Friday, June 26, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert announced today Rear Adm. (lower half) Dee L. Mewbourne will be assigned as director, maritime operations (N3/N5/N2/N7), U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia. Mewbourne is currently serving as commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven, Everett, Washington

Thursday, June 11, 2015

AFA's Airmen Support Golf Tourney Open

The Air Force Association, McChord Field Chapter, Tee it High and Let it Fly Airmen Support Golf Tournament is scheduled for July 17, 2015, at Eagles Pride Golf Course.  The proceeds raised will support scholarships for Air Force JROTC students, and Airmen on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray. 

Like previous years, the chapter is requesting your financial support to help achieve their fundraising goal.    There are three ways you can support the chapter:  1) sponsor a hole/team, 2) Enroll a team, or 3) donate an item for a door prize.  More information can be found on the attached fliers.

Questions?  Contact Bill Striegel at or you may call him at (253)906-7369

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USGA Kicks Off U.S. Open Championship with "Open for All Activities"

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has announced updated plans for its Open For All™ fan programming and community activities to be held June 14-21, coinciding with the 115th U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay.

U.S. Open Champion- ship week will begin with a series of special events on the grounds of Chambers Bay on Sunday, June 14. 

The family-friendly activities, which are free and open to the public, will focus on youngsters and a celebration of the region’s military community. In honor of national Flag Day, the I Corps Army Band and a color guard from nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord will participate in a 1:30 p.m. PDT flag-raising ceremony, led by Major General Kenneth Dahl and USGA President Thomas J. O’Toole Jr.

Spectators under the age of 18 are welcome to attend a junior clinic at 2:15 p.m. PDT at Chambers Bay’s practice facility. A variety of fun and engaging activities, presented in collaboration with the First Green, The First Tee, LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, and the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship, will take place after the clinic.

Participants will also have the opportunity to have their photo taken with the U.S. Open Trophy, as well as visit the official U.S. Open Main Merchandise Pavilion.

Sunday will also represent the last opportunity for non-U.S. Open ticket holders to purchase merchandise at the Main Merchandise Pavilion, open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The merchandise pavilion will be open to the public for pre-championship shopping from Thursday, June 11 through Sunday, June 14 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT daily).

Attendees are asked to follow signs to pre-championship parking, which will be located in the New Tacoma Lot in close proximity to the course. A complimentary shuttle will be provided.

Open For All Fan Experience at South Lake Union Park

The U.S. Open For All viewing experience at South Lake Union Park will open at 5 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, June 17, and will include a free concert by singer-songwriter Kelley James.

The viewing experience will be open to the public June 17-21 and will feature live U.S. Open action on a big screen, interactive golf exhibits including a U.S. Open Golf Simulator, food and beverages from regional vendors and photo opportunities with the U.S. Open Championship Trophy.

Dates/Times (PDT):
June 17    Opening Night Celebration: 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Performance by Kelley James
June 18    First-Round Viewing: Noon -7 p.m.
June 19    Second-Round Viewing: Noon-7 p.m.
June 20    Third-Round Viewing: Noon-7 p.m.
June 21    Fourth-Round Viewing: Noon-7:30 p.m.

As parking will be limited, attendees are encouraged to take the Seattle Streetcar (South Lake Union Line) to the Lake Union Station.

A complete schedule of Open For All community events is available HERE.

About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information, visit the USGA.
Media Contact:
Jeff Altstadter, USGA Manager of Media Relations; 908-326-1880

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

VA Launches Campaign to Increase Veterans’ Economic Potential

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald, with leaders from national and local Veterans service organizations, corporate employers and government agencies, announced the launch of the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative, an effort focused in a total of 50 U.S. cities to promote economic success for Veterans.

The initiative is part of MyVA, which is dedicated to making Veterans the center of all we do. “The best way to get things done for Veterans is to involve partners from both the public and private sectors – national to local,” said McDonald.  “If history has shown us anything, it’s that all you have to do is give Veterans an opportunity and they will go beyond anything you could ever envision.  Community leaders understand the purpose of MyVA and will find innovative ways to support it.”

The goal of the VECI is to increase education and employment opportunities for America’s Veterans by bringing together local and national employers to coordinate services for Veterans, service members and military families.

With the sacred commitment of making customer service for Veterans the focal point, VA will look to communities around the country to help make the VA the best federal agency. “MyVA will work State by state, community by community, person by person,” said McDonald.  “We want to expand our reach and collaboration in communities where Veterans live.”

The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative launch event was hosted in Dallas. Secretary McDonald and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings provided remarks, during the event. Campaign partners also participated in panel discussions on public-private partnerships.  Representatives from major corporations such as Hilton and TriWest joined Secretary McDonald in pledging their commitment to furthering Veteran economic opportunities.

The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative includes a VA Economic Liaison in each community who will expand and encourage collaboration among private and public organizations that offer resources related to education, training and employment. Through strategic partnerships, and by offering Veterans innovative forms of learning and employment opportunities, these communities will help Veterans gain competitive career skills and knowledge in locally in-demand fields.

Campaign partners include the departments of Defense and Labor, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in addition to regional and national nonprofits, businesses and educators. The first 25 communities were chosen based on local Veteran unemployment rates, Veteran population and the projected increase in Veteran population.

Communities participating in the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative include:

  • Atlanta, Georgia; 
  • El Paso, Texas; 
  • Las Vegas, Nevada; 
  • New York, New York; 
  • San Antonio, Texas; 
  • Chicago, Illinois; 
  • Honolulu, Hawaii; 
  • Los Angeles, California; 
  • Norfolk, Virginia; 
  • San Diego, California; 
  • Cincinnati, Ohio; 
  • Houston, Texas; 
  • Louisville, Kentucky; 
  • Phoenix, Arizona; 
  • Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado; 
  • Jacksonville, Florida; 
  • Miami, Florida; 
  • Richmond, Virginia; 
  • St. Louis, Missouri; 
  • Dallas, Texas; 
  • Kansas City, Missouri; 
  • Nashville, Tennessee; 
  • Riverside, California; 
  • Washington, DC

Under the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative, communities will develop scalable, sustainable models over the next two years that include:

  • Resources and education for employers on hiring and supporting Veterans.
  • Employment summits to connect talented job seekers with local employers who have immediate hiring needs.
  • Policy academies where experts generate ideas, form partnerships and make policy recommendations that will help lower the unemployment rate and increase economic opportunities among Veterans and their families.
  • Learning or resource hubs to help connect Veterans to economic opportunities including entrepreneurship, credentialing and skills building.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Noteworthies with a Local Link

The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert announced today the assignment of Rear Adm. (lower half) Richard A. Brown as commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven, Everett, Washington. Brown is currently serving as commander, Naval Service Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Gov Announces Formation of Subcabinet on Military Downsizing

Governor Inslee announces state agencies to focus on coordinated state response to potential military reductions.

Gov. Inslee today announced the formation of a Subcabinet on Military Downsizing to address possible reductions in military force in the state.

As a result of deep cuts outlined under sequestration and with a reduction in deployments after more than a decade of war, the United States military is reducing and realigning their forces throughout the country.

Active duty Army strength is expected to be reduced from 570,000 troops to less than 440,000 nationally. As part of this action, the Department of Defense (DOD) has considered potential reductions of up to 11,000 active duty soldiers and DOD civilian personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).

Though all branches of the Armed Services will likely be impacted, the Army has, to date, provided greater detail as to the potential for reductions. While the Army has made no official announcement yet, the state is preparing for a final decision for JBLM as early as late June.

“There is an all-hands-on-deck effort to make the case to DOD that Washington is the right place to keep service members, DOD civilians and their families,” said Inslee, who has already made the case to DOD that such deep cuts would have grievous effects on Washington’s economy. “It is also vital that we are prepared to respond to any reductions. This has the potential to be a once-in-a-generation challenge of a size and scope that will impact our communities and economy for years to come.”

“Our first priority, should a significant reduction take place, is ensuring impacted service members and civilians receive the education, training and employer connections necessary to find work quickly as they transition out of life at JBLM,” Inslee continued.

The subcabinet consists of eleven state agencies directly involved in the state’s downsizing response plan. Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender will chair the group. Its primary focus is to prepare a plan for scalable and appropriate responses related to workforce training and re-employment of transitioning service members, DOD civilians and contractors; mitigating impacts to the local communities around the installations; and preparing for economic development and revitalization opportunities in the event of a large scale force reduction.

The subcabinet comes as a result of a larger effort by the governor to focus on the military and defense community as a key economic sector in the state. Starting with the creation of the Military and Defense Sector at the state, along with reconvening and formalizing the Washington Military Alliance, the governor was instrumental in supporting the state’s effort to secure a $4.8 million DOD grant to focus on the state’s response to defense businesses in the wake of a reduction in defense spending.

The military and defense sector plays a significant role in Washington’s economy. In 2013, DOD spending in Washington topped $13.1 billion dollars and represented 3.2 percent of the state’s GDP. Washington ranks in the top ten states for military spending and is the 6th most military populated state. Of the 112,560 military personnel in Washington, over half reside in the South Puget Sound.

“Reduction of military forces would have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts in Washington, especially to the service members, DOD civilians and their families who call this place home,” Bonlender said. “Governor Inslee is committed to helping these military families and the communities they live in to transition successfully.”

The subcabinet will convene on June 17.

Noteworthies with a Local Link

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today that the president has nominated Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew for appointment to the rank of general and for assignment as commander, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. 

Gen. McDew is currently serving as commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.  He served as 62nd Ops Group Commander in 2001 at McChord AFB, now JBLM-McChord Field.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Australia Flies RAAF’s First C-17 Equipped with Advanced Network Access

The Australian RAAF's first C-17-equipped Advanced Network Access enables real-time video communications for the enhanced mission capability vision for its networked air force.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flew its first Boeing-built C-17A Globemaster III equipped with a new advanced satellite communication (SATCOM) and imagery display system, providing the flight crew and passengers with unprecedented situational awareness.

Boeing installed the high-speed SATCOM system to support the RAAF’s ‘Plan Jericho,’ an initiative to transform the Australian military into an integrated, networked force able to deliver air power in all operating environments. Boeing has been executing and supporting programs to network Australian defense forces for many years.

According to Group Captain Robert Chipman, director, Plan Jericho, the C-17 system allows personnel on the aircraft to receive live en route updates and video from their destination, such as enemy positions or disaster damaged areas, right up to the point of insertion.

“The systems may also support other kinds of operations such as aeromedical evacuations by giving medical staff on board the ability to video conference with specialists on the ground,” said Chipman.

Applications enabled by the antenna include video teleconferencing, instant messaging, e-mail, transfer of large graphics files, voice and radio over Internet protocol and common operating picture capability.

“A lot can change between the time a C-17 takes off and when it arrives at its destination,” said Michael Pokorny, a Boeing C-17 project manager. “These upgrades allow the crew to send and receive mission-critical information as easily as if they were in an office.”

The RAAF currently has six C-17s with an additional two aircraft on order.