Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reception Honors Col. Kevin Kilb

For its continuing tradition of welcoming the commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing to the community, the Military Affairs Committee is presenting a welcome reception to Col. Kevin Kilb, Cdr., 62nd AW, hosted by TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

The 62nd AW is the largest U.S. Air Force unit in the community. Until recently, the 62nd AW Commander was also responsible for McChord AFB, prior to the consolidation of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The welcome reception for Col. Kilb has been delayed until now due to his demanding training and operations schedule.

Community leaders and supportive businesses are invited to come meet and greet the newest commander.

Attendance will be limited to the first 100 respondents. Take advantage of this opportunity to help him get to know better the leadership of the Tacoma-Pierce County community. 

Date: Wednesday, July 14,                                                        
Time: 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Place: Pacific Grill Events Center
1530 Pacific Ave. (Tacoma 98402)
Parking: Free at Regence Parking Lot, on the southwest corner of 15th and Market
RSVP: Online only. Limited to the first 100 participants.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Noteworthies With a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced Monday that the President has made the following nominations:

Army Maj. Gen. William J. Troy, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as director of the Army Staff, Washington, D.C. Troy is currently serving as the commanding general, U.S. Army Alaska/deputy commander, U.S. Alaskan Command, Fort Richardson, Alaska. Lt. Gen. (select) Troy was Deputy Commanding General/CoS for I Corps in 2006-07.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

VOB Honored at Spotlight! On Business Awards

For the first time, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber honored a Veteran-Owned Business at the prestigious Spotlight! On Business Awards. The celebration showcases the business accomplishments and civic contributions Pierce County businesses make to our community.

Selected to receive the Chamber’s first VOB Spotlight! Award, with a tagline of “Applying Technology and Doing IT Right Since 1988,” is Owner and CEO Darrel Bowman, a disabled Veteran, makes hiring Veterans and current active duty IT personnel a priority. He also continues to be involved in the community and serves on Congressman Adam Smith’s Technology Advisory Council Committee; and is current Chairman of the South Puget Sound IT and Emerging Technology Skills Panel, among others. was a major sponsor for technology in the 2008 Tall Ships Festival – supplying computers, printers, phones and a variety of technical expertise.

Also receiving recognition at the Spotlight! On Business Awards was Jordan and Donna Haines, both Vets as retired Air Force, and owners of Their company is an internet-based promotional product company, focusing on military challenge coins, lapel pins and belt buckles to the military, businesses, schools government agencies and non-proft organizations worldwide. They support the local community in many ways: annually towards numerous military morale, welfare and recreation opportunities and other family military programs; and last year, helped raise money for the fallen Lakewood Police officers’ families.

James Donaldson, keynoter at the Spotlight! On Business Awards (known to many as “the big man on small business”), is a small business entrepreneur, former NBA player, motivational speaker, and author of a newly published book “Standing Above the Crowd.” (Executing Your Game Plan to Become The Best You Can Be in Sports, Life & Business). Donaldson inspired us with his real life experiences of his years playing professional sports and his work in motivating youth and encouraging business people to achieve their goals and realize success.

Noteworthies With a Local Link

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the following assignment:

Rear Adm. (lower half) James F. Caldwell Jr., who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Caldwell is currently serving as commander, Submarine Group Nine, Silverdale, Wash.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Evergreen Fleet Cruise 2010

The annual - some would say even prehistoric - Evergreen Fleet Cruise met with great success yesterday.

Over 250 Cruisers - military guests, Chamber hosts and Tacoma Yacht Club skippers/First Mates joined into a great mixer with plenty of good food (by Gallucci's Catering) and camaraderie. In addition to these presenting hosts, special recognition is deserved for the Joint Base Financial Alliance of Harborstone Credit Union and America's Credit Union. And, the Cruisers were pleased with the participation of the U.S. Navy's Old Man IV.

Enjoy these few pictures of a great event filled with and for great people!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pentagon Briefing

Once, the military sector was said to represent a third of the economic activity in Pierce County. But it’s grown by one-third, 13,000 soldiers since that 2003 study.

No wonder that the Chamber’s delegation devotes a significant portion of its time during the annual Washington-to-Washington, D.C. trip. One special aspect of the Chamber’s defense agenda is the appointment and briefing within the Pentagon.

While previous years have made their marks in addressing critical community-installations needs, 2010 set a new benchmark. The Chamber’s delegation was hosted and briefed by Dr. Craig College, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management. He was the right man at the right time.

New to the issue table, after having been out of the spotlight, is the need to replace JBLM’s aging wastewater treatment plant. “CH2M HILL’s wastewater engineers were pleased to work with JBLM public works staff in the assessment of their wastewater treatment plant and will continue to support our military as it looks for opportunities to improve infrastructure and better serve soldiers and their families,” said Kathy Hanna, Vice President, CH2M HILL.

Dr. College promised a quick follow-up to the need to replace that plant and suggested the Army should conduct a Utility Privatizitation study to determine the best course. “There are several reasons why this should be pursued—one is of the aging infrastructure, one is capacity and another is the nitrate/nutrient release that could proliferate into 'dead zones.' I encourage them to combine efforts with Pierce County to address the water quality in Puget Sound. And I encourage them to maybe consider partnering with the county as it is essential that the Army or Department of Defense move in the direction that is going to have the maximum benefit protection,” said Pierce County Councilmember Terry Lee.

Of course, the delegation again broached the need for replacement of the aging elementary school facilities on JBLM, owned primarily by the Department of Education, but serviced by the Clover Park School District. Jason Whalen, a council member from the City of Lakewood and attorney with the law firm of Eisenhower & Carlson, PLLC, was pleased with the opportunity to discuss the issue with officials at the Pentagon and with our congressional delegation. "I very much enjoyed the opportunity to continue the discussion of this important issue to our community. I left the meetings, confident that we had been heard. Following our trip, officials from the Office of Economic Adjustment visited JBLM to review the facilities at issue with JBLM, City and School District officials and staff. We are encouraged by the progress made to date," Whalen said.

The Chamber continued to pursue a final resolution of community impacts on the northern Clear Zone at JBLM-McChord Field. After contributions to purchase properties of willing sellers from funds provided by Pierce County, Washington State, Tacoma as matches to Lakewood, Dept. of Defense and Dept. of Air Force dollars, the joint basing action continues to cloud ownership responsibilities. Dr. College promised a renewed dialogue between the Army and Air Force to insure ownership resolution.

The dessert in the ala carte of issues was Lois Bernstein, Senior Vice President for Community Services, MultiCare Health System, who complimented Madigan Army Health Systems for its proactive community role.

This wasn’t just a single shot from the delegation. These issues were carried through in similar meetings with Cong. Norm Dicks, Chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Committee, Cong. Adam Smith who sits on the Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Land and Air Forces, other members of Washington’s Congressional delegation and the Office of Economic Adjustment of the Dept. of Defense.

As in D.C. during the Chamber’s trip, the Chamber will continue its advocacy here on behalf of our local military installations and the branches of the armed services which share our community.

Written By Gary Brackett

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom

I Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom was the subject of Col. Jim Danna, I Corps Ops Officer to the Chamber's Military Affairs Forum earlier this week.

Danna began his presentation by remarking that we (the audience) didn't want to hear a bunch of soldier's war stories.  Quickly reposted was:  "Yes, we do!"  However, he didn't.

Instead, Danna have the folks in attendance a comprehensive socio-political overview of the current situation in Iraq (from where he has just recently returned), tempered with his experience having completed his fourth tour! 

It would be fair to say, as he did, that Danna is an optimist as to the chances that Iraqi citizens and soldiers have to make their country a democracy.  But, it is also my opinion that he is a realist, recognizing the significant challenges still before these Iraqi patriots. 

The litany of obstances convey the cultural and historical baggage they carry.  But, as often is the case, those closest to the work don't see the incremental improvements.  That may be true for the Iraqis, and it is certainly true for many Americans.

If you wish to join the Chamber's Military Affairs Committee, your membership and participation will be welcome.

Thank you for your service, Col. Danna.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

WNG Mission Change

The National Guard Bureau, on behalf of Department of Defense (DoD) and in collaboration with the states, has selected Ohio and Washington as the first two states to host a homeland response force (HRF), which will be comprised of National Guard soldiers and airmen and established no later than the end of fiscal 2011.

The creation of the HRFs is a part of DoD's larger reorganization of its chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive (CBRNE) consequence management enterprise, initiated during the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. This reorganization will ensure DoD has a robust ability to respond rapidly to domestic CBRNE incidents while recognizing the primary role that the governors play in controlling the response to incidents that occur in their states.

Department of Defense plans to establish a total of 10 homeland response force (HRF) units nation-wide, with one HRF in each of the ten federal emergency management agency (EMA) regions. HRFs will provide a regional response capability of approximately 570 personnel composed of CBRNE specialists, command and control and security forces. HRFs will self-deploy by ground within six to 12 hours of an event, bringing life-saving medical, search and extraction, decontamination, security, and command and control capabilities- this represents a dramatic improvement in response time and life-saving capability to the previous construct.

Coincident with the creation of the Ohio and Washington HRFs, the department will create two new (CBRNE) enhanced response force packages (CERFPs) in Indiana and Alabama to replace the Ohio and Washington CERFPs that will evolve into HRFs. CERFPs are composed of existing National Guard units that are trained to respond to a weapon of mass destruction incident. The CERFP capabilities include: locate and extract victims from a contaminated environment, perform mass patient/casualty decontamination, and provide medical treatment as necessary to stabilize patients for evacuation.

The National Guard Bureau is currently analyzing and staffing the selection for the remaining eight HRFs and potential backfill CERFP states. Further information will be released as it becomes available.