Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Continuing Resolution Alleviates Defense Budget

The signing of the Continuing Resolution (CR) for the 2013 budget H.R. 933, has occurred without a great deal of fanfare.

However, it seems to have solved the Army's problems with Overseas Contingency Operations, and pinching too tightly on FY2013 budget options.  The CR is viewed very positively.  A reported $10 billion is allocated for operations and maintenance for installations, but flexibility within H.R. 933 will allow defense leadership to make cuts.

But it doesn't solve sequestration. With House passage earlier, Pentagon officials have delayed furlough notices for defense civilian employees.  They're not off the hook yet, but now some deliberative time is available. 

FY2014 is another story.  The budget cuts may have to come from domestics, but the DoD budget will still need to meet a reduction of $50 billion.

Monday, March 25, 2013

220th C-17 for JBLM-McChord Field

McChord Field is scheduled to receive its last C-17 Globemaster III March 27. In addition, there will be a small ceremony to celebrate the 14 years of the C-17’s role in the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wing's mission.

The aircraft delivery is part of a normal rotation to maintain the fleet at an authorized level. It is the 220th out of 224 that was ordered by the U.S Air Force. The C-17 will be delivered straight from the Boeing production facility in Long Beach, Calif.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Community Comments on Forces Reduction EA

The Army issued for public comments an environmental assessment for a service-wide across-the-board reduction in uniformed military personnel, to be accomplished by 2020.

The local communities, composed of jurisdictions from Pierce and Thurston Counties and local private sector organizations, have replied to that request for comments (see following):

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Counter-terrorism Exercise at Port

A number of local, state and federal agencies will participate in a simulated improvised explosive device (IED) exercise at the Port of Tacoma on Friday. There will be two scenarios along the Blair Waterway where IEDs will be discovered and disposed of.

The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate how agencies and companies will respond together to a potential terrorism threat within the Port of Tacoma. It will also evaluate the improved interoperable communications between the agencies. Along with emergency responder agencies, several Port of Tacoma terminals and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are participating in this event.

Participants include the Port of Tacoma, Tacoma Police Department, 10th Civil Support Team, APM Terminal, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Husky Terminal, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Olympic Container Terminal, Pacific NW Terminal, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Pierce County Terminal, Regional Intelligence Group, South Sound 911, Tacoma Fire Department, Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTEM), Transportation Security Administration, United States Coast Guard, Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington State Fusion Center, and the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad.

This exercise is funded through the Port Security Grant program of the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Media Only:
Media are invited to the first disarming scenario at the TOTE terminal from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. on the day of the exercise. Please meet at the Incident Command Post at the Naval Reserve Center, 1001 Alexander Ave. E in Tacoma. Views of the initial assessment, detection of a radiological device and the deployment of the bomb squads will be available during this time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

AMC Cancels Rodeo for JBLM-McChord Field

Today, the U.S. Air Force announced that the Air Mobility Command’s (AMC) biennial Rodeo readiness competition has been cancelled this year because of budget shortfalls.  

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Citizen-Soldier Sought for Award

Our nation continues its reliance on the citizen-soldiers for the many and diverse missions in support of our defense.  These citizens perform a dual role as defenders and civilian contributors to our community.  They are citizens of our community and soldiers of our nation.

The Chamber wishes to recognize, with the 32d annual presentation, the Howard O. Scott Citizen-Soldier of the Year.  Your nominee is desired.  Nominees may currently be called to active duty.

Guidelines are:   
1.    A Reservist or National Guard member, any service;
2.    A resident of Tacoma or Pierce County;
3.    Professional in both military and civilian occupations;
4.    An exemplary volunteer in the community.
5.    Additional consideration will be given if the nominee is an employee of a Chamber member or owns a business that is a Chamber member.

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.

Selection of the honoree will be made by the Military Affairs Committee of the Chamber.  Presentation of the Award will be at the April 16, 2013 meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Tacoma.  You will be informed of the ceremonies if you submit a nomination.

Submit nominees to the Chamber.  Include:  Nominee’s name, unit and contact info as well as the reasons for nomination.  The deadline for submitting nominees is April 8, 2013.

Thank you for your cooperation and acknowledgement of the importance of our citizen-soldiers