Monday, March 30, 2009

U.S. Ambassador to speak at China forum

U.S. Ambassador Darryl Johnson will serve as the keynote speaker during the 2009 Pacific Northwest National Security Forum in Lakewood April 17. He is one of several military, regional and international experts who will discuss the United States' complicated ties to China.

Ambassador Johnson had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Foreign Service, serving as the first U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania in the early 1990s, and as U.S. Ambassador to Thailand and the Philippines in the 2000s, as well as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China and Mongolia and the Ambassador-level Director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

“The Pacific Northwest National Security Forum is very fortunate to have Ambassador Darryl Johnson agree to serve as the keynote speaker. Ambassador Johnson continues to bring his wealth of experience and knowledge of China and East Asia to audiences interested in the future of the area, as well as to current projects involving our two nations,” said retired Lt. Col. Doug Adams, program chair for the forum.

Ambassador Johnson grew up in the Puget Sound area, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington-Seattle, with additional studies at the University of Puget Sound, and is currently a lecturer at the UW Jackson School of International Studies.

The forum’s additional panelists include Brig. Gen. Jeff Mathis, deputy commanding general of I Corps and Fort Lewis; retired Brig. Gen. Neal Sealock, former defense attaché to China; Dr. Phillip Saunders, senior research fellow for the National Defense University Institute for National Strategic Studies; and Joe Borich, president of the Washington State China Relations Council.

“We believe the expertise of our panelists in policy, military affairs, and commercial interests will produce relevant and stimulating dialogue among the panelists and the audience,” said Adams.

The panelists will discuss “Competitors and Partners: Prospects for China and the United States.” The event is expected to draw an audience of active duty and reserve military, retired veterans, and civilians including local and regional civic and business leaders.

Cost and registration information are available here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kimizuka Named WA-AFA Teacher of Year

Jodi Kimizuka, a 5th grade teacher at Vaughn Elementary School in Vaughn, Washington has been named the Washington State Air Force Association Teacher of the Year for 2008. Rick Sine & Jodi Kimizuka

The award is given to recognize classroom teachers at the state level for their accomplishments and achievements in exciting K-12 students about science and math and preparing them to use and contribute to tomorrow’s technologies. One of her projects involved an interactive "talk" with the International Space State Exhibition 18 via Galaxy Theatres.

This is a unique opportunity to recognize special teachers who are furthering excellence and making coming to class an adventure.Jodi had previously been named the Teacher of the year for the McChord AFB Air Force Association (AFA) chapter and has been awarded an AFA $250 Educational grant which she will use to purchase telescopes for use in her classes.

She was presented the award on February 12, 2009 by Rick Sine, AFA Washington State President at a meeting of the Peninsula School District Board meeting. In his remarks at that ceremony, Rick mentioned Jodi’s enthusiasm and excitement for math and science and her efforts to use them in all of her teaching activities with her class.

The award was accompanied by an AFA State Teacher of the Year Jacket, an AFA membership and a check for $500 which Jodi has said, will be used to offset some of the cost of transportation for a school trip to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ally Joint at the C-17

Boeing on Thursday announced a “major join” for Qatar’s first C-17. The airlifter will be delivered this summer.

There are currently 198 C-17s in service worldwide, 14 with international customers. The USAF (including active, Guard and Reserve) has 184.

International customers include the UK Royal Air Force, the Canadian forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability consortium (blogged earlier) and Partnership for Peace nations. The United Arab Emirates announced last month that it will acquire four C-17s.

Friday, March 27, 2009

BAW: Showing In Lakewood

BROTHERS AT WAR, director Jake Rademacher’s feature-length documentary about modern US military in Iraq rolls out from its five premiere military markets to 17 on March 27, then will continue expansion on April 3 to 25 markets.

Actor Gary Sinise (Forest Gump, CSI: New York), recent recipient of the Presidential Citizen’s Medal and U.S. military supporter, is exec producer.

Rademacher embedded with his two brothers in their units in Iraq twice—then captured their returns to the US. Military viewers from the under-reported National Guard to Marines and Army give major thumbs-up to the first war film in a long time to “get” why soldiers go and how their families fare. BAW is distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

In Iraq, BAW rolls back the clock to before the Surge successfully changed U.S. fortunes there: from Army Intelligence units on Reconnaissance near the Syrian border, to a “hide site” of National Guard snipers, to the first Iraqi unit (trained and led by U.S. Marines) to receive responsibility for its own battle space. Military audiences say BAW opens uncommon access to the daily lives of soldiers at war—and back home.

AMC Lakewood Town Center 12
5721 Main Street SW
Located in the old Lakewood Mall
Lakewood, WA 98499
(253) 581-5351

AARP: Five Stars

BROTHERS AT WAR is an intimate portrait of an American family during a turbulent time. Jake Rademacher sets out to understand the experience, sacrifice, and motivation of his two brothers serving in Iraq. The film follows Jake’s exploits as he risks everything—including his life—to tell his brothers’ story. Often humorous though sometimes downright lethal, BROTHERS AT WAR is a remarkable journey that finds Jake embedded with four combat units in Iraq. Unprecedented access to U.S. and Iraqi combat units take him behind the camouflage curtain with secret reconnaissance troops on the Syrian border as well as sniper "Hide Sites" in the Sunni Triangle. Ultimately, the film follows his brothers home where separations and life-threatening work ripple through their parents, siblings, wives and children. BROTHERS AT WAR is a rare view of the bonds among soldiers who serve and the profound effects their service has on the loved ones they leave behind.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stimulating National Defense

Fort Lewis, McChord AFB, the Army Reserve and Camp Murray all scored at least some monies in the Stimulus Bill. You can review all the states' projects, identified by project with details at this website.

The Defense Department received $7.4 billion under the law, with $5.9 billion going for construction and repair projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law last month.
DoD says it will continue to use this website to post future announcements.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Students Participating in Cyber Defense Event

This weekend, students from the UWT's Institute of Technology will be participating in the 2nd Annual Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition on the Microsoft campus.

Members of the student organization, the Grey Hat Group, will be presented with a preconfigured systems of a fictitious company that they are tasked to operate. Then, as described by the competition's web site.

The evil red team, which sits next door, however, will attempt to vandalize and break into this network. The student teams need to defend against the attacks of this red team. In particular, the goals for each team are to:

• fulfill assigned business tasks (so-called injects)
• keep services operational
• prevent break-ins by the red team

Students are scored based on the goals above. The team with the most points of the two day event will be the winner of the Pacific Rim Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and will proceed to the National competition.

Justin Carton, the Grey Hat Group president, has been working the group through practice sessions to get them all prepared. However, a former founder of the GHG and alumni to the program here at the Institute, Mary Jane Kelly, will be part of the "evil red team". She and another alumni John Hernandez, both from Casaba Security, will be tough to handle.

The Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, the University of Washington and Microsoft are helping to put on the event. You have undoubtedly heard of the last two but perhaps not the first. The CIAC is a Pacific Northwest research, education, industry and government community that provides innovation and leadership in the protection of critical public and private information infrastructure, and provides well educated information assurance and cybersecurity at all professional levels.

Guest Author: Andrew Fry, Institute of Technology, University of Washington Tacoma. Good luck to all.

New Report on China's Military Power

In a studied, low-key manner, the Department of Defense this morning announced its report on the military power of China.

"Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2000, the Department of Defense released to Congress today the '2009 Military Power of the People’s Republic of China' report."

The entire report can be viewed here.

This current attention to China speaks well of the foresight of the organizers of the annual Pacific Northwest National Security Forum, scheduled for April 17 in Lakewood.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hire America's Heroes

Perhaps you've heard already, but if not, I'm pleased to share with you a brief word about the Hire America's Heroes program.

This is an effort by corporate America to connect with the skills and abilities of military veterans, by hiring and retaining them into the corporate workforce. Sponsorship is open to corporations that want to contribute financially to the ongoing operations of the organization.

The value to military service members is the coordination between corporations and recruiters with transition coordinators at military bases. Individual service members have access to information and a network to help in finding civilian careers.

Want to learn more, visit their website.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Procurement Conference April 2009

Procurement may provide the stimulus to your business.

Is part of your business strategy diversifying your business to include government contracts? Congressman Adam Smith is interested in helping local businesses become more successful through government contracting opportunities by offering you a free procurement conference April 14.

Cong. Smith’s procurement conference is designed to assist businesses gain knowledge of government contracting and begin to establish long-term working relationships with federal agencies. This conference also provides an excellent opportunity for local businesses to meet contractors with whom they might be able to partner. This conference is free and light refreshments will be provided.

Scheduled speakers represent: Department of Veterans Affairs, Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base among other federal and state agencies.

Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Time: 8:00 a.m. to Noon
Location: Evergreen State College, Tacoma Campus, 1210 6th Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98405 Link to map
RSVP: Tina Johnson or call (253) 593-6600 or (888) SMITH09

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'Major Join' Ceremony for 12-Nation Strategic Airlift Capability's 1st C-17

On March 13, Boeing marked the "major join" ceremony for the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) consortium's first C-17 Globemaster III, an acquisition of three C-17s, one of which will be provided by the United States.

During major join, the C-17 airlifter's four major sections -- the forward, center and aft fuselages and wing assembly -- are integrated, and the aircraft begins to look like a C-17 for the first time.

Hungary has agreed to both host the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) at Pápa Air Base, where a total of three C-17s will be based, and to register the aircraft under the Hungarian flag.

SAC includes 10 NATO nations -- Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, United States -- and Partnership for Peace members Sweden and Finland. They will share acquisition and operating costs for three C-17s over the nearly 30-year course of the agreement.

The C-17 is the only tactical aircraft capable of performing all SAC airlift missions, including strategic, tactical, military and humanitarian missions, as well as brigade airdrops, aeromedical evacuations, and landings and takeoffs from standard runways or austere airfields.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Navy Hosts Military Cluster Tour

The Puget Sound Council of Government's Prosperity Partnership Military Cluster made a fam tour of Navy Base Seattle (and Navy Base Kitsap, but more later) last Friday. About 35 delegates, most pictured below in a conference room aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, gained a greater knowledge of the economic impact and the service of our Navy personnel

Military Cluster Tour Delegation

USS Abraham Lincoln, currently in Everett for refreshment.

Monday, March 16, 2009

PNWNSF Draws Near

Pacific NorthWest National Security Forum

Competitors and Partners: China and the U.S.

Friday, April 17, 2009
Clover Park Technical College
Sharon McGavick Student Center, Bldg. 23
4500 Steilacoom Blvd., SWLakewood, WA 98499-4098

PROGRAM: 9:00 am-11:15 am Registration
10:00 am-11:30 am ROTC/JROTC Seminar (ROTC/JROTC ONLY)
11:30 am-1:30 pm Luncheon w/Keynote Speaker
1:45 pm-3:00 pm “Partnering with China” (panel discussion)
3:00 pm-4:00 pm Reception
4:00 pm-5:15 pm “Competing with China” (panel discussion)
PRICE: $45 ($50 starting April 1, 2009) - Includes lunch, reception & free parking

REGISTER ONLINE AT: or (click on calendar)
Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
P.O. Box 1933
Tacoma, WA 98401-1933
FAX: 253-597-7305
CITY: _________________ STATE: __________ ZIP: ______
PHONE (w/area code): ________________
E-MAIL: __________________________
NUMBER: ________________________________________
EXP DATE: ____________

QUESTIONS: Contact Dan Wasserstrom or call 253-584-9300.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Veterans History Project

You can be part of the Library of Congress's Veterans History by donating interviews or historical documents. Donated collections can be first-hand oral histories, memoirs, photographs, letters, diaries, official separation documents and other documents from WWI through current conflicts.

For deceased veterans, you may submit documents like a collection of photographs, letters, diaries and memoirs. If so, you'll need to complete a biographical data form and a release form for the deceased veteran.

You should visit their website for information on guidelines. Or call toll-free at 888-371-5848.

DO NOT mail (by the U.S. Postal Service) any materials. USPS security may damage your information. Send materials by FedEx, UPS or deliver in person to:

Veterans History Project
The Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20540-4615
Email here or website.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

State Almost Joining States Ed Compact

The Washington State Senate voted for the Interstate Compact for Military School Children, SB 5248, by 45-0-2. Joining the House 96-0 vote from last week! Due to slight differences in the House and Senate bills, a reconciliation is necessary. We are almost there in leveling the playing field for our military kids!

History of Bills as of Friday, March 6, 2009 5:14 AM

Representatives Rolfes, Seaquist, Appleton, Green, McCoy, Conway, Darneille, Williams, Campbell, McCune, Simpson, Morrell

Companion Bill: SB 5248


Jan 7 Prefiled for introduction.
Jan 12 First reading, referred to Education. (View Original Bill)
Jan 27 Public hearing in the House Committee on Education at 10:00 AM.
Feb 6 Executive action taken in the House Committee on Education at 8:00 AM.

ED - Executive action taken by committee.
ED - Majority; do pass.

Feb 11 Referred to Education Appropriations.
Feb 25 Public hearing in the House Committee on Education Appropriations at 8:00 AM.
Feb 26 Executive action taken by House Committee on Education Appropriations at 9:00 AM.

APPE - Executive action taken by committee.
APPE - Majority; do pass. Minority; do not pass.

Mar 2 Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.
Mar 4 Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.
Mar 5 Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading.

Third reading, passed; yeas, 96; nays, 0; absent, 1; excused, 0. (View Roll Calls)
Go to history...
Available Documents
Original Bill
Bill Digest
House Bill Analysis 2009
House Bill Report

Fiscal Note (Available)Get Fiscal Note

Hopefully, the “budget dust” in the fiscal note will not be the excuse that prevents Washington State from joining the growing list of states approving the compact.

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is an agreement that standardizes how states deal with record transfers, enrollment, graduation requirements, extra curricular activities as well as a host of other related issues. Virginia, which has the country’s second-largest military population, is the 12th state to sign the bill. To learn more about this legislation and funding follow this link.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Stars Were Out

Commanders of the Washington National Guard, Ft. Lewis and the 62nd AW were front and center for the annual Commanding Officers Briefing this morning.

Maj. Gen. Tim Lowenberg, Adjutant General, Washington National Guard, lead the parade of military leaders. He said Camp Murray is home to the State's Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG). A new Homeland Security Training Center has been used for local, state, tribal, national and bilateral stakeholder collaboration. This has been essential for our ongoing preparations for the 2010 Olympics. Currently, the WNG has Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar & Germany. We also typically have a "steady state" overseas deployment rate of 20-40% of our total force. In addition, Washington Guardsmen and 'women routinely deploy in support of domestic operations such as flood relief, border security missions, Hurricane Katrina support and so on. Military Construction for FY09 totaled $42.3 million. All projects but one ($780k Hangar Renovation in Spokane) in Pierce County: $41.52 million. These projects include $2.5M for Western Regional Counter Drug Training Facility on Camp Murray and a $3.5M Expansion for 262nd IWAS "Cyber Domain" (an emerging USAF field).

Brig. Gen. Jeff Mathis, Deputy Commanding General, I Corps & Ft. Lewis, and soon to be the rear eschelon for I Corps during their impending deployment developed his update from a PowerPoint.

Col. Mike Hornitschek, Vice Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, likewise utilized a PowerPoint to support his presentation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

USAR Pier 23

The USACE has prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) for proposed action at Pier 23 in Tacoma. The preferred alternative consists of replacement of an existing USAR pier, cleanup of adjacent and underlying contaminated sediment and slag. The USACE is accepting comments until March 19. The draft EA is available for download. Comments, questions or requests for more info may be made to Jeff Laufle, USACE, Environmental Resources Section.

Meanwhile, the US Army invites public comment on the same proposed plan for Pier 23 at a public meeting March 24, 6:30 -8:30 p.m. at the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Road, Tacoma 98424. The Pierce 23 Proposed Plan is available at the US Army's website. For this agency, comments are due by April 2. For more info, contact Richard Mendoza.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Roster of Community Support

The Fort Lewis Ranger newspaper is gearing up to support the families of Fort Lewis and McChord AFB personnel deployed this summer and fall.

To do that, they are looking to compile a list of ALL organizations and activities that support military families (from large ones like USO to the woman in Dupont baking birthday cakes for children of deployed moms and dads).

If you could send them names, phone numbers, web sites - anything - they'd greatly appreciate it. They want to do stories and listings in their paper. Feel free to offer story ideas as well!!

2nd Annual Prime Golf Tournament for Reflection Park at Fort Lewis

The Reflection Park Committee, America's Credit Union, and the Fort Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) are hosting the 2nd Annual Prime Golf Tournament.

The tournament will be held on Friday, April 24th, 2009 at the Eagles Pride Fort Lewis Golf Course. This is a benefit fund-raiser for a park honoring our fallen service members from all military branches with ties to Washington State. Registration begins at 11:00 am, and the shotgun start begins at 1:00 pm, with a "scramble" format, and participants can enjoy a nice dinner at the end.

To sponsor a hole, it requires a a minimum donation of $700.00 or more. A hole sponsorship with 4 golfers requires a minimum donation or $950.00. The cost for a four golfer team is $300.00, and individual golfers pay $75.00. Hole sponsors receive: Command recognition, their name in the Fort Lewis Ranger, their name in America's CU News, hole recognition, recognition in the Reflection Park website, and an information table at the sponsored hole.

To sign sponsor a hole or sign up for the tournament, please follow this link.

Should you need additional information, please call Karen Schade at (253)912-3257 or email her.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sun Rises on 3rd New Tanker

Photo:Boeing Company

The Boeing Company on Feb. 25 transferred the third KC-767J tanker to the company's Japanese partner, Itochu Corp., for delivery to the Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). When Itochu officially delivers the aircraft in March, it will join two KC-767J tankers that Japan receive in 2008.

The KC-767J departed Boeing's tanker modification center in Wichita on a 12-hour, nonstop flight to Gifu, Japan, near Nagoya. Delivery to the MOD and JASDF will follow a final formal review and in-country acceptance processes.

"This new KC-767J will be a valuable addition to Japan's tanker fleet as the country performs vital missions in the Asia-Pacific region," said Dave Bowman, Boeing vice president and general manager, Tanker Programs. "The recent completion of a yearlong technical evaluation and the on-time, on-cost delivery of this third tanker bring the JASDF one step closer to assigning these new assets to active air wings in Japan."

Japan has ordered four convertible tanker/freighter KC-767Js, which provide flexibility in carrying cargo or passengers while maintaining their primary role as aerial refueling tankers. The KC-767 tanker, a military derivative of the proven 767-200 commercial airplane, features Boeing's advanced aerial refueling boom and Remote Aerial Refueling Operator II system.
Boeing is scheduled to transfer the fourth Japan tanker to Itochu in December for delivery to the MOD in the first quarter of 2010.

Boeing also has two KC-767 tankers in comprehensive flight test for the Italian Air Force (ITAF) and is performing modification work on two additional ITAF tankers. The first tanker for Italy is scheduled for delivery later this year.