Thursday, March 29, 2012

Field Hearing for Veterans'Affairs

U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

During her recent speech at the Chamber's Military Affairs Forum, Sen. Patty Murray called for a new legacy of opportunity for vets.  And, she announced her upcoming field hearings for veteran issues.

Now, you may join Senator Murray, Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, as she hosts a field hearing on the unique opportunities and challenges that the South Sound and Washington state continue to face as thousands of veterans return to the region.

This official U.S. Senate field hearing will explore how the military, veterans, business and non-profit communities can work together to improve the transition home for those returning to Washington state. In particular, the hearing will focus on improving mental health care, employment opportunities and community outreach for returning veterans.

WHAT:U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Field Hearing
“Washington’s Veterans: Helping the Newest Generation Transition Home”
WHEN:  Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Hearing Starts at 10:30 A.M. | Doors Open at 9:45 A.M.
WHERE:  The STAR Center | 3873 South 66th Street | Tacoma, WA 98409
Public Transportation Routes: Pierce Transit Bus Route 53. Parking: On-site Parking is available
Please include your name, organization, phone and email address

For more information about this hearing or other activities of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee, please visit
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kristine Reeves, Statewide Veterans Constituency Coordinator.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brits Take Another C-17

Boeing today announced that the UK Ministry of Defence has signed an agreement for the acquisition of one C-17 Globemaster III, bringing the Royal Air Force (RAF) fleet of the world’s most advanced airlifters to a total of eight. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the eighth C-17 later this year.

“The tremendous teamwork of Boeing and U.S. Government officials has made it possible to announce this acquisition so quickly after we determined the need for this additional C-17,” said UK Ministry of Defence Head of Commercial for Air Support Robin Philip. “This C-17 will be a welcome addition to the RAF fleet."

 “We have watched with great pride over the past decade as the RAF, our first international C-17 customer, has supported global peacekeeping missions and responded to the needs of millions affected by natural disasters around the world,” said Bob Ciesla, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager.

The RAF C-17s are operated by 99Squadron at RAF Brize Norton. C-17s are used to support Operation Herrick, the transport of large equipment and troops to Afghanistan. RAF C-17s also delivered relief supplies following devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and provided humanitarian relief following floods in Pakistan.

Boeing has delivered 241 C-17s worldwide, including 216 to the U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units. A total of 25 C-17s have been delivered to Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. India has 10 C-17s on order for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Military Appreciation Day @ Spring Fair

Click on image for a larger view.

AUSA Seeks Supporters

It will soon be that time year again to honor the I Corps Soldier and NCO of the Year award recipients. Hard to believe, I know!

Last year, the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter supported this program by requesting that the local Chambers of Commerce members donate items such as gift cards, free services, overnight hotel stays, free services and much more for these two award recipients.   Depending upon the location of the business, the items were separated and the two soldiers received their gifts at different chambers of commerce Military Affairs Committee meetings.   We would like to do this again.

So, if you’re interested in donating any of these items, please email me directly at:   I’ll then work with the different Chambers to compile the gift packages.

Thank you all for your consideration and I hope to hear from you very soon.

Carlene Joseph, Chapter President
Captain Meriwether Lewis, AUSA

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Noteworthies with a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Army Maj. Gen. Robert B. Brown for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as commanding general, I Corps and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.  Brown is currently serving as commanding general, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, Fort Benning, Ga.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Doing Business with JBLM

Click on image for a larger view:

Cargill Receives Bryce Lilly Award

The 62nd Airlift Wing's 2011 Bryce Lilly Service Award winner is Mr. George Cargill.
Photo:  (l to r) Colonel R. Wyn Elder, Commander, 62d Airlift Wing, George Cargill, Chief Master Sergeant Greg Warren, Command Chief, 62d Airlift Wing

As the Northwest TriWest Vice President, Mr. Cargill has had an opportunity to be involved in multiple community activities.  He is on the Board for the Tacoma-Pierce Co.  Chamber and is the Vice-Chair for Business and Trade.  He is a member of the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee and able to be part of several opportunities to recognize the military in the community.

He was the Chair for the USO Puget Sound Area Board of Directors and recognized by the The News Tribune and University of Washington Non-Profit Leader of the Year.  He has been instrumental in supporting the military family through AFA, AUSA, MOAA and Navy League.   He recently joined the board for the WA National Guard Youth Challenge Academy.

The Bryce Lilly Service Award is awarded at the discretion of the Wing Commander to the military member, civilian employee, local business leader, community supporter or any other person directly involved in enhancing the quality of the military community at McChord Field.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Noteworthies with a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta announced today that the President has made the following nominations: 

Navy Rear Adm. (lower half) Craig S. Faller has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral.  Faller is currently serving as commander, Carrier Strike Group Three, Bremerton, Wash. 

Navy Rear Adm. (lower half) Peter A. Gumataotao has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral.  Gumataotao is currently serving as commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven, Everett, Wash. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff, Army announced today the following assignments: 

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan to deputy commanding general, 1st Corps and Joint Base Lewis McChord, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash.  He most recently served as director, J-9, United States Forces-Iraq. 

Maj. Gen. Richard Thomas took command Wednesday of the Western Regional Medical Command from Maj. Gen. Philip Volpe, who had led the unit since February 2010.

Read more here:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cong. Dicks Announces Retirement

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) released the following statement today:
I am announcing today my intention to complete my service in the House of Representatives at the end of the current session but not to be a candidate for re-election to the 113th Congress.  After 18 terms representing the people of the 6th Congressional District of Washington, preceded by eight years on the Staff of Senator Warren G. Magnuson, Suzie and I have made the decision to change gears and enjoy life at a different pace.

The privilege of serving in the House of Representatives, with the endorsement of the voters every two years, is indeed an honor unlike no other profession in our country and I have truly enjoyed every day here and have cherished all of the friendships we have made with many of the finest public servants in the nation.  I am proud that many of these friendships have crossed the ideological and party lines that tend to separate us, and I have always believed that we can achieve greater results if we leave politics aside when the election season and the floor debates are over.

As I look forward to closing this chapter, I am proud of the work we have done over the years and the accomplishments that we have achieved for the people of the Pacific Northwest, including:

●  Protecting the waters of Puget Sound and Hood Canal: clean water is one of our region’s highest priorities.

● Community Development – Restoring vitality of downtown Tacoma and Bremerton

●  Maintaining a strong national defense and keeping our state’s numerous military bases modern and efficient, including recent efforts to rehabilitate and restore in-base schools for military dependent kids.

● Elwha River Restoration – An internationally-significant ecological project that is in its final stages, with deconstruction of the two Elwha River dams now occurring.  

● Supporting Boeing programs that employ tens of thousands of Washington workers, including helping to win the contract for the new Air Force refueling tanker.

● Addressing the many important human service needs in communities across the 6th District, including support for housing programs and for the establishment and continuation of Community Health Clinics, which often represent the only source of medical care for families who have lost health benefits due to job changes and unemployment. 

● And I am very proud of the work that my offices have done, throughout my career, to help individual constituents with the many thousands of problems and questions that are referred to us.  I have appreciated the work of my dedicated staff, who have always acted as powerful advocates seeking assistance from federal agencies.

It is my intention to work very hard over the next several months, as the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, to conduct our Committee’s hearings and to complete work on all of the FY 2013 Appropriations bills.