Monday, October 22, 2012

Counting Those Who Count

Most Washingtonians got their ballots either Saturday in their post office boxes or perhaps delivered to street addresses today.  Service members and other overseas voters' ballots were mailed or emailed long ago.

Two precincts receiving incorrect ballots are so proximate to JBLM, you might want to check with the Pierce County Auditor for correct ballots. More here:

1,422 voters will receive a letter alerting them to the error and instructing them to return the correct ballot.

Julie Anderson, Pierce County Auditor, briefed the Chamber's Military Affairs Forum on UOCAVA (Uniformed & Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) efforts by the Pierce County Auditor's Office.

There are 13,062 UOCAVA voters registered in Pierce County, 9,700 of which are assigned to JBLM and registered in Pierce County (others may be registered in Thurston or Yakima Counties).  That's from the 43,375 assigned soldiers and airmen plus 56,188 dependents who are potential voters. Of course, most reside (home of record) in another state.

Washington is in the Top Five (5th) states for numbers of UOCAVA voters, 56% of all UOCAVA ballots. 

Return ballots may be received anytime prior to election certification (65-day window), as long as they are dated on or before election day.  A postmark date is irrelevant.

Washington counted 99.1% of all its UOCAVA ballots returned - the bet of the Top Five states with the largest number of UOCAVA qualified voters.

Military Affairs Chairman Rick Stevens presented Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson with a Chamber challenge coin recognizing Pierce County's exemplary job in insuring our service members and overseas voters get count too!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert announced today Rear Adm. (lower half) Robert M. Hennegan, will be assigned as commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, San Diego, Calif.  Hennegan is currently serving as commander, Submarine Group Nine, Silverdale, Wash.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Aerospace Boom

Boeing this week begins assembling the first refueling boom for the U.S. Air Force's next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft in the KC-46 Boom Assembly Center that opened today at Boeing Field in Seattle.

"We're pleased that this facility opened on schedule," said Maureen Dougherty, KC-46 vice president and program manager for Boeing. "The KC-46A will feature a modernized fly-by-wire boom based on the proven system on the U.S. Air Force's KC-10 tanker, which will give it advanced refueling capabilities, allowing it to refuel any fixed-wing receiver aircraft anytime and on any mission."

Boom assembly marks the program's shift to production from design activities.

"It's a big day for the KC-46 Tanker Program and the U.S. Air Force," said Maj. Gen. John Thompson, U.S. Air Force Tanker Program Executive Officer and KC-46 Program Director. "Boeing continues to make good progress toward delivering the KC-46 Tanker on schedule."

The first boom will enter testing during the third quarter of 2013 at a System Integration Lab (SIL), known as SIL 0. It is one of five labs designed to reduce risk for avionics and aerial refueling integration. Boeing invented the air refueling boom and has been building, upgrading and modifying them for more than 60 years.

Boeing's KC-46 program remains on track to deliver 18 combat-ready tankers by 2017, and for the next major Air Force contract milestone, the Critical Design Review, scheduled for the summer of 2013.

Production of the KC-46 aircraft begins next summer in Boeing's Everett, Wash., factory. The aircraft will be a 767-2C variant of the commercial 767-200ER airplane. Boeing will build 179 next-generation aerial refueling tanker aircraft to begin replacing the Air Force's aging KC-135 tankers.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Boeing Receives $2 Billion C-17 Aircraft Sustainment Contract

Boeing will continue assuring the worldwide availability of C-17 aircraft, which provide vital military and humanitarian airlift capability, through a $2 billion follow-on contract it recently received from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) provides support services such as forecasting, purchasing and material management for the C-17 and all C-17-unique support. This Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) program, which started in 1998 with 42 aircraft, now covers 246 worldwide. It provides lower costs through economies of scale from supporting the entire global fleet. The latest contract covers fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

Under a PBL arrangement, a customer receives an agreed-to level of system readiness, as opposed to a traditional contract for specific spare parts and support services. This integrated logistics approach -- in which Boeing manages U.S. assets as a designated Inventory Control Point -- has allowed Boeing to apply innovative spares forecasting and modeling tools to maximize aircraft availability while lowering costs. In many cases, Boeing has provided readiness levels beyond those spelled out in the agreements.

The Department of Defense recently recognized the U.S. Air Force-Boeing GISP team with the 2012 Secretary of Defense "system-level" PBL Award.

"This contract award and the recognition from the secretary of defense are testaments to the long-standing partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Boeing," said Gus Urzua, Boeing vice president and GISP program manager.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 61,000 employees worldwide.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Milcon Report for JBLM

Victor Ramos, MCA Program Manager, Seattle District, USACE, gave his updated milcon report, focusing on JBLM.

The acquisition strategy will use local competitive contracts where possible with small business considerations evaluated on all acquisitions.  The MATOC (Regional Multiple Award Task Order Contracts) will be used on just a few FY13 projects.  It is noted that local MATOCs will be used where it make sense, but are limited to $10 million per Task Order.

Highlights of the report include:
  • There are 16 contracts valued at $252 million in design
  • There are 11 contracts valued at $138 million in pre-award (corrected)
  • Current construction is for $156 million in FY12
  • Five facilities will be turned over to JBLM ($55 million) in Oct/Nov 12
Those desiring more information may contact Veronica (Ronni) Kammler, Small Business Officer at 206-316-3990 or Victor Ramos, Army Program Manager at 2096-764-4478.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Programmatic Change Affects JBLM

The Department of the Army announced today the relocation of 61st Chemical Company, 62nd Chemical Company, and Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 23rd Chemical Battalion from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to the Republic of Korea.

The Chemical Companies will provide Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) reconnaissance, equipment decontamination and consequence management assistance to support military forces.  This action supports HQDA initiatives involving U.S. forces conducting a sustainable pace of presence operations abroad, including rotational deployments and bilateral and multilateral training exercises.  These activities reinforce deterrence, help to build the capacity and competence of U.S., allied, and partner forces for internal and external defense, strengthen alliance cohesion, and increase U.S. influence.

This force structure change represents an increase of 290 Military and zero Civilian authorizations within the Republic of Korea and a corresponding decrease in authorizations at Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA.  The Army will complete the stationing action by January 16, 2013.