Sunday, October 30, 2011

Military Affairs Committee


33rd John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year
Sponsored by TriWest HealthCare Alliance

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee will present the 33rd annual John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year.

The Anderson Military Citizen of the Year award is presented to an exemplary recipient who has demonstrated the contributions that active-duty persons make to our community. 

Rotary's Keynote Speaker:  Col. Dallas Homas, CO, MAMC

Col. Dallas Homas
Commander, MAMC

Colonel Dallas W. Homas, M.D., assumed command of Madigan Healthcare System on
March 10, 2011. His previous assignment was the Chief of Clinical Operations, Western Regional Medical Command, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

With a military beneficiary population encompassing a six-state region, Madigan Army Medical Center continues to be one of the busiest hospitals in the Pacific Northwest.  Occupying more than 120 acres of land, this four-building structure is located at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, WA.

There are approximately 160,000 Soldiers, family members and military retirees residing in Madigan's 40-mile catchment area. Madigan's phenomenal health care mission is executed by nearly 4,000 staff members, which include hundreds of civilian and military doctors, nurses, residents, interns and fellows. Madigan also boasts a robust internal American Red Cross program.  There are approximately 200 volunteers who donate thousands of hours of free service monthly.

As one of the Army’s most state-of-the-art and technically advanced medical centers, Madigan is one of only three designated Level 2 trauma centers throughout the U.S. Medical Command (MEDCOM). Recently, Madigan’s Andersen Simulation Center, which helps train thousands of doctors, nurses and medics each year, received a three-year accreditation from the American College of Surgeons, becoming the only Defense Department medical educational institution to attain that status. Madigan’s simulation center is one of only 21 surgical simulation centers in the U.S. to achieve a level one status, the highest for a center of surgical education excellence.

Date:  Thursday, November 10
Time:  11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
Event: Rotary Club of Tacoma No. 8
Place:  Landmark Conference Center
              47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma 98402
Price:  $15 with RSVP
              No prepayment, collect at the door only
Register:  Online
Information:  Gary Brackett or 253-627-2175

About John H. Anderson
John H. Anderson served as Tacoma’s mayor in the early to mid 1950s. He was also a past Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Board of Directors, as well as a successful local businessman.   

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Possible Grants for JBLM on I-5

AGENDA  -  November 2, 2011

8:00     Welcome & Self-Introductions                                  
            Tom Pierson, Co-Chair                                                

8:10     Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment: I-5/JBLM Grant
            Jeff Gonzalez, City of Lakewood

8:30     TIGER III Discretionary Federal Grant: I-5/JBLM
            Ron Landon & Kevin Dayton, WSDOT

8:50     Round Robin

9:00     Closing Remarks & Adjourn
            Pat McCarthy, Co-Chair

LOCATION:  Fabulich Center, Rm. 104, 
3600 Port of Tacoma Rd., Tacoma 98421

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

IJC Commander to Brief Live From Afghanistan

Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and deputy commander, U.S. Forces -- Afghanistan, will brief the media live from Afghanistan at 10:30 a.m. EDT, Oct. 27, in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to provide an update on current operations.

Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

On the Web:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Special Forum Explores Economy and Defense

The Special Forum with former Congressman and Vice-Admiral (ret.) Joe Sestak drew a full-house, cosmopolitan mix of business and civic leaders.

Sestak focused on both the economy and the defense community as he explored the nation’s issues in this roundtable discussion.  He observed, that a majority (estimated at 70%) of people who lost their jobs in this recession were small business (less than 20 employees) employees. Sestak said the stimulus was too small, missed the target and lacked accountability.  That target should have been the “star player” in the economy, small business, he said.

Other noteworthy comments by Sestak are:
  • The Federal Reserve has given a star performance.
  • Europe needs to go “all in” and may not.
  • This is the first recession that the housing market has not lead the recovery.
  • People can’t move to jobs because of they are underwater on their mortgages.
  • He is pessimistic about the Super Committee achieving a debt deal.
  • The military has been charged with meeting two major actions, and may become no longer able to meet that standard.
  • The military doesn’t always tell Congress the most-likely costs.

Sestak’s recommendations for a recovery program:
  • Guarantee community banks loans, the source of small business lending, at 98%.
  • Raise the interest rate cap so higher risks will be taken by lenders.
  • Increase 504(c) loans.
  • Increase micro-loans.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On-Base Schools Lined Up for Money

As parents and school children know, the on-base elementary schools are heavily overcrowded and functionally obsolete.

That was proven in a recent DoD study which ranked Joint Base Lewis-McChord elementary schools in bands 1-2-4 and 6.  More information on the rankings and their placement on the scale is available here.

Debbie LeBeau, Superintendent, Clover Park School District, which operates but does not own the schools on JBLM, briefed attendees at this month’s Military Affairs Forum just after returning from Washington, D.C. where she conferenced with the Office of Economic Adjustment, a DoD agenda administering a $250 million fund for fixing the problem.

Clover Park S.D. expects to receive funds for replacing Hillside elemen- tary with a new 650 student facility and consolidating Carter Lake and Heartwood elementarys into one new 500 student school, because of their very high priority rankings in the study. The grant is a reimbursable program, but LeBeau consider Clover Park S.D. to have the financial flexibility to take advantage of the opportunity. 

If money continues to be available this year (unlikely), or if Congress continues to fund the program (hopefully), the next project for JBLM schools would be to consolidate Greenwood and Clarkmoor into one new 650 student school.

Hopes for Improved I-5 Access to Madigan

Hopes are high for improving access to Madigan Health- care Systems thanks to a recent grant opportunity that addresses improving access to medical facilities impacted by BRAC.

Attendees at this month's Military Affairs Forum heard a recap of a grant application designed to make significant improvements to those seeking service at Madigan, said Dan Penrose, Project Manager, SSMCP. 

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), home of Madigan Health- care Systems and the Western Regional Medical Command, has been impacted by BRAC and several other Army initiatives, resulting in a doubling of personnel stationed there.  Now, there are 152,000 daily trips into-out of JBLM.  Over $1 billion is needed to accommodate today’s I-5 traffic (including its service for workforce commutation and commercial mobility).

Appli- cations from four defense commun- ities exceeded the $300 million fund cap.  Fairfax County, VA submitted the largest request, asking for $185 million; Montgomery County and Maryland asked for about $90 million, San Antonio, TX asked for $125 million and City of Lakewood [representing the South Sound Military and Community Partnership (SSMCP)] asked for less than $6 million.

The local application centers on the Berkeley Street/Union Ave./Freedom Bridge interchange on I-5.  Its particulars:
  • a third lane to Madigan
  • a second left turn land to I-5 South
  • better signals on the ramps and Union Ave.
  • a second receiving land for the Freedom Bridge overpass
  • improved land configurations for Berkeley and Union
  • added pedestrian safety improvements
The results – an astonishing 95% improvements in vehicle flow measured against the mid-day peak.  What’s now delays of more than 10 minutes per vehicle will drop to 35 seconds per vehicle after the improvements are made.

The decision is due November 7.  All here are hoping Lakewood’s proposal is “budget dust” that will be swept into local coffers.

Local AUSA Chapter Takes Home National Gold

After forming eleven subchapters to support the thousands of service members on Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), was recognized nationally by receiving the “Best Chapter” award in its membership category in Washington, D.C. earlier in October.

The eleven subchapters were formed to complement JBLM’s Community Connector program by simply encouraging city officials and business leaders to embrace the soldiers and their families, especially during deployments.   Today, subchapters have been established in the Cities of Lacey, Steilacoom, Lakewood, DuPont, Tacoma, Fife/Milton, Puyallup, Olympia, Tumwater, Yakima and Camp Murray (National Guard).

These subchapters became beneficial when over 17,000 soldiers returned home from war in late 2010.   Over $100,000 was raised to coordinate three welcome home picnics for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.   Since that time, the formation of subchapters has become popular among the different brigades on JBLM, leading to the eleven existing today.

Featured in the picture from left to right:  General Gordon Sullivan (AUSA CEO and past Army Joint Chief of Staff), CSM Dan Verbeke (the Rear Detachment I Corps CSM), SFC Leroy Petry (Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient), Carlene Joseph (Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter President & Harborstone Credit Union VP), John Hemphill (MG Retired), CSM Matt Barnes (Garrison CSM), Roger Thompson (LTG Retired and AUSA Director).

In addition to unwavering community support, to include the local chambers of commerce, the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter benefits from strong business alliances, such as with the Pierce Military and Business Alliance.  This group consists of the Boeing Company, Harborstone Credit Union, America’s Credit Union, American Lake Credit Union, Support America’s Armed Forces, Regence BlueShield, TriWest Healthcare Alliance,, Tactical Tailor, Concrete Technology Corp., the Ranger/Northwest Airlifter, the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, Luce, Lineberry & Kenney Law Firm, the Pierce County Council, Northwest Credit Union Foundation, and GEICO Insurance.

Congratulations Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, its Pres. Carlene Joseph and its members, firms and organizations for a job well done!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WA Wins Award for I-5 Work at JBLM

Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) won a transportation award for work to improve the congestion around JBLM. 

The award was announced Sunday during the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Annual Meeting. AASHTO, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsor the America's Transportation Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding transportation projects.

WSDOT worked with a coalition consisting of federal, state, military and local leaders to creatively improve the traffic problem that stretches for miles along I-5 through the Lewis-McChord military base nestled between Tacoma and Olympia, an area seeing robust growth in economy and population.
Interchanges at military gates were improved with better alignment and better-timed traffic signals, gates that had never opened were unlocked so military personnel could access the base more easily, and tools such as Incident Response were quickly deployed to combat congestion, saving commuters plenty of time on the road.

A $10,000 check will go to WSDOT’s Memorial Foundation,which provides financial assistance to WSDOT employees who become disabled or are killed in the line of duty and their surviving spouses and children.  The Foundation also provides aid for the families of employees impacted by catastrophic injury or illness, and has an education scholarship program for employees of dependent children.

More information about all the projects is available at this link, and a video showcasing the 10 national finalists is available at this link.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You're Invited to a Special Forum

Special Forum
Oct. 21, Friday, 2:00 p.m.
Chamber offices
950 Pacific Ave., Ste. 300, Tacoma 98402
(NW corner 11th & Pacific Ave.)

“A conversation about the future of our military and our economy.” 

Joseph Ambrose "Joe" Sestak, Jr. is a former member of the U.S. House of Represen- tatives who represented Pennsyl- vania's 7th congressional district from 2007 until 2011. He was the highest ranking military official ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Sestak defeated 30 year incumbent Arlen Specter in the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Primary. He was defeated in the general election by Pat Toomey.

A member of the United States Navy for over 30 years, Sestak is a former three-star admiral and was also Director for Defense on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton. During his career in the Navy, he led a series of operational commands, including commanding the USS George Washington carrier strike group during combat operations in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in 2002. Following the September 11 attacks, he served as the first director of code-name "Deep Blue," the Navy's top secret counter-terrorism unit.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nominations for Military Citizen Opened

Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen compose a vital part of our community.  The Chamber wishes to recognize, with the 33rd annual presentation, a Military-Citizen of the Year.

The Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee will make the selection of the honoree.  Presentation of the award, named for John Anderson, former Mayor and Chairman of the Chamber, will be made November 10, 12 noon at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Tacoma.

You are requested to submit nominees for this award.  The guidelines are:

1)      An active-duty Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine
2)  Residing in Tacoma or Pierce County
3)  Professional in military occupation
4)  An exemplary volunteer in the community

Nominations should be no longer than two pages, no photos.  While military professionalism is important, this is usually a given standard.  It is recommended that the nomination focus on the nominee's volunteerism in the community.  You are referenced to the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, which has been added to the list of awards and decorations that earn promotion points. 

The deadline for submitting nominations is Nov. 1.  Nominations may be delivered to the Chamber’s offices, forwarded by mail, email ( or fax 253-597-7305.  Your consideration of this request is appreciated.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Changes Coming for JBLM

Military Affairs Committee, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber

Date & Time: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Place: La Quinta Inn, 1425 E. 27th St., Tacoma 98421
Register: Online here.


Debbie LeBeau, Superintendent, Clover Park School District. Ms. LeBeau will have just returned from conferencing with the DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment about the grant application for two new schools to replace existing facilities on JBLM.

The replacement of local obsolete and deteriorating schools was a primary objective of the Chamber's annual Washington-to-Washington, D.C. trip for the last two years. A cooperative effort with the Clover Park School District and other community advocates resulted in a new and first funding for replacement of schools on installations.

Dan Penrose, Project Manager, South Sound Military & Community Partnership. The City of Lakewood and the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership have submitted a $5.7 million grant request to the Defense Department which will improve access to Madigan Army Medical Center and relieve congestion currently experienced on portions of Interstate 5 adjacent to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. When constructed, the overpass and ramp improvements at Berkeley Street (Freedom Bridge) will reduce delays and improve safety for the more than 1.4 million patients that visit Madigan annually.


Oct. 12 Chamber’s Annual Meeting. Featuring Keynote Speaker, Mr. Barry Moltz. Click here to find out more about Barry Moltz.

Nov. 10 John Anderson Citizen-soldier of the Year. The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee will present the 32nd annual John Anderson Military Citizen of the Year at the Rotary Club of Tacoma’s luncheon. Place: Landmark, 47 St. Helens, Tacoma 98402. Price: $15