Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he met with Major General Robert Lee, Adjutant General for the State of Hawaii, to discuss their ongoing efforts to establish a National Guard Unit in American Samoa. The meeting was held in the Congressman’s Washington office.
“As a follow-up to our efforts to establish a National Guard unit in American Samoa, Major General Lee and I met again to discuss the progress we are making,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Senator Inouye has been supportive of our work for a number of years now and I am pleased that based on our discussions Major General Lee has forwarded my most recent correspondence and also a new Memorandum to Lieutenant General Stephen Blum, Chief, National Guard Bureau.”
“Dated October 26, 2005, Major General Lee’s Memorandum requests allowances for Hawaii to support a National Guard Unit in American Samoa. The Memorandum states:
American Samoa continues to express great concern about the lack of local response capability. The CSTs (Civil Support Teams) currently within the region would be hard pressed to support an incident in American Samoa without substantially degrading its own abilities to respond to and sustain operations in support of a local incident. The additional team would be in lieu of creating and stationing a CST, or portion thereof, in American Samoa.
The team will be stationed in Hawaii with the HIARNG responsible for recruiting to fill the additional positions. Soldiers will be sought from Hawaii and American Samoa. The additional team will operate and train under the command and control of the 93d CST. The primary training location will be Hawaii, with training in American Samoa also being a necessity in order to provide for advance planning and coordination with proper offices and agencies local to American Samoa.
“We are pleased that Governor Togiola of American Samoa and Governor Lingle of Hawaii have joined in to support our efforts and that both are ready to enter into an agreement regarding the stationing, training, and employment of the Civil Support Team. At this time, General Lee and I are hopeful that General Blum will act to expedite our most recent request especially since this matter has been pending for some time.”
“Once again, Major General Lee has noted that the Hawaii National Guard stands ready to support its neighbors in the Pacific and, in turn, we thank the State of Hawaii for standing with us. At this time and on behalf of the people of American Samoa, I thank General Lee for his continued support. As a people, we are deeply appreciative of the service he renders in support of our troops and we commend him for his dedication, commitment and leadership,” the Congressman concluded.