Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff, Air Force announced today the following assignments:

Air Force Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz Jr. has been selected to the rank of major general. Schatz is currently serving as the director, strategic plans, requirements and programs, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.  BG Schatz is a former 62nd AW Commander.

Friday, May 27, 2011

House Approves Its Defense Authorization Bill

The House Thursday approved its version of the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill.

Several provisions in H.R. 1540 would increase the likelihood that growth communities like JBLM’s will be able to obtain federal funds to alleviate traffic congestion outside the gates.

One would expand DOD’s authority to use military construction appropriations to mitigate impacts on local roads stemming from mission growth. The Secretary of Defense would have to determine “the magnitude of the required improvements without regard to the extent to which traffic generated by the reservation is greater than other traffic in the vicinity of the reservation.”

The measure also calls for DOD to convene the Economic Adjustment Committee to consider additional sources of funding for the Defense Access Roads program, which provides a mechanism for DOD to fund public road improvements required as the result of defense-generated impacts. The SecDef would be required to submit an implementation plan for expanding funding sources to mitigate significant transportation impacts to military installations.

An amendment adopted in committee would authorize the Defense Access Roads program to spend $40 million. The amendment would establish a budget line item for the Defense Access Roads program, something it currently does not have. Now projects are funded from the military construction account of the service benefiting from the improvement.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to mark up its version of the annual policy bill next month.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Noteworthies with a Local Link

Today, SecDef Gates announced Pres. Obama has made the following appointment:

Army Reserve Col. Kurt A. Hardin has been nominated for promotion to the rank of brigadier general and assignment as commander, 104th Training Division (Leader Training), Vancouver, Wash.  Hardin is currently serving as chief of staff (troop program unit), 104th Training Division (Leader Training), Vancouver, Wash.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boeing Tankers Enter Service

Boeing announced its first two KC-767 advanced aerial refueling tankers for the Italian Air Force (ItAF) formally entered into service May 17 during a public ceremony near Rome.

The ItAF accepted delivery of the two KC-767A tankers on Dec. 29 and March 10. Italian crews then flew the aircraft from Boeing's tanker modification facility in Wichita, Kan., to the Italian air base at Pratica di Mare.

"The configuration flexibility of the KC-767 tanker allows for simultaneous refueling and passenger and cargo transport, with the potential to operate in humanitarian response, disaster relief, and emergency aeromedical evacuation of personnel," ItAF officials said. "The KC-767 enables a unique and exceptional air projection capability, not only for Italy, but for all of NATO."

"This is a milestone event for the Italian Air Force as well as the members of Boeing’s International Tanker team," said Scott Wuesthoff, International Tanker program manager for Boeing. "The KC-767 tankers will significantly increase Italy's military capability as the country performs vital missions in support of NATO and regional interests. The deliveries also reaffirm Boeing's standing as the world’s leading provider of aerial refueling tankers."

Boeing is building four KC-767 Tanker Transport aircraft, designed for in-flight aerial refueling and strategic transport, to replace the ItAF B-707T/T fleet. Since their delivery, the first two KC-767 tankers have been engaged in aerial refueling training missions with ItAF crews in which they are successfully delivering fuel to an array of ItAF aircraft. Boeing and the ItAF are working together to enter the third KC-767 aircraft into the acceptance process for anticipated delivery this summer, with a fourth tanker to follow shortly thereafter. Upon receiving its fourth tanker, ItAF will declare Final Operational Capability.

The Italian Air Force KC-767A is a "convertible combi," meaning it can carry all passengers, all cargo, or a combination of passengers and cargo. In any configuration, the KC-767 has an aerial refueling boom with a remote aerial refueling operator station, as well as wing pod and centerline hose and drogue systems, and a refueling receptacle. This configuration allows for the refueling of all existing types of aircraft, both fighters and transports.

"The Italian Air Force KC-767A can be refueled by another tanker thanks to the refueling receptacle located on top of the aircraft near the cockpit, a feature that increases the tanker's already enviable operating capacity and range," ItAF officials said.

Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for decades. These include four KC-767 tankers delivered to the Japan Air Self Defense Force, hundreds of KC-135 tankers delivered to worldwide customers, and a fleet of large KC-10 tankers delivered to the U.S. Air Force.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

State Supports Economic Opportunity for Vets

In a tough state budget year, the Legislature clearly recognized the importance of increasing economic opportunity for military personnel, veterans and their families.

The Chamber, along with the DoD State Liaison, Prosperity Partnership and others supported two successful bills making it easier to transfer professional training from the military into civilian jobs - HB 1418 and SB 5307. Yesterday, the Governor signed HB 1418 - directing the Department of Licensing to count military training toward licensing in careers such as cosmetology, land surveying and security guards. Last month the Governor signed into law SB 5307, authorizing the Department of Health to recognize military experience in a wide variety of medical fields from physical therapy to dentistry.

These successes add to a growing track record of achievement for the Chamber and our partners in the military and community. Recently, we celebrated the success of allowing military driver's training to count toward an equivalent civilian Commercial Driver's License (CDL) program. Prior to this, service members were required to duplicate costly and time-consuming commercial courses covering skills they had used for years in the military.

In related military news, veterans gained more support when the Governor signed into law HB 1432, allowing private employers to voluntarily give a preference to hiring veterans and widows or widowers of veterans without violating federal and state anti-discrimination statutes. The legislation, introduced by Hire America's Heroes, allows private companies to give employment preference to spouses of certain honorably discharged veterans who became permanently disabled during their service.

Although not economic issues, the previous legislative session adding Washington to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, which helps military families achieve better educational continuity when transferring between school districts and states, and the current session’s action for active-duty absentee voting, also were great improvements in our state’s military sector support.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Noteworthies with a Local Link

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

Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert R. Allardice has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as vice commander, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Allardice is currently serving as commander, Eighteenth Air Force, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. LG Allardice is a former commander of the 62nd AW at McChord AFB, WA.

AUSA Awards Sen. Murray "Outstanding Legislator"

The Association of the United States Army will present Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, with its Outstanding Legislator of 2011 Award at a Capitol Hill ceremony June 8.

Sen. Murray is receiving the Outstanding Legislator Award based on her long-time and strong support for the Army as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee and Military Construction Subcommittee, and on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and now as the Veterans’ Affairs committee chair.

Murray is known in the Senate as a fierce advocate for veterans. She has advocated for increased funding for military and veterans research and care for PTSD/TBI. She supports community based veterans health clinics. She supports increased TRICARE coverage for RC soldiers and helped pass the legislation creating the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

She recently introduced the “Hiring Heroes Act of 2011,” a veterans’ employment bill that would authorize all returning veterans to receive broad job skills training and require that servicemembers attend a transition assistance program before they leave the military. The bill also would create new direct federal hiring authority to permit faster vet hiring, as well as improving veteran mentorship programs in the work sector.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Evergreen Fleet Sails in 2011

You and your special guest (spouse, significant other, associate) are cordially invited to host the Chamber’s annual Evergreen Fleet Cruise, June 15, sponsored by America’s Credit Union, Harborstone Credit Union, Regence and TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

The purpose of the Evergreen Fleet Cruise is to foster networking and community links between civilian and military leaders. The Cruise, presented by the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, in collaboration with the Tacoma Yacht Club, is a cruise of Puget Sound aboard private yachts and a picnic at the Club’s Wollochet Bay Outstation.

This year will again feature a welcoming reception. The purpose of this reception is to afford participants an opportunity to meet in a comfortable atmosphere prior to beginning the Cruise by 10:00 a.m. The reception will be between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00.m. at the Tacoma Yacht Club. Arrival time at the reception is permitted to be variable. Yachts will depart no later than 10:00 a.m.

Please refer to the enclosed invitation for more information. The Chamber wishes to have all participants confirmed by June 6nd. Please consider Gary Brackett, at 253/627-2175, your contact about this project.

Click on image for larger view.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

JBLM's "Net Zero" Pilot Programs

Col. Thomas Brittain, Garrison Commander, JBLM, briefed attendees at this morning's Military Affairs Forum of the newly designated "Net Zero" Pilot Programs at JBLM.

The DoD initiatives encompassed waste, water and energy issues. JBLM has been selected for pilot programs dealing with waste and water.  However, Col. Brittain said JBLM would be going after a "Net Zero" pilot in the next competitive round, plus taking lessons from the presently designated centers. 

Interested citizens can learn more about JBLM's sustainability programs here.

Noteworthies with a Local Link

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

Navy Captain Joseph W. Kuzmick has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Kuzmick is currently serving as special assistant to the commander, Navy Region Northwest, Silverdale, Wash.

Navy Captain Mark R. Whitney has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Whitney is currently serving as commander, Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Wash.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Armed Forces Day 5/21 Free Admission

The Museum of Flight begins a program of free admission for active military personnel with I.D. and up to five members of their family on Armed Services Day, May 21.

The discounts will continue through Labor Day 2011.

Events on May 21 include the 8:30 a.m. opening of a new exhibit of scale models of World War I aircraft, a military flag raising ceremony in recognition of Armed Forces Day at 11 a.m., and a 2 p.m. lecture about the use of Zeppelin airships in war and peace.

8:30 to 10 a.m. – Preview of the Holtgrewe World War I Model Aircraft Collection
Active military and their families are invited to the opening preview of the Dr. Logan Holtgrewe World War I Model Aircraft Collection. Holtgrewe spent seven years meticulously making over 400 scale models representing virtually all of the aircraft flown in World War II. The collection will be on permanent exhibition in the World War I gallery of the Personal Courage Wing.

11 – 11:45 a.m. – Flag Raising Ceremony with Museum President and Military Groups
Armed Forces Day will be recognized with a flag raising ceremony by Museum officials and representatives of U.S. military branches, veteran and POW/MIA. The Museum of Flight President & CEO, Doug King, will introduce representatives from the Air Force Association, Navy League of the United States, Association of the United States Army, and POW/MIAs, who will present new military flags to the Museum, to be flown above the navy fighter jets displayed on the Museum’s south lawn. The University of Washington ROTC Honor Guard will present the colors.

2 p.m. – Lecture on The History of Lighter than Air in War and Peace
In conjunction with the opening of the Dr. H. Logan Holtgrewe World War I Aircraft Model Collection exhibit, airship historian Dr. Horst Schirmer will give a presentation on the history of Zeppelin dirigibles in war and peace. Schirmer partnered with Holtgrewe in the making of a13-foot scale model of the World War I L-30 Zeppelin for the new exhibit. Schirmer has nurtured a life-long interest in airship history, and he is possibly the only person still alive who flew on the ill-fated Hindenburg.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Noteworthies with a Local Link

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

Maj. Gen. Philip Volpe, commanding general, Western Regional Medical Command and Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash., to commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Brig. Gen. Richard W. Thomas, assistant surgeon general for force projection, Office of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., to commanding general, Western Regional Medical Command and Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash.

Net Zero Focus of Military Forum


Event Speaker: Col. Tommy Brittain, Garrison Commander

The Army announced JBLM as one of its pilot net zero installations. As part of the Army's overall effort to conserve precious resources, net zero installations will consume only as much energy or water as they produce and eliminate solid waste to landfills.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord was selected as a pilot net zero water installation which will limit the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so as not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality over the course of a year.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord was also selected as a net zero waste installation for reducing, reusing and recovering waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year.

The announcement initiates the programmatic environmental analysis and planning process for the Army's Net Zero Installation Strategy. Specifics for projects and initiatives will be determined through a programmatic environmental analysis which will include public engagement and stakeholder outreach.

By: Gary Hanson, Regional Coordinator, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition

The Connectory is an industry database focused on the manufacturing capacity in the Pacific Northwest. There are over 3,000 firms in the database and it is open to the public. The database includes detailed information on the firms, their capacity, etc. Using the Connectory, firms can locate potential subcontractors with specific capacities. The PNDC was responsible for building and managing the Connectory under a grant from the Defense Logistics Agency.

Date & Time: WEDNESDAY, May 11, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Place: La Quinta Inn, La Quinta Inn, 1425 E. 27th St., Tacoma 98421
Price: $15.00 pre-paid after May 9; $20.00 walk-ins/at the door
Information: Gary Brackett,  (253) 627.2175, ext. 120
RSVP: DUE 12 noon, March 6 (Friday)

Military Vets Jobs Expo

Friday, May 6, 2011

Noteworthies with a Local Link

On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced that the President made the nomination of:

Air Force Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general. Schatz is currently serving as the director, strategic plans, requirements and programs, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

BG Schatz is a former Commander, 62nd AW, McChord AFB.