Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he is pushing to establish a Hawaii Air National Guard unit in American Samoa. On January 28, 2009, Faleomavaega wrote to Senator Inouye and also met with the Senator on January 29. On March 12, 2009, he sent a letter to General Craig R. McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. A complete text of the letter, which was copied to Senator Daniel K. Inouye, is included below.
Dear General McKinley:
I am writing as a follow-up to discussions I have had with U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Major General Robert Lee who is The Adjutant General (TAG) for the State of Hawaii, and also Major General Darryll D.M. Wong, Commander of Hawaii Air National Guard, regarding the establishment of a Hawaii Air National Guard unit in Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Major General Lee and Major General Wong have informed me that you are aware of this request, and that our efforts look promising. I thank you for your support which is critical to our success, and I am hopeful that you will join me in sending a joint letter to Governor Togiola Tulafono so that we may expedite this process.
As you may know, American Samoa has a per capita enlistment rate in the U.S. military which is higher than any State or U.S. Territory. Our sons and daughters have served in record numbers in every U.S. military engagement from WWII to present operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have stood by the United States in good times and bad, and I believe this relationship would only be strengthened by establishing a detachment of the Hawaii Air National Guard in American Samoa.
Faleomavaega concluded his letter by stating, “I am hopeful to work with you on this important initiative, and I congratulate you on being the first four-star General in National Guard history.”