Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama's Defense Budget

Here are the three pages of the A New Era of Responsibility for the 2010 defense budget. If you wish to review the entire budget proposal, go here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Commanding Officers Briefing

Military Affairs Committee
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

Commanding Officers Briefing
Wednesday, March 11
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Updated AGENDA

Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, Commanding General, I Corps & Ft. Lewis (confirmed)
Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg, Adjutant General, Washington National Guard (confirmed)
Col. Michael Hornitschek, 62nd Airlift Wing Vice Commander (confirmed)

The Commanding Officers have been asked, as in previous years, to brief the region’s chambers with a recap of the immediate year’s events and a forecast for the coming year.

The Commanding Officers Briefing will be held Wednesday, March 11. Registration will begin at 7:15 a.m. with a breakfast buffet served at 7:30 a.m. The event will be held at the La Quinta Inn & Suites, 1425 E. 27th St., Tacoma 98421

The price of the event is $13. RESERVATIONS are required and may be made to Rose, or online at Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s website calendar. Deadline for RSVPs is March 9 10:00 a.m., Monday.

Breakfast Buffet: $13.00 with RSVP. Non-reserved attendance: $15.00
RSVP: Rose Crist, 253-627-2175; DUE 10 am, 03/09/09.

Please RSVP by 10:00 a.m. on Mar. 9, Monday!
RSVPs may be made through Rose Crist:
phone: 253/627-2175 or fax 253/597-7305 or
E-mail: Rose or
Online: here
(Non-RSVPs welcome, but PLEASE call to help with plans for meals and seating arrangements.) Those persons reserving and not attending or canceling before the RSVP deadline will be billed.

The Chamber announces its newest blog: C-9 Blog, which will focus on the armed forces and civilian relationships, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest. Please visit and subscribe to this free information source.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Inside China: Regional forum explores U.S., China relations

Military and regional experts will delve into the complexities of the United States’ relationship with China during the 2009 Pacific Northwest National Security Forum in Lakewood April 17. A diverse panel of diplomatic, military, economic, and academic experts will discuss “Competitors and Partners: Prospects for China and the United States.”

“Thirty years have passed since the United States and the People’s Republic of China normalized relations. In that time, much has changed in China. China is now among the world’s top economies, militaries, and after the Beijing Olympics in 2008, perhaps even cultures. Many national security experts focus on the future competition they see coming between the United States and China. However, Washington State has been a leader in developing partnerships with China in educational and commercial realms,” said retired Lieutenant Colonel Doug Adams, program chair for the forum.

“It is the complex nature of these paradoxical relationships that is of interest and indeed vital relevance to our regional audience,” said Adams.

The event is expected to draw an audience of active duty and reserve military, retired military and civilians including local and regional civic leaders.

The keynote speaker at lunch will focus on the dynamic nature of the evolving relationship between the United States and China. The agenda will also hear from experts and practitioners on a variety of elements associated with the trade imbalance, a growing military presence, hotspots like Taiwan, Tibet, and the Korean peninsula, as well as areas of partnership in diplomacy and commerce.

In 2007, Vice Admiral David C. Nichols, Jr., former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, spoke on asymmetric warfare, addressing the challenges of fourth generation warfare and the path to winning. Previous speakers have included the current Pacific Command commander, Admiral Tim Keating, and current Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz. The forum was created in 1996 by retired military officers with the aim of educating Puget Sound regional audiences on current national security topics.

Cost and registration information is now available on the web.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Quick Look at the Stimulus Bill

The cuts from the Stimulus Bill seem to have come primarily from the proposed expenditures associated with the military and defense needs.

The Association of Defense Communities reports the only funding dedicated to help communities either redevelop closing bases or adjust to mission growth was struck from the compromise version. $300 million for environmental cleanup of bases closed during the first four BRAC rounds was stripped from final legislation. The measure contains no other funds devoted to BRAC needs.

ADC noted Governors are allocated dollars before they are distributed to local authorities. Defense communities leaders are left concerned with how much funding will be left over after other state needs. The final bill did retain a provision for $100 million to school systems that qualify for federal Impact Aid (school modernization, emergency repairs), funds for which districts in growth communities are potentially eligible.

The stimulus bill includes $2.8 billion for military construction, covering troop housing, warrior training complexes, child development centers and family housing - all relevant to Fort Lewis. The largest portion ($1.3 billion) goes to military hospitals.

For soldiers, $555 million is included for Homeowners Assistance, available to all military personnel who receive permanent orders to relocate, and to wounded warriors who are moving for medical reasons or to surviving spouses.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Military Cluster Targeted

The Prosperity Partnership has adopted its Military Cluster initiative as part of its overall regional economic development effort.

Making its first presentation to the Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber's Military Affairs Forum, Chris Strow and Olivia Robinson detailed the tremendous economic impact of the defense sector throughout the region.

A 2003 economic impact study showed a total of about 132,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region related to military bases. Sales by Puget Sound companies to local bases total $350 million per year.

The working group identified four main initiatives, which guided the selection of specific action items and implementation strategies:

  1. Understand and support the military mission in Washington state and at individual bases
  2. Enhance employment opportunities for military spouses and veterans
  3. Improve education opportunities for military personnel, spouses and children
  4. Use business attraction, retention and expansion strategies to expand the region’s military industry cluster.

Initiative item #3 is gaining traction in the current legislative session with companion bills HB1075 and SB5248.

The full strategy document will be available in February 2009.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Compare Senate and House Versions of Stimulus Bills

The Senate just passed their stimulus bill, and it's now on to a forecast difficult reconciliation with the House. Here is a view of what's different between the two versions. This excerpt just focuses on Defense and defense-related line items. Click on the image for a larger view.

To see the full stimulus bill line items, click here.

An alert from MOAA is asking for advocates to address Congress to retain two provisions: one on veterans' tax rebates and another on mitigating housing sales for transferred or wounded warrior moves. For more, see their link.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ft. Lewis Chapter Welcomes National President

The Ft. Lewis Chapter of the AUSA welcomed Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (ret.), the national association's president this week.

Some Ft. Lewis Chapter members with Gen. Sullivan (far right).

The Chapter members had the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant reception hosted by America's Credit Union, for networking and for remarks and a Q&A session with Gen. Sullivan. Sullivan's genuine respect and high regard for our Army's soldiers was evident in his emotionally (and almost chokingly) made remarks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Senate Stimulus Includes Defense/VA Too

AUSA reports in their legislative update the Senate’s economic stimulus package mirrors the House version in that it includes funding for military and Veterans Affairs construction projects. $2.4 billion in military construction funding includes:

--Child Development Centers: $353.8 million for child development centers at U.S. military installations.
--Health and Dental Clinics: $314.5 million for military family health care clinics.
--Warrior Transition Complexes: $505 million to meet the medical and social service needs of wounded military personnel and their families.
--Military Family Housing construction, repair, and upgrades: $135 million to improve housing conditions and speed the availability of housing to military families.
--Barracks and Dormitories: $831.5 million to provide needed new and replacement housing for America’s military troops.
--Army National Guard $150 million for community-based readiness centers.
-$3.2 billion for Facilities Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization to be used to invest in energy efficiency projects and to improve the repair and modernization of Department of Defense facilities to include Defense Health facilities.
VA construction funding ($3.7 billion) includes:
--Hospital and cemetery construction: $994 million to begin construction of new hospitals and expedite the construction of projects already underway, and $111.5 million for national cemetery construction.
--Minor construction: $939.8 million for construction projects, repairs and expansion of VA medical facilities, VA national cemeteries, and Veterans Benefits Administration facilities and to initiate energy conservation projects.
--Medical facilities repair and maintenance: $1.37 billion to address the backlog of maintenance and repairs at VA medical facilities.
--Grants for State Extended Care Facilities: $258 million for the repair and construction of State long-term care veterans’ homes.
--National cemetery infrastructure repair: $60 million repairs to national cemeteries and monuments.

Sell to the Feds

... on March 18th, at the Americraft Showplex
Exhibition & Conference Center at the Puyallup Fair & Events Center, 110 9th Ave SW, Puyallup, WA

Federally agencies in attendance will include:

  • U.S. Army, Directorate of Contracting·

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers·

  • U.S. Navy Fleet Industrial Supply Center·

  • U.S. General Services Administration·

  • DCMA Small Business Center·

  • Defense Supply Center Columbus

On March 18th, 2009 The Alliance Opportunities for Small Businesses Conference will be held at the Americraft Showplex Exhibition & Conference Center in Puyallup, WA.

This will provide you and your company opportunities to:
- Meet & network with buyers and contracting officers
- Meet federal state agencies,
- Discuss procurement strategies and
- Identify new suppliers,
- Attend and participate in training sessions, and
- Share your information with attendees to increase your Supplier base

For more information, click here.

Debate Continues Over Benefits and Impacts

Featured in the Chamber's Live Wire blog, the proposed Ft. Lewis Lifestyles Center has entered a new phase of jawboning with The News Tribune's editorial this morning.

The DOA had issued a FONSI, an environmental determination which says no significant impacts are associated with the project.

Will negotiations ensue backstage?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mt. Redoubt Causes C-17s to Come Here

Our community can appreciate the caution and need to reposition aircraft from Elmendorf to McChord based on the uncertainties and dangers of volcanoes. After all, Mt. St. Helens taught us that lesson.

See following the press release from McChord AFB:

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – Airmen here are supporting a precautionary redeployment of Air Force aircraft from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska to McChord Air Force Base. The aircraft and approximately 200 Airmen who operate and maintain them are being temporarily relocated in light of increased activity associated with Mount Redoubt volcano, located approximately 100-miles from Elmendorf AFB.

Three Air Force Reserve Command C-130Js on assignment from Mississippi to Alaska relocated to McChord Saturday; three Pacific Air Forces C-17s will arrive late tonight. Other aircraft may arrive within the next 24 to 48 hours. McChord leadership anticipates the redeployment to last two to four weeks at a minimum.

McChord’s own C-17 strategic airlift mission makes the base ideally suited to host the relocated aircraft and allows the Elmendorf Airmen to continue to meet mission and training requirements.

Our ability to quickly receive additional air power on short notice and continue to support the nation’s worldwide strategic airlift requirements is a capability long-associated with McChord, said Col Jeffrey Stephenson, McChord’s 62nd Airlift Wing commander.