Monday, December 19, 2011

JBLM Gets More Transportation Dollars

The top Washington state grant application for Tiger III funding captured $15 million for improvements along the I-5 corridor at JBLM.

The original application was for $32 million, but some $5.7 million of that was already achieved when the City of Lakewood captured a grant for improvements at the Berkeley St. Interchange, leaving some $26 million actively sought for.

The reduction will mean some specific work selection must be chosen by the Washington State Department of Transportation, but all improvements will be welcome on this corridor which serves some 15,000 trucks and some 152,000 vehicles accessing JBLM daily.  A longer range fix is currently estimated to cost $1 billion.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Col. Tommy Brittain, Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond made the following statements after U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $15 million TIGER III grant to fund the I-5 Joint Base Lewis-McChord Area Congestion Management:

“Helping secure funds for projects that improve transportation throughout our region is one of my top priorities,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “These grants will help alleviate traffic for military personnel and communities around the JBLM corridor and save commuters time and money. They will also improve freight traffic, benefiting our local economy while adding hundreds of jobs to our region. These are significant wins for our district and I thank Congressman Dicks, along with Senators Cantwell and Murray for their longstanding support.”

"We're grateful for the efforts of everyone involved to address the growing traffic congestion that has affect JBLM and our neighboring communities,” said Col. Tommy Brittain.  “We have worked very closely with local communities, regional and state agencies, and federal and state legislators, to develop strategies that mitigate the congestion brought about by growth in Pierce and Thurston Counties, as well as our growth here at JBLM. This grant is yet another indicator of the positive, cooperative relationship we enjoy with our neighbors, and we look forward to continuing to work together to find solutions to regional challenges."

"A true partnership is bringing about transportation improvements in the JBLM corridor," said Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. "Our state delegation in D.C. helped win these federal dollars, and we have partners at the base and in Pierce County and local cities. With this grant money, we can make transportation investments in this critical corridor that will have an immediate impact on reducing some of the congestion."

Pointe Du Hoc and Ranger Memorial

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Clean Tech Working with the Military

On December 7, the Washington Clean Tech Alliance (WCTA) Lunch featured an excellent sold out panel discussion with leaders from the military, cleantech business, and economic development organizations.

They discussed how cleantech companies could engage the Department of Defense for business expansion. Cleantech startups and established players learned about the opportunities in one of the world's largest energy markets: America's armed services. You can see the presentations made by the panelists by clicking below:
  • Sean Murphy, Executive Director, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition. See Sean's presentation here.
  • John Plaza, President/CEO/Founder, Imperium Renewables. See John's presentation here.
  • Paul T. Steucke, Jr., CIV USA IMCOM. See Paul's presentation here.
  • Tim Vinopal, Chief Engineer, Environment, Health and Safety, Boeing: See Tim's presentation here
WCTA Board member Tim Stearns of the Washington State Department of Commerce moderated the event.  Andrews Wells at Nyhus Communications organized this event. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Military Spouses Get Licensing Approval

The State Legislature did a great favor for the active-duty families in our state with the passage of SB5969, the military-spouse licensing bill.

Under terms of the bill, the state will allow military spouses a temporary professional license here, honoring the license originally issued in another state.  The temporary license will allow sufficient time for the spouse to complete any unique requirements necessary in Washington State.

Our Chamber testified in both the state Senate and House, both of which had significant bill sponsors.  Our thanks to Sen. Derek Kilmer and Representative Tami Green (companion HB2167) and all the co-sponsors in both houses. 

The Chamber had approved this goal for its 2012 Legislative Agenda, but this prompt action by our legislature gives us our first success early.  The Chamber’s membership had supported (83.7%) this goal in a survey completed last month.

The bill is now forwarded to Governor Chris Gregoire for signing. 

Our thanks also go to Mark San Souci, Regional Liaison Northwest, Defense State Liaison Office and the Chamber's State Lobbyist Michael Transue. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Online Tools for Veteran Job-Seekers

Congressman Adam Smith shared this info with us:

This week, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced veterans now have on-demand access and can download official data about their military training and experience, which can be used to help them find jobs and continue their careers.  Their service data can be uploaded to job search and networking sites to help identify employment opportunities. 

“Veterans can offer unique and desirable skills to the civilian workforce.  Translating those skills into meaningful information for employers and giving veterans access to official data about their military service is vital to helping returning servicemen and women find gainful employment,” said Congressman Adam Smith.

Veterans can use the VA’s online My HealtheVet portal ( to see official information about their military service, including deployment data, in-uniform experience, and Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) codes which define the type of work performed and skills learned during their tour of duty.  Veterans can electronically download that information to their personal computers by using an enhanced version of the Blue Button.  This new capability is the latest addition to a growing suite of job-hunting tools.

Veterans enrolled in VA health care can access their military service information through My HealtheVet.  Veterans who have not yet signed up for My HealtheVet access can register for a My HealtheVet account at any VA medical center by completing a one-time identity-verification process to help assure their data privacy.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Roel van der Lugt, Director of Military Affairs, Business and Defense Programs, at: 253-593-6602 or via email at:

Boeing Wins C-17 Award

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 8, 2011 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Air Force Globemaster division at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Ga., received the Best Logistics Strategy award at the annual Defense Logistics Awards ceremony in Arlington on Nov. 30.

Boeing has partnered with the Air Force for C-17 sustainment since the delivery of the first aircraft in 1993, transitioning to a system-level performance-based logistics contract in 1998, now called the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP).

“The strength of Boeing’s partnership with its Air Force customer provides the best sustainment solution possible,” said Gus Urzua, Boeing C-17 GISP vice president and program manager. “Our long-term partnership and the flexibility of performance-based logistics contracting are key to developing the innovative solutions necessary to address the complex challenges of sustaining a fleet of this magnitude.”

The program has evolved to adapt to the Air Force’s operational needs, providing the customer with the best sustainment solution: a single-source provider that guarantees best-value support, mission-ready aircraft and 24/7 customer service.

Today, GISP is headquartered in a combined program office at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., supporting 237 C-17s worldwide – 212 with the U.S. Air Force, including active duty, Guard and Reserve units, and 25 with international customers, including the United Kingdom Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Qatar Emiri Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.

The GISP “virtual fleet” arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers, with varied fleet sizes, the benefit of access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale when purchasing materials.

“The C-17 Virtual Fleet has been a game-changing concept of operations for the aircraft’s support,” said Trevor Burke, team leader, NATO Strategic Airlift Capability. “The C-17 Virtual Fleet is all about extreme affordability -- like none before.”

The Air Force delegates a significant degree of control of C-17 support to Boeing in return for guaranteed performance. This support is delivered worldwide, with the Air Force administering Foreign Military Sales and Boeing providing various levels of contractor support across the globe in support of U.S. and international customers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Clean Tech Working with the Military

This month, the WCTA Lunch will feature an excellent panel discussion featuring leaders from the military, cleantech business, and economic development organizations discussing how cleantech companies can engage the Department of Defense for business expansion. Cleantech startups and established players can learn more about the opportunities in one of the world's largest energy markets: America's armed services. Expert panelist presentations will be followed by a chance to ask questions. Confirmed participants are:
  • Moderator: WCTA Board Member Tim Stearns, Senior Energy Policy Specialist, Washington State Department of Commerce
  • Sean Murphy, Executive Director, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition
  • John Plaza, President/CEO/Founder, Imperium Renewables
  • Paul T. Steucke, Jr., CIV USA IMCOM
  • Tim Vinopal, Chief Engineer, Environment, Health and Safety, Boeing
  • When: December 7, 2011, 11:00 am-2:00 pm
  • Where: Arbor Group/UBS Financial, 925 Fourth Avenue, 18th Floor Conference Room, Seattle
  • Cost: (Before December 4) $20 for WCTA members/$30 for non-members. December 4 and after: Add $5.
  • Register here.  
WCTA Platinum Members:  Boeing Company, McKinstry
 WCTA Gold Members:  APCO Worldwide, Cascadia Capital, enterpriseSeattle, Greater Spokane, Mithun, Nyhus Communications, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Prometheus Energy Group, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle Steam Company, Snohomish County PUD, Thomas James International, Washington State Department of Commerce, Washington State University