Monday, July 21, 2014

Public Comments Needed on JBLM SPEA


The Army recently completed a 2014 Supplemental Programmatic Environment Assessment (SPEA), which poses that Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) could lose up to 16,000 military and civilian jobs.  

You'll recall that the South Sound recently lost the 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.  This reduction was the result of the initial 2013 Programmatic Environment Assessment (PEA).

The Army is now accepting public comments so everyone can express their concerns about the potential loss of 16,000 military and civilian jobs.  Why is this important?  During the initial 2013 PEA, the Fort Polk community started a letter writing campaign and submitted 4,300 public comments, resulting in a loss of 250 personnel.   In 2013, our region sent in one letter co-signed by local governments and agencies, and we lost an entire brigade. 

We need your help in writing a public comment.  You can do this via email or posted mail.  THE DEADLINE IS AUGUST 25, 2014. 

Attached is a SPEA comment letter template you can use.  There is also a “talking points” paper to assist you.  You may review on this link to learn more about SPEA.

While writing your email/letter, you should include specific impacts on your business/community should we lose 16,000 soldiers and civilian jobs.  A good gauge would be when JBLM had 19,000 soldiers deployed last year.  How much revenue did you lose or employees did you layoff compared to a more robust year when the troops were home?

Please make sure you send copies of your email or letters to ALL the representatives listed with their contact info after the letter template, depending upon the Congressional District you reside in or have your business in.

Please also forward this to others to encourage everyone into writing public comments.

(Click on Image to see a larger size and the complete letter from Cong. Denny Heck.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Veteran & Spouse Networking Event July 17 at The Great American Casino in Lakewood WA

Veteran Networking Event July 17 2014. The networking event is a great opportunity to meet area businesses and discuss current career openings and opportunities for Veterans and their family. The event is for Veterans and their spouse.

(Click on Image for a larger and complete view)



Monday, July 14, 2014

Air Force Announces Changes to Headquarters Organization

Air Force leaders announced changes to headquarters staff manning and organization today.

The Air Force will create efficiencies by deactivating and realigning organizations at headquarters Air Force, major commands (MAJCOMs), numbered air forces and field operating agencies, resulting in savings of $1.6 billion across the Air Force in the next five years.

"I will work to ensure the world's best Air Force is the most capable at the lowest possible cost to the taxpayer," said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. "Everyone knows our economy is still not where it should be; we have a responsibility to ensure that every dollar adds value to the taxpayers and our national defense."

The changes are a result of a comprehensive effort to reduce overhead costs, increase efficiencies, eliminate redundant activities and improve effectiveness and business processes (also known as Air Force Management Headquarters Review). The efficiencies created through the reorganization will also help meet the Department of Defense's directive to reduce costs and staff levels by at least 20 percent, eliminating 3,459 positions at headquarters across the Air Force, both in country and at overseas locations. As part of ongoing cost savings initiatives, the Air Force will also continue to reduce contract spending, operating budgets and travel expenditures.

To minimize the effect on civilian personnel, the Air Force will initiate Voluntary Early Retirement Authority programs and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay to foster voluntary reductions before pursuing involuntary measures. As part of ongoing efforts to responsibly shape the force, military members were offered a variety of voluntary incentive programs.

"We are aggressively pursuing reductions within the first year, rather than spread them out over five years as allowed by DoD," said James. "It's better for airmen because it provides them predictability and allows us to re-stabilize our workforce sooner. It also allows us to harvest the savings earlier so that we can plow it back into readiness and some of our key modernization programs."

The Air Force's goal is to go beyond the 20 percent reduction mandated by the DoD so any additional savings can be achieved from staff functions above the wing level, and set to provide additional combat capability to the combatant commanders.

"The Air Force has been making incremental changes in our business practices for the last several years, but we must change the way we are doing business if we are to meet the Air Force's goal to reduce staffing functions by more than 20 percent," explained Bill Booth, Air Force acting deputy chief management officer. "Reducing higher headquarters' staffs means we can save money that can be re-invested in getting ready for combat missions at the wing level."

The largest initiative will include centralizing policy and oversight of installation and mission support activities within a newly created Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC), which will report to Air Force Materiel Command. Execution will remain at the local level.

"The current and projected fiscal climate make it essential to centralize management and streamline support to the maximum extent possible in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as deliver more standardized levels of service across the Air Force," Booth said. Support functions currently spread across the MAJCOMs' staffs will be centralized at the AFIMSC.

The Air Force will also make changes to the headquarters Air Force staff organization by splitting Operations, Plans and Requirements (A3/5) and Strategic Plans and Programs (A8) and reorganizing them into the new Operations (A3) organization which will stand alone and merge the planning staffs into the new A5/8 organization.

Also, the current programming functions from A8 will be merged into the service's financial management organization (FM).

"We will now have an organization, A5/8, that is responsible for developing, managing and constantly assessing an Air Force strategy that is bounded by long-range resource projections and another organization, FM, that deals primarily with the day-to-day budget activities involved in running the Air Force," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III explained. "Keeping organizations aligned will ensure we keep moving towards our long-range strategic goals despite the short-term budget upheaval we face regularly."

The Air Force will also realign several functions that currently report to the headquarters in an effort to better support combatant commanders and realign some field operating agencies to operational MAJCOMs, merge FOAs with similar missions and deactivate others.

The Air Force Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency is also being realigned from headquarters Air Force as a FOA to become part of a new operational numbered air force under Air Combat Command.

Realigning the Air Force ISR Agency into the new 25th Air Force within ACC ensures warfighting commands will have the best possible intelligence from integrated national and tactical ISR capabilities, while appropriately realigning operational activities and "organize, train and equip" responsibilities of the AF ISR Agency from execution by Headquarters AF to a MAJCOM.

For more information, please contact Ann Stefanek or Capt. Erika Yepsen, Air Force Public Affairs/Media Operations/Pentagon/ 703-695-0640.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff, Army announced today the following assignments:

Brig. Gen. Willard M. Burleson III, deputy commanding general, 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to director, Mission Command Center of Excellence, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Col. (Promotable) James B. Jarrard, director of Operations, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to deputy commander, 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Vet & Spouses Career Expo & Bus Schedule Expanded

Next week is the Working With Our Troops, Veterans & Spouses Career Expo

The Working with our Troops Veterans and Spouses Career Expo on the 15th of July  is working with Partners Commercial Drivers School and First Student to provide Buses to the Washington State Convention Center.

 Here is the link to the employer list.


































These Buses will transport those interested veterans to the Career Expo and return them to the point of origin  free of cost. Our host the Washington State Convention Center is providing Box lunches to those that have register to attend the EXPO at no cost.  Job seekers can register here. 

Because of the interest in this event we have extended our time by one hour to 2 p.m.

Bus pick up locations and time are as follows: 

Pierce County:
Tacoma Dome Parking Lot J
2727 E. D St
Tacoma, WA 98421
First bus Departs at 9:00 am (0900)
Second Bus Departs at 9:30 am (0930)

Snohomish County : (New addition)
Smokey Point Naval Support Complex
13900 45TH AVE NE ,
MARYSVILLE, WA 98271-7853
Bus departs at 8:30 am (0830)

Kitsap County:
Port Orchard National Guard Armory
1950 Mile Hill Drive
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Bus departs 8:30 am (0830)

All buses will depart The Washington State convention Center 2:30 pm (1430) to return to their point origin.
For those that wish to drive we will validate parking at the Convention Center.

Please register as soon as possible @ www.workingwithourtroops.eventbrite.com

We have 130 Exhibitors in Aerospace, Manufacturing, Logistics, Transportation, Medical/Healthcare, IT, Management, Administration, Law Enforcement, and much more.  Here is the link to the employer list.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

3 Critical Issues at Special MAF

MILITARY AFFAIRS FORUM

Military Affairs Committee
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

Date & Time:  Wednesday, July 16, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Place:  La Quinta Inn | 1425 E. 27th St. | Tacoma 98421
Register: Online here.

AGENDA: 

The JBLM JLUS (Joint Land Use Study)
Doug Richardson
, District 6
Pierce County Councilmember

The JBLM JLUS (Joint Land Use Study) is designed to create a collective regional dialogue around sometimes complex issues of balancing military operational demands and mission changes with the region’s and local communities’ land use plans, economic development and infrastructure needs, and goals for environmental sustainability. The study area generally encompasses those communities within two miles of the JBLM boundary, evaluating existing or potential conflicts with the military installation’s operations.

Resource: Project Website

2013 JBLM Survey Results
Mary Huff
, Interim Project Manager
City of Lakewood – SSMCP

Over 5,000 people who live and/or work on Joint Base Lewis-McChord responded to the SSMCP Needs and Preferences Survey in October 2013.  Ms. Huff will summarize those results from a regional perspective, and also highlight some of the key findings specific to Pierce County.  Topics will include servicemembers’ perceptions of safety and other quality of life issues in their communities; housing choices; and career/education plans for those servicemembers transitioning off active duty in the next two years.

Resource: Executive Summary

Overview Briefing on PSEA for Army Forces Reduction
Gary Brackett, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

A staff review of the Preliminary Supplementary Environmental Assessment for Army Forces Reduction. Gary Brackett will present an overview of the PSEA for Army Forces Reduction (and USAF planning for reducing C-17s at McChord Field) – and the planning for a community-inclusive response to the potential worst-case loss of 16,000 soldiers from JBLM.


Resources for Background:
US Army Environmental Command Press Release
2014 Supplement for Army Forces Realignment (Open for public comment until Aug. 25, 2014)
USAF Force Structure C-17 Reduction Plans

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Groundbreaking for Groundbreaking Treatment Plant

JBLM and local community leaders come together for a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of a $91 million project to upgrade the JBLM's waste water treatment plant.

Puget Sound water quality is a major enviro-nmental concern for the US Enviro- nmental Protection Agency, Washington State, Tribal, local stakeholders, lawmakers and JBLM.  In recent years, most communities near JBLM have upgraded their wastewater treatment processes to comply with stringent state discharge permits or to reclaim their wastewater. The upgraded JBLM Waste Water Treatment Plant building at Solo Point will ensure that JBLM meets current and future water quality requirements for Puget Sound. This plant serves JBLM, Camp Murray and the American Lake VA Center.

JBLM’s upgraded $91 million WWTP will use the most current technologies, ensuring that the plant will meet current and future discharge requirements to protect water quality in Puget Sound.  The plant will be capable of treating effluent to Class A reclaimed water standards, setting the stage for reclaimed water usage in the future.

The new facility’s treatment capabilities are consistent with nearby municipal wastewater treatment plants, which also discharge into Puget Sound. Work on JBLM’s new WWTP should be complete by Summer 2016.

Media interested in attending the ground breaking ceremony should RSVP by contacting the JBLM Public Affairs office at (253) 967-0152.

Connector Road Joins Halves of JBLM

Construction has begun on a new road and overpass project that will cross over Perimeter Road, which bisects JBLM Lewis Main and McChord Field, to link both sides of the joint base. Service members who work on either side of JBLM will more easily travel back-and-forth without needing to exit or enter security gates.

Phase I of the project, clearing trees from the projected construction path, is nearing completion.

(Click on Image for a Larger and Complete View)
Phase II, the construction of bridges support pillars began June 23 and will last through August 23. The eight-week phase will involve placing pillars to support the overpass. JBLM will close South Gate Road and the McChord Field Commercial Vehicle Inspection Point (CVIP) while the bridge pillars are built.

Commercial vehicles that normally enter the McChord Field CVIP will use the McChord Field North Gate, which is located at the intersection of South Tacoma Way and 112th Street. The North Gate will be open for commercial vehicle traffic daily from 5:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

A major road construction project on Perimeter Road, the road which bisects JBLM Lewis-Main and McChord Field, begin April 1. The construction will close access to civilian commuter and commercial vehicle traffic that uses Perimeter Road and 150th Street Southwest as a thoroughfare to commute between Spanaway and Interstate 5.

JBLM officials are working to maintain the same level of service for drivers entering and exiting the base.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sequestration Prompts Force Reductions at JBLM

The US Army has released a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) for additional reductions in response to the current Congressional Sequestration budget (and defense) reductions.

You may also refer to the US Air Force's response to the current Congressional Sequestration budget (and defense) at our earlier C-9 Blog article.

(Click on Image for a Complete View)