicks and I focused our discussions on healthcare, workforce development, and infrastructure upgrades, including a new public hospital, co-housing healthcare services for veterans in Guam and our region, and port enhancements. Additionally, the Pentagon has acknowledged our island's devastation with Typhoon Mawar. This is critical as it highlights our need to build a more resilient infrastructure and the benefits of investing in Guam for now and into the future. Our ongoing talks with the Department of Defense are encouraging, and our One Guam approach blends civilian and military needs for the island's wellbeing, with a focus on the medical complex as an integral component of infrastructure."
"Our goal is clear: We aim to build consensus and foster collaboration with the Department of Defense and the entire federal structure through a One Guam approach," said Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio. "We should, however, ensure that if our strategic priorities diverge, we are prepared to assertively leverage Guam's historical and increasingly pivotal geopolitical significance to ensure the best, most beneficial outcomes for the people of Guam."
The Office of the Governor will continue to provide updates on Governor Leon Guerrero's latest federal mission. The next update will cover her meeting with Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment Meredith Berger and Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves.