Monday, July 30, 2012

JBLM's Children to Get New Schools

Because of the efforts of local organizations like Clover Park School District, offices at JBLM, Congressional leaders like Cong. Norm Dicks and Adam Smith, and the Chamber, a national program was born to replace outdated and obsolete schools on military installations.

Debbie LeBeau, superintendent of Clover Park School District said, “The ground breaking of the new Carter Lake and Hillside Elementary Schools represents a federal, state and local partnership designed to ensure our military students have access to the safe and updated facilities they deserve.”

One of the top funded school replacements, the first to break ground and we anticipate the first to open will be the Hillside and Carter Lake elementary schools on JBLM.

Click on image for a larger view.

Carter Lake and Hillside Elementary Schools ranked second and fifth, respectively, in the top 25 schools needing immediate attention based on an independent scoring of enrollment capacity and building conditions. Funding for the two new schools comes thru the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and Washington state school construction funds.

Today marked their groundbreaking at Hillside with many dignitaries including Cong. Dicks and Smith as well as military and school district representatives. The event will include a traditional shovel-and-dirt ground breaking, plus the signing of an “Education of Military Children Covenant.” Signers of the covenant included educators, senior civilian and military leaders and elected officials.  Local children were witnesses to the event.

Both schools will be rebuilt at their current locations—Carter Lake will have a capacity of 500 students and Hillside will accommodate 650 students. BCRA Design is the architect for the new schools and Skanska is the general construction contract manager. Completion of the new schools is scheduled for the fall of 2013.

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert today announced the following assignments: 

Capt. John D. Alexander, who has been selected for the rank of rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as assistant commander for career management, PERS-4, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.  Alexander is currently serving as commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Everett, Wash. 

Capt. Markham K. Rich, who has been selected for the rank of rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as commander, Navy Region Northwest, Silverdale, Wash.  Rich previously served as chief of staff, Navy Region Southwest, San Diego, Calif. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

AUSA Honors Cong. Smith

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, received the 14th Annual Outstanding Legislator Award from the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.  AUSA President Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret. presented the award during the organization’s Capitol Hill ceremony.

Congressman Smith received the award for his advocacy on behalf of military personnel and their families. He is also being awarded for his efforts to improve efficiencies and the elimination of waste, fraud and abuse in the Department of Defense.  Previous AUSA Outstanding Legislator Award recipients include Rep. Norm Dicks and Sen. Patty Murray.

“It is an honor to work on behalf of the men and women of our military,” said Congressman Smith. “I thank the AUSA for this award and will continue my efforts to ensure our military has the resources it needs to fulfill its missions and to make sure our veterans and their families know their service is not taken for granted once they return home.”

AUSA is a private, non-profit educational organization that supports America's Army - Active, National Guard, Reserve, Civilians, Retirees, Government Civilians, Wounded Warriors, Veterans, and family members. AUSA provides numerous Professional Development Opportunities at a variety of events both local and national. Since 1950, the Association of the United States Army has worked to support all aspects of national security while advancing the interests of America's Army and the men and women who serve.

For more information on Congressman Smith’s efforts on behalf of the military, visit

Monday, July 23, 2012

Port of Seattle Earns ESGR Award

The Department of Defense announced today the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients.  The award represents the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

The 2012 recipients include the Port of Seattle.  The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional support from the employer community.

More information about the Freedom Award is available at online here or by calling the Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve office at 800-336-4590.

WA Gets New AG

Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced Brigadier General Bret D. Daugherty as Adjutant General of the State of Washington. In that role, Daugherty will serve as commander of all Washington Army and Air National Guard forces and Director of the State's Emergency Management and Enhanced 911 programs.

He will also serve as Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor of Washington and as State Administrative Agent for all United States Department of Homeland Security grants awarded to Washington's state, local, tribal and non-profit agencies and organizations.

Daugherty replaces Major General Timothy J. Lowenberg who is retiring after more than 44 years of military service, with 13 of those years serving as Adjutant General.

General Daugherty brings the skills, leadership and teamwork that are critical to the ongoing success of the Washington National Guard and Emergency Management Department,” Gregoire said. “His record of experience and impressive background will serve the state well. He leads both by serving and by building a strong team around him.”

Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member, U.S. House Armed Services Committee, said, I congratulate General Daugherty on his appointment and thank General Lowenberg for four decades of outstanding service to our state. I also look forward to working closely with General Daugherty within the coming months.”

Daugherty assumed duties as Assistant Adjutant General - Army, Washington National Guard and as Commander, Washington Army National Guard in 2009. Daugherty has been responsible for the coordination of policies, programs and plans affecting the Washington Army National Guard and has ensured the recruitment and career management of soldiers and leaders.

"I am deeply humbled and honored to serve Governor Gregoire, the Washington Military Department and the people of the State of Washington," said Brigadier General Bret Daugherty.

Daugherty attended Seattle University where he was awarded an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps scholarship. Upon graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate in June of 1980, he was commissioned as a Regular Army Second Lieutenant. He left active duty in 1989 and joined the Washington Army National Guard in 1990.

Gregoire also thanked Lowenberg for his years of service. “General Lowenberg has been an invaluable advisor and confidant to me since the day I became governor,” Gregoire said. “His leadership at the state and national level on military issues, homeland security and domestic preparedness are second to none.”

Lowenberg is the second longest-serving Adjutant General since the Washington Territorial Militia was first fielded in 1855. His time in office is second only to Major General Maurice Thompson, a Washington National Guard icon who served for nearly half of a century in the Guard; 27 of those years as Adjutant General. His administration will be remembered for its transformational leadership and change during a crucial time in the history of our nation and the National Guard.

A change of command ceremony between Lowenberg and Daugherty will take place on Saturday, July 28, at 10 a.m. at the 66th Theater Aviation Command readiness center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Report on Sequestration

The Air Force Magazine’s Daily Report online  spotlights a new study by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA release) that paints a dramatic picture of sequestration’s economic impact.  In 2013 alone, the nation stands to lose 2.14 million jobs, $215 billion in gross domestic product, and $109.4 billion in the personal earnings of the American workforce if the Budget Control Act's sequester takes effect in January, 2013.

“For the defense sector, which would absorb some $500 billion of sequestration's $1.2 trillion in mandated federal budget cuts, this would mean a loss of more than one million jobs, $86.5 billion in GDP, and $59.4 billion in workers' personal earnings,” states the study.

"The results are bleak, but clear-cut," said Dr. Stephen Fuller, economist, George Mason University, who led the research, at the July 17 press conference unveiling the report in Washington, D.C.  "The unemployment rate will climb above 9 percent, pushing the economy toward recession and reducing projected growth in 2013 by two-thirds.”

Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee each blamed the other for the looming budget sequestration.

"In addition to the issue of jobs, I worry that the cavernous silence from the President will lead many to exit the [defense] industry or to walk away from capital investments that are in the best interests of our troops," said HASC Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) during the hearing called to discuss sequestration's effects on the defense industry.

Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) countered by saying Congress must first acknowledge that it won't be solving the federal budget deficit anytime in the near future. "We're going to have structural deficits for awhile," said Smith. "Our role is to get those deficits under control so that they are manageable. But we can't hold hostage steps (more revenue and strategic cuts) that will do that."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The chief of staff of the Army announced today Brig. Gen. Billy Don Farris II, director of future plans, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, to deputy commanding general, 7th Infantry Division, Joint Base-Lewis McChord, Wash. 

USTRANSCOM commander to deliver new C-17

Gen. William M. Fraser III, U.S. Transportation Command commander, will be delivering a new C-17 Globemaster III July 17 at JBLM-McChord Field.
The aircraft delivery is part of a normal rotation to maintain the fleet at
an authorized level. USTRANSCOM is the single manager for global air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense. The 62nd Airlift Wing reports to Air Mobility Command which is a subordinate command of USTRANSCOM.

The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. It is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom's Question Answered

When Francis Scott Key wrote his poem during the battle for Fort McHenry in 1814, during the War of 1812 (the first fought under our Constitution), he could not have dreamed of the role it would play in this nation.

Yes, many sing the first stanza, yet too few realize that it asks a question.  The next three stanzas answer that question.  Here's the final answer:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!