(USNewsMag.com) – Amid an increase in Chinese military aggression, information is being requested from the United States Army by House China Select Committee Chairman and Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher regarding its protection efforts in a “highly vulnerable” and “essential” U.S. territory. In a letter to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, Gallagher requested information on protecting what is the westernmost point of the United States, Guam. Anderson Air Force Base as well as Naval Base Guam, the only submarine base the Navy has in the western Pacific, are both located on Guam.
Gallagher stated that because more than 20,000 U.S. troops are “stationed on the island,” it will be “essential” to help defend “American allies and interests in the region.” In the letter, he added that the island remains “highly vulnerable” to China’s “increasingly sophisticated network of missiles.”
Gallagher said that because Guam is much closer than Hawaii to China, China has, for decades, been working on the development of “short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles” that could reach Guam, U.S. airfields located in Japan, and “U.S. aircraft carriers and warships” that are in the western Pacific.
In the letter, Gallagher stated that the United States has “significant gaps” in its ability “to defend against PRC cruise missiles” that could be used to attack Guam. He added that China has the ability to launch its cruise missiles “from multiple platforms,” such as bombers, ships, and submarines. Gallagher said that the gaps put the United States “ability to use Guam as a vital submarine port and base” at risk.
In 2021, the launcher prototype selected by the Army was unable to be delivered due to supply chain issues. The Army announced in May 2023 that the launcher prototypes would be delivered in September. However, operational assessment of that prototype would not happen until late 2024.
Gallagher requested information from the Army about the delays as well as how it plans to strengthen Guam’s land-based cruise missile defense capabilities. He asked if the Army would be in support of the integration of capabilities with Australia as well as Japan.
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