Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that as a follow up to his discussions with Major General Robert Lee, Adjutant General for the State of Hawaii, he is requesting expedited assistance in establishing a Hawaii National Guard presence in American Samoa.
“General Lee and I have been discussing how best to establish a National Guard Unit in American Samoa,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “We have agreed that the best way is to establish a branch of the Hawaii National Guard in American Samoa. Governor Linda Lingle of the State of Hawaii supports our efforts as does Governor Togiola.”
“At this time, General Lee and I have agreed that it is in the best interest of American Samoa that our Guard unit should be a weapons of mass destruction and civil support team which will respond to terrorist threats and natural disasters. Our team will be locally recruited in American Samoa and will be based in the Territory.”
“The only remaining issue is that we must encourage the National Guard Bureau to expedite our request. The Bureau has been working on this request for more than a year and, for this reason, I have written to General Lee and asked for his assistance. General Lee is the Commander of all National Guard Units for the State of Hawaii and our branch would be under his Command.”
“Once our request is approved, ASG will need to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State of Hawaii. Governor Linda Lingle and Governor Togiola stand ready to sign this MOU and I am hopeful that with our latest efforts this will be in the very near future.”
“As always, I thank General Lee for his continued support for the people and troops of American Samoa. General Lee is to be commended for his dedication, commitment and leadership. I also thank Governor Lingle for without her support we could not move forward in establishing a branch of the Hawaii National Guard in American Samoa. I also thank Governor Togiola and, above all, I thank our military men and women for their service to our country,” the Congressman concluded.