Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yen for a Buck or a Loon?

Get ready for the 2009 McChord Air Force Rodeo July 20-24. More than 3,500 international visitors will attend from over 20 countries. These teams and observers bring tremendous business opportunities to Pierce County. Keep business in Pierce County by offering your local promotional coupon and discount incentives.

International competitors include: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Spain, Turkey and United Arab Emirates

Observers include: Afghanistan, Argentina, Algeria, Bahrain, Botswana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman and Vietnam

Please take this opportunity to offer your coupons to guest registrants. The resulting compilation of promotional flyers will be distributed directly to participating teams during the AMC Rodeo. Last year's teams and observers made many purchases during their stay.

Examples of last year’s anecdotal purchases by participating international team members:

2 Hummers
6 laptops
7 i-Phones
15 TV’s ranging from 32-50 inches
More than 12 bicycles
Countless digital cameras and electronics
Several hundreds of bottles of perfume
Many shopping trips to Nordstrom

A 10-room hotel bill with expenditures over $11,000

To participate please create 3,500 coupons to be distributed in each registration bag. Coupons must be printed in sizes 8.5 X 11 and can include a coupon within the text, delivered to the TRCVB.

Coupon/Discount Deadline: June 30, 2009

Want to participate? Send your participation notice to Andrea Mensink. Promotional flyers should be delivered to the Tacoma Regional CVB at 1119 Pacific Ave., Ste. 500, Tacoma. You are responsible for printing your promotional coupon/discount offer. The TRCVB nor the Chamber will print coupons.

The TRCVB is collaborating with the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, so if your business is a member of either/both organizations, your promotional flyer is in one booklet.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Keeping the Navy in Scale

Want to see what the US Navy has built ever since the 1880s?

Go to the Washington Post's site for a video tour of the Navy's model ship collection.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Noteworthies With a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nomination:

Air Force Col. Jerry P. Martinez has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Martinez is currently serving as the inspector general, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, IL.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Navy Beans to Butterbeans

The Department of the Navy invites public comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for its disposal and a reuse of the NMCRC (Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center) Tacoma.

The NMCRC was designated for closure under the 2005 BRAC process. As required by BRAC, the Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) concluded in its Redevelopment Plan that the highest and best use for the property is inclusion into the Port of Tacoma's Master Plan. The Port is a National Strategic Port.

The Port is proposing a comprehensive master redevelopment plan for the Blair Peninsula to transform the existing industrial and commercial scape into terminal facilities.

Copies of the Draft EA can be downloaded at the BRAC website. The public may submit comments by June 12, 2009 to:

Director, BRAC PMO West
Attn: Mr. Patrick McCay
1455 Frazee Road, Ste. 900
San Diego, CA 92108

... or via email.

Noteworthies With a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nomination:

Army Reserve Col. Jonathan G. Ives has been nominated for appointment to the grade of brigadier general and assignment to commander (troop program unit), 364th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), Seattle, WA. Ives is currently serving as deputy foreign policy advisor, Headquarters, European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blue Light Special

At the request of your State Captain "BlueLight", "RETIREES" who are available during the weekdays are asked to Volunteer for the Welcome Homes at SeaTac Airport.

Of course, the number one priority is KIA and Veteran Support, but having said that, they do the best to Honor these kids returning from the sand box. Drop your remote, hang up your rake and help put a smile and a tear in Heroes' eyes.

This Team of Volunteers is going to be a "Quick Response Team" that can drop what they are doing and get to Roasters (staging area) within a safe and realistic amount of time. When you Volunteer for the "qr-team" you will be put on a dedicated email for a stand by notice alert, and Welcome Home Notices. They will do the very best to give as much notice time as possible when that information is received.

Email your Wookie to Volunteer!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Military Dependent School Children Law Signed

After years of hard work and consensus building, a bill to improve the education of military children in Washington has finally become law.

About a dozen military leaders, educators and parents watched as Senate Bill 5248, which was sponsored by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, was signed into law.

This is something that military families have needed and wanted for years, Hobbs said. These families move from post to post and they shouldn’t have to sacrifice so much in terms of educational opportunities. This is a good bill that will help tens of thousands of military kids in our state.

The legislation, among other things, promotes flexibility and cooperation between school districts, parents, and students in order to achieve educational success for the student; improves the placement process so that students are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, grading, and course content; and improves qualification and eligibility requirements so that students can enroll and participate in extracurricular academic, athletic, and social activities. The bill also facilitates on-time graduation.

17 states have now joined the compact.

Photo: Governor Gregoire, and some supporters of the legislation. Thursday, May 07 2009 - Steve Hobbs

Friday, May 8, 2009

Congress (Air)Lifts Defense Budget

The disagreements between the Administration and Congress over Defense appropriations dates back to before the Constitution to during the times of the War for Independence. That struggle of ideas, concepts and best interests continues today.

Photo: C-17 at McChord AFB shows Mt. Rainier in the background.

The House defense appropriators have added $2.2 billion to the Administration’s $75.5 billion war supplemental to buy eight more C-17s as well as other aircraft. The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Cong. Dave Obey, released a statement justifying the additional C-17s by saying it would allow the USAF to decommission some C-5s – an action Congress has previously denied. The House’s bill summary is here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

DoD Budget Resources

Key highlights of the proposed DoD budget are outlined in the linked overview and summary charts.

For more information and to view the entire fiscal 2010 budget proposal, please visit and download the department's "FY 2010 Budget Request Summary Justification."

Budget-related transcripts can also be viewed online here to include "DoD News Briefing With Secretary Gates From The Pentagon" on April 6, 2009.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

28th Scott Citizen-Airman Announced

It is the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s honor to present the 2009 Howard O. Scott Citizen-Soldier of the Year Award – this year a Citizen-Airman – to Technical Sergeant Juan Colon.

Photo: TSgt. Juan Colon received the Scott Citizen-Airman of the Year Award from George Cargill, TriWest Healthcare Alliance and the Chamber's Vice-Chair.

TSgt. Colon has exemplary records in both his military and civilian roles. When not volunteering in the community, or working as an Air Force Reservist, he is busy at work for the Department of Homeland Security with the Camp Murray Police Department.

His activities and achievement as a community volunteer are truly exemplary, having provided over 1,580 hours of community service this past year alone. TSgt. Colon is a member of the 446th Airlift Wing where he serves as a mortuary specialist dedicated to bringing American combat casualties home with dignity and honor.

He is an active member of his church, the Knights of Columbus and numerous community programs. His focus, is youth. He teaches our high school youth about caring for those who cannot care for themselves, and provides meals for those who cannot provide these basic needs on their own.

When TSgt. Colon volunteers, it becomes a family activity and all the members of his family participate. Together, they are responsible for fundraisers, retreats, summer missions, Thanksgiving dinners, parent volunteer groups, religious programming and community donation center drives.

He has spent over 450 hours alone working in the community food bank. He also provided blankets to shelters and made numerous visits to the sick. That includes bringing groups of young people to the Washington Soldiers Home providing appreciation for America’s heroes.

George Cargill, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, sponsor of the award, said, “He is a consummate teacher of life lessons in our society. “

About Howard O. Scott Each year, the Citizen-Soldier Award memorializes Howard Scott who grew up in Tacoma and served the nation when called upon during World War II—as part of “America’s Greatest Generation”. He returned to succeed as a banker in Tacoma, giving of his time to community service organizations, believing and enjoying this in his belief that doing so is one's responsibility.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Post Schools Reviewed for Advocacy

Local representatives from the Chamber, City of Lakewood, and Congressional staff joined the Clover Park School District officials in a familiarization tour of elementary schools both on and off Fort Lewis.

Photo: The group starts its tour at Lakeview Hope Academy, a good example.

The fam tour was conducted to increase local understanding of the issues with providing educational facilities for military dependent children. Such an understanding will increase the effectiveness for the Chamber's upcoming Washington-to-Washington, D.C. trip scheduled for mid-May.

The Chamber's 24th annual trip, includes representatives from the private and public sector that communicate local defense and community issues with the region's Congressional delegation.

The tour, this year as in years' past, will include a day of visits with various Pentagon offices, for both the Army and the Air Force. Appointments will also include a briefing by the AUSA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The agenda will include appointments with several executive branch departments including the Dept. of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.