Friday, August 28, 2009

Noteworthies With a Local Link

U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
Aug. 28, 2009

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Joseph P. Aucoin will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group Three, Bremerton, WA. Aucoin is currently serving as deputy director, Air Warfare Division, N88B, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Mark A. Vance, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as director, Programming Division, N80, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Vance is currently serving as commander, Carrier Strike Group Three, Bremerton, WA.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BBB Earns Stripes

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has worked since 2003 with their Military Line for targeted services for military personnel and families.

BBB has an up-to-date link on laws and policies for both military and vets. There are features on:
  • scams targeting military personnel
  • identity theft
  • fraud prevention

And then, if you just want to know how to make your dollars go farther or for the best:

  • legitimate deals for military personnel
  • purchasing or remodeling your home
  • buying or fixing your car
  • finding reliable local businesses

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What Would Capt. Jack Do?

This is the sort of issue that puts the lie to traditional economists who say the military is simply a drain on national resources while accepting merchant security firms and loss prevention employment as contributors to the national GDP.

Belgium is offering military units to its merchant vessels off the Horn of Africa for C115,000 per week, challenging a global aversion to guns aboard merchant ships.

France has put troops on tuna boats in the Indian Ocean and US lawmakers are weighing similar action to fight piracy.

In June, the U.S. House passed HR 2647 that would require the DOD to put armed teams on US-flagged ships passing through high-risk waters, specifically around the Horn of Africa where Somali pirates have become a scourge of world shipping.

The amendment now goes to the Senate. A separate bill would grant immunity from prosecution in American courts to any “owner, operator, time charterer, master, or mariner who uses force, or authorizes the use of force, to defend a vessel of the United States against an act of piracy.”

Opponents fear such moves will escalate the violence and raise a thicket of legal issues for personal and corporate liabilities and national sovereignty.

UPDATE: Sept. 16.

Nations representing over 50% of the world's shipping tonnage today signed an anti-piracy agreement. Details here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

DoD Launches New Web Portal

The Department of Defense today launched a new home page, , designed to invite participation from the public and make military news and information more accessible.

The new Web site will provide quick access to those sites that are most sought by Web site visitors, including DoD social media sites, the Pentagon Channel and DoD news stories. Prominent on the new home page is a new "We Want to Hear From You" feature that will give users the opportunity to ask questions of Defense Department leaders, vote on policy issues they want explained, and explore frequently asked questions and answers.

The new site replaces as the department's main Internet entry portal. DefenseLink will remain a news Web site and may be accessed from

Saturday, August 8, 2009

First Womens' Vets Conference in Tacoma

The Women Veterans Advisory Committee Holds First Statewide Women Veteran’s Conference in Tacoma, WA Sept. 12, 2009

The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Women Veterans Advisory Committee is asking women veterans to register for the free “Celebrating Women Veterans' Legacy of Service Summit”, Saturday, September 12th from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, in Tacoma, WA.

Topics to be covered include: Physical Health & Wellness; Financial skills; Careers & Networking; Employment; and Veterans Benefits. There is NO registration fee; however, pre-registration is required. You can register by going to the website and completing the on-line registration form.

This free conference will provide women veterans with comprehensive information regarding opportunities and challenges women veterans face today, information on benefits and services they might be entitled to the opportunity to renew old acquaintances and make new ones.

The role of the WDVA Women Veterans Advisory Committee is to locate, identify, and assess the needs of Washington women veterans, provide information to meet the needs of women veterans to include benefits, entitlements, education, employment, and training, through a referral and follow-up process; recommend and plan events, which enhance a positive image of women veterans and coordinate and monitor efforts to accomplish the above goals.

This unique conference is designed to ensure women veterans are provided with ALL resources to which they are entitled. By holding this conference, the committee hopes that more women veterans will learn about their rights and benefits, as well as become more familiar with the many programs offered throughout the state. The goal is to provide them with the tools they need to succeed and thrive in a challenging economy.

The Committee is also inviting participation by local sponsors and businesses. There will be information booths and an opportunity for businesses to provide sponsorship at several levels, including direct financial support through donations, booth sponsorship, and in-kind donations.

For more information or to sign up for the conference, you may also contact:
Liza Narciso
Assistant to the Deputy Director
WA Department of Veterans Affairs

Friday, August 7, 2009

Telling It Like It Is

The Prosperity Partnership has announced the release of the Military Cluster Development Strategy.

This work is thanks to many who helped in this process, from the working group participants to those who provided data and information for the report to those who are currently participating in the Washington Defense Partnership. The report is attached.

Two action items in the strategy have been incorporated into the Prosperity Partnership’s 2009 Action Items and both have been completed. Thanks to the hard work of Mark San Souci and others, the Interstate Compact for Military Children was signed into law by the Governor on May 7, 2009. The Washington Defense Partnership, an ongoing effort to stitch the military communities and their development goals more closely together, met for the first time on May 27, 2009.

The Washington Defense Partnership will provide a central coordinating body for facilitating solutions to support the military presence and mission in Washington. This includes support for installations and the units based here, as well as armed forces members and their families, retirees, veterans, and the contracting community.

The Partnership will meet as a whole twice a year and is currently planning for its fall meeting. If you would like to be a part of the group or to learn more about it, please contact Olivia Robinson or 206-464-7890.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The Senate has confirmed that Lt. Gen. Ray Johns, Jr., will receive his fourth star when he takes command of Air Mobility Command. Johns has served as the Air Staff's deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs and is a former 62nd AW Commander, McChord AFB.