Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vote for JBLM's I-5 Corridor Improvements

UPDATE:  July 2, 2013: Working for Completion 

The Transportation Package before the Washington State House contains $175 million for improvements along the JBLM I-5 Corridor.  JBLM is almost entirely dependent on I-5 for movements.

The State House Legislature is scheduled to re-vote on the Transportation Package immediately following a morning caucus. You are asked to immediately (using links in the article below) to email supporters with "thanks" and opponents with "vote yes".

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

KC-46A Flight Begins with Wings

Boeing workers in Everett today loaded the first wing spar for the first U.S. Air Force KC-46A aerial refueling tanker, starting production of that aircraft and achieving another milestone toward delivering 179 tankers during the next 14 years.

The KC-46A is based on the commercial 767-200ER, a proven airframe in service as an airliner, freighter and tanker. Boeing has delivered more than 1,050 767s worldwide.

The spar, the main structural component of the wing, is 82 feet 5 inches long. On the aircraft, it provides critical support for flight loads and the weight of the wings when the plane is not flying.

The program’s next major contractual milestone, the Air Force’s Critical Design Review, starts next month.

Boeing employees are also preparing the 767 production line for assembly of the next-generation tanker’s aft and forward body structures. The aircraft will be assembled in November and roll out of the factory in January.

Next June, Boeing will begin installation of military-unique systems on the aircraft at Boeing Field in Seattle as well as testing. First flight for the fully provisioned tanker is scheduled for early 2015, with first delivery in 2016.

Boeing expects to build and deliver the first 18 KC-46As by 2017 and a total of 179 by 2027 if all options under the contract are exercised.

Boots2Work Selling Out Exhibitors Fast

Don’t miss out!

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Tables are available for the Boots2Work

$600 and $800 Bronze and Silver levels

1 Diamond Suite left

2 Platinum Suites left

WorkForce Central
Tacoma Rainiers
co-sponsoring the

Boots2Work Military Career Fair
Cheney Stadium 
Aug 28, 2013

Look who has signed up…
  • Walmart (also a sponsor)
  • Boeing
  • General Plastics Mfg. Co
  • MultiCare Health System
  • TMX Aerospace/ThyssenKrupp Aerospace NA
  • Aacres, WA LLC
  • Clover Park Technical College
  • Franciscan Health System
  • Gordon Trucking Inc.
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  • Renton Technical College
  • Swift Transportation
  • Flagship Maritime
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • ResCare HomeCare
  • University of Phoenix
Have you reserved your place?  There is a maximum of 65 exhibitor spots.

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For questions or additional information,
please contact Linda Helenberg at 253-254-7651
Karen Miceli at

Please feel free to pass this on to those inside, and outside, your company that might be interested in joining us!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Forces 2020 Realignment Decision

Today the Department of the Army announced force structure and stationing decisions associated with the active component end-strength reduction of 80,000 soldiers, resulting in an Army end-strength of 490,000 by 2017.

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A BCT will inactivate at each of the following locations by 2017:  Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Stewart, Ga., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.   Two BCTs, stationed at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr, Germany, will complete their inactivation in Fiscal Year 2013, leaving two BCTs in Europe to fulfill strategic commitments.

Based on extensive analysis, the lessons of a dozen years of combat and the need to increase operational capability and flexibility, the Army will make the following changes to its force structure:

  • Reorganize infantry and armor brigade combat teams (BCTs) to restore the third maneuver battalion and increase engineer and fires capability.
  • Reduce active component BCTs from 45 modular to 33 reorganized BCTs.
  • Continue growth in aviation, special operations, missile defense and cyber capabilities.
This active component force structure, in conjunction with Army National Guard and Army Reserve capabilities, supports the current defense strategy and meets combatant command requirements through regional alignment of forces and global responsiveness for contingencies.

The decision to restructure armor and infantry BCTs helps mitigate the loss of BCTs by eliminating the headquarters but preserving 13 Armor and Infantry battalions that would be lost without the reorganization.

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Stationing decisions necess- itated by the reductions and reorgan- ization were based on a compre- hensive analysis of installation quantitative and qualitative considerations to include training, power projection, well-being, expansibility, regeneration, geographic distribution, environmental and socio-economic impacts, cost, and alignment with the defense strategy. Opportunities for community input  were included through both the programmatic environment assessment public comment period and community listening sessions  conducted in parallel with the military value analysis and qualitative stationing analysis, prior to the final decision.

The reduction of 80,000 soldiers from the force represents a 14 percent reduction across the AC force. The specific impacts of these decisions on individual installations are being provided to affected Congressional delegations. The Army will conduct Congressional notification in accordance with Section 993, Title 10 U.S.C. prior to taking any irrevocable actions to implement these decisions.

These reductions are consistent with fiscal constraints resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and defense planning guidance issued in 2012, but do not reflect  additional reductions that will be required if sequestration-driven funding reductions remain unmitigated.

For more information on this release, please contact Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry at 703-697-7550 or Wayne Hall at 703-693-7589, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Army.

DoD Names Local Employers with Freedom Award

Today, the Department of Defense, announced 15 recipients of the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

The freedom award is the department’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of guard and reserve employees.  These employers distinguished themselves among the 2,899 nominations received from guardsmen and reservists.  The 2013 recipients will be honored at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26, 2013.

Companies with local offices that are receiving the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients are:
  • Bank of America
  • DaVita Inc
  • Safeway
  • U.S. Bank
Freedom award recipients go to extraordinary lengths to support their military employees through both formal and informal initiatives.  The 2013 recipients’ exemplary support includes forming an employee resource network for military employees and their families, providing additional paid military leave to guard and reserve employees, setting and surpassing employment goals for veterans and service members, and extending personal support to families.

Since 1996, only 175 employers have received the freedom award.  Previous awardees have met with the president and vice president of the United States, and the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

For more information about the freedom award and this year’s recipients, visit under the media tab in the press releases section.

About ESGR and the Freedom Award

The freedom award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. ESGR develops and maintains employer support for guard and reserve service.  ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers.  Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging employment of guardsmen and reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Contract Supports Marines and Air Force Special Ops Missions

The Bell Boeing V-22 Program, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. and Boeing has been

Image courtesy Bell BoeingV-22 Program

awarded a five-year U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contract for the production and delivery of 99 V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

This includes 92 MV-22 models for the U.S. Marine Corps and seven CV-22 models for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command.

Valued at approximately $6.5 billion, the contract is structured to provide nearly $1 billion in savings to the U.S. government compared with procurements through single-year contracts. The contract also includes a provision permitting NAVAIR to order up to 23 additional aircraft.

"Signing this contract speaks volumes towards the confidence our services have in the V-22 Osprey," said Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello, V-22 Joint Program Office program manager.  "Since 2007, the V-22 has been continuously forward-deployed in a range of combat, humanitarian, and special operations roles. Ospreys continue to transform our Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force and Air Force Special Operations by enabling missions not possible with conventional aircraft, and helped save lives where others could not."

The V-22 Osprey is a joint service, multi-role combat aircraft that uses tilt-rotor technology to combine the speed and range of a fixed-wing airplane with the vertical performance of a helicopter. With its nacelles and rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, its nacelles can be rotated to transform the aircraft into a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.

"The versatile V-22 Osprey is the ideal aircraft for an era when global militaries are being asked to do more with less," said Vince Tobin, executive director, Bell Boeing V-22 Program. "It gives operators the ability to achieve groundbreaking operational efficiencies and maximize the use of precious resources like time, money and personnel.  This contract will enable us to most efficiently build and deliver this aircraft to current and future customers around the world."

More than 200 V-22 Ospreys are currently in operation and the worldwide fleet has amassed more than 185,000 flight hours, with half of those hours logged in the past three years.

About Bell Boeing:  Bell Boeing is a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. and Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries. Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at

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 $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide. Follow Boeing on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Boeing Receives Contract for Up to 215 Army Chinooks

In an agreement that will save the U.S. government more than $800 million, the Army and Boeing have signed a $4 billion multi-year contract for 177 CH-47F Chinook helicopters, with the Army holding options that could increase its total buy to 215 aircraft.

Photo courtesy Boeing Defense, Space & Security

Deliveries from the agreement, which is a cost-effective alternative to annually contracting for the aircraft, begin in 2015.

“This multi-year contract provides unprecedented savings for the U.S. Army and American taxpayers,” said Col. Robert Barrie, U.S. Army project manager for Cargo Helicopters. “But the most important benefit is the continued support these aircraft will provide to soldiers in the field and civilians in distress.”

The tandem-rotor Chinook is the backbone of combat, logistics and humanitarian operations for the U.S. Army and 18 other operators around the world. This order would eventually bring the Army’s CH-47F total procurement close to its target of 464 aircraft, including 24 to replace peacetime attrition aircraft. The Army’s current inventory stands at 241 F-model aircraft.

There are 15 Army active duty and National Guard units operating the CH-47F, and a 16th is currently being equipped. CH-47F units have logged more than 86,000 combat hours in Afghanistan, maintaining an operational readiness rate of over 80 percent while conducting air assault, transport, and medical evacuation and support missions.

“The Army is benefiting not only from the efficiencies of a multi-year contract but also from the production efficiency gains Boeing and our suppliers have made,” said Chuck Dabundo, vice president, Boeing Cargo Helicopter Programs. “That includes the $130 million investment we made to modernize the Chinook factory. This contract will enable Boeing and our partners and suppliers in 45 states to bring stability to the workforce and to invest in production tooling, processes and other capital improvements.”

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 $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide. Follow Boeing on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tacoma Freedom Fair July 4th

This 4th of July, spend the day at the Tacoma Freedom Fair & Air Show on the beautiful Ruston Way Waterfront. 

The event is what the Travel Channel called one of the ten “World Best” fireworks events.  It fills two miles with fun family activities and lots of free entertainment including an afternoon air show and a fireworks extravaganza to end the day. 

Sponsorships, donations and volunteers are still needed.  Help keep this grand old Tacoma-Pierce County tradition going strong.  For complete details please visit

Salmon for Soldiers

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Networking for Jobs

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DOD Announces 2013 REPI Buffer Program Challenge Award Winners

The Department of Defense announced today the selection of two winning partnership projects, in the states of Florida and Washington as part of its "Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Challenge." 

The REPI Challenge will provide projects at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., with $5 million total in funds to advance innovative, cost-sharing buffer partnerships.

The $5 million awarded to the two projects attracted $25.75 million in outside partner funds that together will be able to protect more than 23,500 acres of valuable habitat that buffers the two installations.

The REPI Challenge advances the mission of DoD's REPI program by encouraging larger projects that can leverage more outside funding.  Since 2003, the REPI program has supported partnerships with conservation organizations and state and local governments to protect 264,000 acres of buffer lands at 66 installations in 24 states.

The 2013 winning REPI Challenge projects are:
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord's partnership with the Center for Natural Lands Management, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Thurston County, the state of Washington, and private landowners to preserve and restore critical prairie habitat, which will reduce on-base training restrictions.
  • Eglin Air Force Base's partnership with the state of Florida, the Trust for Public Land and a private landowner to preserve prime open space and habitat, which will protect vital flight training routes.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Noteworthies with a Local Link

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

Rear Adm. (lower half) Markham K. Rich, will be assigned as commandant, Naval District Washington, Washington, D.C.  Rich is currently serving as commander, Navy Region Northwest, Silverdale, Wash.

Capt. Babette Bolivar, who has been selected for the rank of rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as commander, Navy Region Northwest, Silverdale, Wash.  Bolivar is currently serving as chief of staff, Naval Installations Command, Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

More Money for On-Base Schools

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), senior member of the Military Construc- tion and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced major funding from the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).

The funding, totaling $90,768,089, addresses capacity and facility condition deficiencies at the Greenwood ($28,566,022), Clarkmoor ($30,870,778), and Beachwood ($31,331,289) Elementary Schools, which serve the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) community. The Clover Park School District and State of Washington will match these grants with an additional $23,075,465 for a total investment of $113,843,553.  Approximately 1,550 pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students will be served by these projects. 

“When our best and our brightest put on the uniform to serve our country honorably, we make a promise to support them and their families both on and off the battlefield,” said Senator Murray. “This includes making sure their children have an adequate learning environment that promotes a positive education experience, not one that puts them in harm’s way or detracts from the curriculum. Our schools that support our military communities are not only institutions of learning, but also serve as a support system for many of our military families. That’s why I was proud to support the legislation in which this funding was included."

 “This is a great day for Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Clover Park School District. More than 1500 South Sound students in military families from the district I have the honor to represent will have improved educational opportunities thanks to these projects. I can’t wait to see what Greenwood, Clarkmoor and Beachwood look like once the improvements are completed," Congressman Denny Heck said.

"Securing this grant would not have been possible without the hard work of Congressman Adam Smith as well as retired Congressman Norm Dicks. I am extremely appreciative of their tireless advocacy on this issue.
“This funding is the result of hard work by the Clover Park School District and many in the Washington State Congressional Delegation.  These funds are critical in making much needed rebuilding efforts for Greenwood, Clarkmoor, and Beachwood Elementary Schools.  All students in the Puget Sound region deserve access to high quality education in well maintained facilities, and I look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Denny Heck to ensure that they do,” Congressman Adam Smith said.

“Today’s announcement regarding the approval of the school construction grant will allow Clover Park School District to continue retooling the schools on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The replacement of these three elementary schools will enable our students to receive a quality education in buildings that provide for today’s educational needs and reflect our nation’s commitment to our armed services. Throughout this process, Clover Park School District has received tremendous support from our elected officials, as well as the Department of Defense.  On behalf of our students, we offer our sincere thanks,”  said Debbie LeBeau, Superintendent of the Clover Park School District.

The condition of the three schools was determined by the July 2011 Deputy Secretary of Defense “Public Schools on Military Installations Priority List” (Priority List). Funding for these awards is provided through the DoD’s Public Schools on Military Installations Program.

OEA, in making these funds available, gave priority consideration to those military installations with schools having the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies, as determined by the Priority List. A multi-disciplined Federal Evaluation Team, with membership from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the Military Services, U.S. Department of Education, and OEA reviewed the school projects to ensure the awards appropriately address the noted capacity and facility condition deficiencies.

Pierce County Hosts 2nd Aerospace Summit

Pierce County’s second Aerospace Summit will offer valuable updates from experts in manufacturing technology and workforce training as the region continues its push for a larger stake in the global market.

The summit, which features a presentation by Boeing’s manager for workforce development, will be held July 17 at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood. Participants can register at

The summit is co-hosted by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County (EDB). Last year’s inaugural summit connected 150 people representing aerospace suppliers, government agencies, banks and schools.

“Pierce County is home to a Boeing plant and more than 80 companies that work in the aerospace supply chain,” Executive McCarthy said. “We will continue to connect companies with each other and with the community resources that can help them compete for the production of tens of thousands of airplanes that are needed in the coming years. There is room for this industry to grow in Pierce County.”

One of the featured speakers will be Michelle Burreson, who leads Boeing’s Workforce Development team supporting manufacturing and quality for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The summit is just one piece of Pierce County’s strengthening aerospace strategy.

McCarthy and EDB President and CEO Bruce Kendall will join Gov. Jay Inslee’s Washington State delegation at the Paris Air Show in June. McCarthy and Kendall will focus on marketing Pierce County to aerospace firms from around the world to recruit them to open facilities here or to introduce them to key contacts in the area’s supply chain. 

McCarthy is also the Co-Chair of the Tacoma Pierce Aerospace Partners, a group comprised of local business leaders, policy makers and experts in workforce training and higher education.  The group is co-chaired by EDB Vice President Chris Green. 

“There has never been a more important time for us to focus on this industry,” Green said. “Boeing is preparing to make a decision on the location for final assembly of the 777X, and global demand for commercial air travel is growing. Pierce County has a high level of coordination among policy makers, businesses and workforce development leaders. The Aerospace Summit is designed to build on that collaboration.”

Chris Green, Economic Development Board vice president
(253) 383-4726

Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director