A Clear Zone is a federally-designated, 3,000-by-3,000-foot safety area adjacent to the end of a runway. This area has the highest statistical possibility of aircraft accidents. Department of Defense guidelines call for Clear Zones to be undeveloped, meaning they should not contain any buildings, businesses, people or flight obstructions. This protects the public’s safety and the military’s ability to carry out its missions. The North Clear Zone does not currently meet these guidelines. SSMCP is studying a number of potential strategies to address this, including acquiring properties and providing assistance for businesses to relocate elsewhere in the vicinity.
SSMCP has hired Montro & Johnston, an independent appraisal firm, to develop cost estimates for property acquisition and business relocation assistance. The firm will contact property owners and tenants in the North Clear Zone to discuss acquisition and relocation considerations and request a site visit in September or early October.
Initial research on potential strategies for the North Clear Zone will be completed this winter.
Questions can be referred to Col. (Ret.) William (Bill) Adamson, Program Manager for South Sound Communities & Military Partnership, (253) 983-7772.
Take the 2016 JBLM-Camp Murray Survey!
Please follow the link below to take a ten-minute, anonymous survey that will help us and our local communities understand your needs and those of your families. This survey will provide us with critical information about your preferences in housing, driving habits, shopping and recreation needs, and other useful data. This survey is sponsored by the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership and JBLM. Commanders have been briefed and support this effort.
To take the survey, click the following link, which will direct you to an approved external website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KM3BX6V
We recognize that you are often asked to take surveys. Therefore, we made this survey short; it contains less than 40 questions. As an incentive, our community partners are offering $2,500 in prizes ($25 to $500 gift and discount certificates) for randomly selected survey respondents.
The survey will be open for participation from 16 May through 13 June 2016; please provide your input as soon as possible.
Thank you for your time in helping us to better serve you.
New ID requirements for JBLM visitors
This change affects companies with employees who need unescorted access to JBLM or YTC. It also impacts people who need visitor passes to visit friends, family, the museums, hospital or other locations on either JBLM or YTC. The change does not apply to Department of Defense workers because they already have DOD identification cards.
Visitors with the Washington State Enhanced Driver's License or ID must still go to the Visitor Center to get a base pass.
69th Annual NW Anthropological Conference coming to Tacoma
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD –The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) will officially break ground on the new Intrepid Spirit Center that will diagnose and treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and psychological health conditions in Service Members on Thursday, October 29 at 10 a.m. at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s new Intrepid Spirit Center is estimated to cost $11 million to construct and equip with the latest in brain technology and treatment facilities and will span 25,000 square feet. Funding for the project is being raised privately through the IFHF, a not-for-profit organization and national leader supporting the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families.
“Having an Intrepid Spirit Center on JBLM will allow for expanded clinical workspaces to improve service member care and satisfaction, said Col. Michael L. Place, Madigan commander. “The Spirit Center allows Madigan Army Medical Center to participate in a growing network of centers providing state of the art treatment services for those suffering from TBI and psychological health conditions.”
The facility will be the sixth in a series of nine centers located at military bases around the country built by the IFHF. Intrepid Spirit Centers currently are operational at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Intrepid Spirit Centers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Hood, Texas are under construction and expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
October 12, 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Joint Land Use Study - Ensuring JBLM Communities Thrive for Years to Come
Local Agencies Collaborating with JBLM to Develop Land Use Compatibility Strategies
Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) – The South Sound Military Communities Partnership (SSMCP) invites residents and businesses in the South Sound region to participate in a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) being conducted to examine issues of compatibility between JBLM and its neighboring communities. The JBLM JLUS is a strategic plan that provides specific implementation actions to ensure compatible civilian growth and development. The JLUS presents recommendations for consideration by local and state governments that promote compatible development and protect public health, safety, and welfare while also protecting the ability of the military to accomplish its vital training and operational missions currently and over the long term.
A public open house will provide opportunities for the public to be involved in this important study. Hosted in DuPont (Emergency Operations Center located in the main Fire Station), community members are encouraged to attend and comment on recommended land use compatibility strategies. Comments may also be submitted through the project website (www.jblm-jlus.com ), which contains project information, including study reports and maps.
Get information and provide input at an upcoming public open house:
Tuesday, October 20 5:00–7:00 pm DuPont Emergency Operations Center, 1700 Civic Drive, DuPont
The JLUS advances SSMCP’s mission to foster effective communication, understanding, and mutual support around issues that transcend the specific interests of the military and civilian communities of the JBLM region. More information on SSMCP—including its partners, successes, and comprehensive work program—can be found at: www.jblm-growth.com .
Greater Sage Grouse Decision Poses No Threat to Military Operations in West
September 22, 2015
The greater sage-grouse, whose habitat stretches across 11 western states, does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined. Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell announced this finding Sept. 22 in a video .
The agency’s decision means that military installations in western states will not confront restrictions on the size of training lands, scope of training activities and future construction that the bird’s listing would have caused, reported The New York Times .
The 327,000-acre Yakima Training Center in central Washington, for example, supports a greater sage grouse population inside a 77,000-acre preserve. Placing the grouse on the endangered species list would have forced 11 gunnery ranges to shut down from Feb. 1 to June 15 each year and imposed other restrictions, an Army report said.
The impact on military readiness at the center would have been even more far-ranging, several military officers contended. Listing the bird “could affect up to 19 training areas and 27 gunnery ranges, making the Yakima all but useless for six months of every year. The Army could be required to transfer up to 5,000 soldiers across the country to receive similar training,” retired military officers Joseph Schmitz, Marc Rogers and William Boykin wrote in a Roll Call op-ed .
The species numbered in the millions in the 19th century but loss of habitat, a warming climate, invasive species and other factors caused its numbers to plummet to a dangerous degree by 2013. However, efforts by private landowners, states and the federal government — including the military — have helped the population to rebound. Since then, the number of male grouse spotted in mating areas has increased by 63 percent, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies reported . The current population is estimated to have reached as high as 500,000.
The U.S. House Armed Services Committee is considering a proposal to stall a listing decision for the bird by a decade and transferring to western states millions of acres of federal land, reported Fox News .
Group Discusses Military-Civilian Partnerships to Improve Health Care Delivery
September 22, 2015
A collaborative approach between the military and civilian communities in Washington’s Puget Sound could be the key to tackling health care issues and improving access to care for all residents, a group of area health care executives believe.
This was the consensus reached by 35 representatives from the military, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and civilian health care organizations during the Puget Sound Health Care Executive Roundtable, held Sept. 10–11 in Seatac, Wash., the Army said in a press release .
The Puget Sound Military Health System consistts of four military treatment centers — Madigan Army Medical Center, two naval hospitals and a medical squadron clinic — that treat about 280,000 patients.
Representatives from these centers, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and other military treatment facilities attended the meeting, along with those from civilian facilities, including University of Washington School of Medicine (UW Medicine) and several civilian hospitals and medical centers. Members of industry groups, the Tacoma–Pierce County Health Department and the Washington Health Care Authority also attended.
The group discussed the ways in which military and civilian health sectors are changing and how to use military-civilian partnerships to share expertise, improve health care and prioritize collaborative opportunities.
“The Puget Sound Military Health System spans 135 miles. … And in between all of those are the VA and civilian networks with a tremendous amount of experience. We don’t know nearly as much alone compared to what the collective Puget Sound health systems know,” said Navy Captain Jim Thralls, the system’s outgoing chief operating officer.
Two organizations that were represented at the event already are working together to train medical first responders and may explore ways to expand their collaboration. By participating in Madigan’s quarterly medical disaster simulation exercises for Army family medicine residents, UW Medicine faculty “learn how to develop, run and debrief simulated scenarios. … Themes range from obstetric emergencies to combat trauma” and realism is built in using “fake blood, actors, noise and smoke,” an article on the VA’s website explains.
During the roundtable, UW expressed interest in pursuing a more formal simulation training program with Madigan.
Meeting attendees decided that they should discuss some issues in more depth in smaller work groups before holding another full meeting in 2016. The topics to be covered include referral management, beneficiary education, emergency preparedness and disaster planning and ways to conduct collaborative research, simulation and graduate medical education.
“I truly believe this is the beginning of a conversation,” said Andrea Inserra, senior vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton, which helped to plan the roundtable. “It’s the beginning of how to work together and set the direction of how we work collaboratively across the United States.”
September 19, 2015, The Olympian, By Adam Ashton
The latest budget impasse in Congress has civilian workers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord bracing for a possible government shutdown and the Air Force raising an alarm about a threat to a $51 billion tanker program Boeing is developing in the Puget Sound region.
JBLM’s civilian workforce of up to 15,000 people would suffer most if Congress fails to pass a budget by its Oct. 1 deadline, triggering a government shutdown for the second time in two years...Full Article
September 24, 2015, 3:00 – 5:00 pm Tacoma, Washington, Red Lion Hotel Conference Room, Red Lion Hotel – Tacoma, 8402 S. Hosmer Street, Tacoma WA
Commissioners will conduct a public meeting to hear comments pertinent to the mission of the National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA.)
- SMA Raymond F. Chandler
- HON Thomas R. Lamont
- LTG Jack C. Stultz
In light of the projected security environment, conduct a comprehensive study of the roles and structure of the Army, and policy assumptions related to the size and force mixture of the Army, in order to:
1. Make an assessment of the size and force mixture of the active component of the Army and the reserve components of the Army.
2. Make recommendations on the modifications, if any, of the structure of the Army related to current and anticipated mission requirements for the Army at acceptable levels of national risk and in a manner consistent with available resources and anticipated future resources.
3. Make an assessment of proposed AH-64 transfers from Army National Guard to the Regular Army.
Seating is limited and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.
Registration: Individuals and entities who wish to attend the public hearing and meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2015 are encouraged to register for the event with the DFO using the electronic mail and facsimile contact information found in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 4 CONTACT section below. The communication should include the registrant’s full name, title, affiliation or employer, email address, day time phone number. This information will assist the Commission in contacting individuals should it decide to do so at a later date. If applicable, include written comments and a request to speak during the oral comment session. (Oral comment requests must be accompanied by a summary of your presentation.)
Registrations and written comments should be typed.
Oral Comments: In addition to written statements, one hour and forty minutes will be reserved for individuals or interest groups to address the Commission on September 24, 2015. Those interested in presenting oral comments to the Commission must summarize their oral statement in writing and submit with their registration. The Commission’s staff will assign time to oral commenters at the meeting; no more than five minutes each for individuals. While requests to make an oral presentation to the Commission will be honored on a first come, first served basis, other opportunities for oral comments will be provided at future meetings.
Written Comments: The public or interested organizations may submit written comments to the Commission in response to the stated agenda of the open and/or closed meeting or the Commission’s mission. The Designated Federal Officer (DFO) will review all submitted written statements. Written comments should be submitted to Mr. Donald Tison, DFO, via facsimile or electronic mail, the preferred modes of submission. Each page of the comment must include the author’s name, title or affiliation, address, and daytime phone number. All comments received before Wednesday, September 23, 2015, will be provided to the Commission before the September 24, 2015, meeting. Comments received after Wednesday, September 23, 2015, will be provided to the Commission before its next meeting. All contact information may be found in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below.
TO REGISTER AND FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Don Tison, Designated Federal Officer, National Commission on the Future of the Army, 700 Army Pentagon, Room 3E406, Washington, DC 20310–0700, Email: email@example.com. Desk (703) 692–9099. Facsimile (703) 697–8242.
For drivers who travel through the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) corridor, a new traffic flow map showing Interstate 5 and arterial roads is now available to help them make informed route decisions.
Northwest Community Leaders Prepare for Defense Changes at ADC Regional Forum
August 21, 2015 ADC 360
At the two-day Northwest Defense Forum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., this week, community and industry leaders are discussing ways to prepare for a variety of impacts on installations and regions stemming from budget cuts, force reductions, a looming BRAC round and evolving missions. Read more here .
August 14, 2015, The Suburban Times
In recognition of its commitment to servicemembers and their families, Pierce College was recently named to BestColleges.com’s list of the top 45 military friendly colleges in the nation. Pierce College is the top community college in the country that made the list...For more information about Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis McChord and services offered to veterans and their families, please visit http://www.pierce.ctc.edu/military .
JBLM Collecting input on plan to test rocket training on installation
C-9 Blog: Will Rockets Red Glare Give Proof , Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
August 4, 2015
In March, JBLM initiated an Environmental Assessment (EA) to study the level of noise that would be created if a field artillery unit on JBLM test fired up to 27 HIMARS Reduced Range Practice Rockets (RRPR) over a three-day period at JBLM Lewis-Main in winter 2016. The purpose of the proposed action is to collect JBLM-specific noise data during RRPR test firing at the base to determine the noise levels created by firing RRPR at JBLM. The HIMARS RRPR EA is now available for a 30-day public comment period from July 27 through August 25. More Information .
Pierce County Talks
August 4, 2015
Pierce County Talks is PCTV's talk/discussion program that explores topical issues with the people on the front lines. Thousands of JBLM personnel got the news that the Army will not reduce their numbers by 11,000 but some troops and civilians will still have to go. Erich Ebel speaks with Pierce County Councilmember Doug Richardson and South Sound Military and Communities Partnership’s Tiffany Speir about what this means for the future of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Watch here .
The News Tribune, by Adam Ashton
August 2, 2015
Washington Military Alliance Unanimously Adopts Operations Plan and Founding Executive Committee
July 31, 2015
The membership of the Washington Military Alliance (WMA) unanimously approved its operations plan and elected its founding Executive Committee at its mid-year membership meeting in Spokane, WA on June 26th.
The organization will be supported by a Board of Directors made up of the Advisory Committee members who were originally convened to advise Commerce on activities related to a $4.8 million Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment grant awarded last year.
The Executive Committee includes:
- WMA Executive Director, Kristiné Reeves
- Eastern Washington Co-Chair, Rich Hadley, Association of Washington Business
- Western Washington Co-Chair, John Powers, Kitsap Economic Development Alliance
- Treasurer, Tiffany Speir, South Sound Military and Communities Partnership
- Board Secretary, Gary Brackett, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce
In the coming months the WMA will continue to refine its action strategy, identify other member organizations, and implement portions of the Office of Economic Adjustment grant. You can view more details here .
Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One announced in June that the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign had reached its goal of engaging the business community to hire half a million veterans and military spouses. Since the initiative launched in March 2012, more than 2,000 committed businesses of all sizes and industries hired half a million veterans and military spouses.
Through a three-year, $4.5 million commitment of support from Capital One, the Hiring 500,000 Heroes initiative hosted hiring events, provided mentorship programs, and developed tools to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment.
On June 24, Hiring Our Heroes and the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative hosted Mission Transition, a national summit focused on creating employment opportunities for post-9/11 veterans and military families. President George W. Bush (pictured below), former First Lady Laura Bush, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James A. "Sandy" Winnefeld, Jr. offered remarks to a gathering of private sector leaders, senior military, government representatives, and military service organizations from around the country. Speakers focused on transition readiness, grassroots engagement, retention and collaboration between the private and public sectors.
HOH Pres Bush Mission Transition
Washington State Invests in Transportation
Europe, Pacific not entirely spared from Army force cuts
By Heath Druzin, Stars and Stripes
July 15, 2015
WASHINGTON DC — Europe and Asia will not be entirely spared from the Army downsizing announced last week. Just over 2,200 overseas positions will be among the 40,000 cut from the Army by the end of 2018, with 1,699 coming from Europe, 533 from South Korea and 71 from Japan, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Buccino said.
JBLM will lose 1,250 soldiers in Army downsizing, sources say
By Adam Ashton, TNT Staff writer
JBLM will lose about 1,250 soldiers, according to four state government and congressional sources who are familiar with a plan the Pentagon presented to lawmakers Wednesday. The Army also plans to cut an as-yet unspecified number of civilians from JBLM’s workforce. That’s a significantly smaller cut to the Army’s footprint in the South Sound than the military presented last year, when JBLM faced a reduction of as many as 11,000 civilian and military positions. A reduction of that magnitude would have cut about $1 billion in economic activity from the region, according to an Army planning document.
(Washington, D.C.) – On July 9, 2015, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after the Department of Defense announced 1,250 positions would be eliminated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord due to military downsizing.
“A strong and growing Joint Base Lewis-McChord is critical to our communities and essential to our national security—so I am incredibly disappointed by this decision that will affect so many members of the JBLM community and deliver a hit to the local economy. While we all know the cuts could have been deeper, I believe any reductions at JBLM are misguided, especially with the natural strategic advantages of the Puget Sound.
“The men and women of our military community deserve resources and support, so I will be working with our local, state, and federal partners to do whatever we can to mitigate the damage from this decision and protect local families and communities. This includes helping servicemembers get the skills, workforce training, and transition support they need to move into good, high-paying jobs.
“Our troops made a commitment to our country, and I believe we must uphold our commitment to them. In the coming weeks and months, it will be critical that we do everything possible to make sure the South Sound comes through this period of deeply damaging cuts in as strong a position as possible. Because of this community’s resiliency, commitment to our state and country, and proud tradition of supporting JBLM, I believe we can make that happen.”
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy issued the following statement regarding the announcement that U.S. Army officials intend to only reduce the force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord by 1,250, a number far lower than originally proposed.
July 8, 2015
“Last summer, the Army was considering reducing the population at JBLM by 11,000, so to have confirmation from our congressional delegation that the actual reduction will be only a tenth of that is outstanding news. This goes to show that we continue to be a global pivot point in the United States’ military strategy.
“The impact JBLM has on Pierce County and western Washington is significant. Soldiers, retirees, civilian workers, and contractors – as well as their families – live, eat, shop, and recreate here every day. Those individuals whose positions were under scrutiny can breathe a little easier now and continue contributing to the wellbeing of our communities in various ways.
“Pierce County has always valued its relationship with members of the armed forces community. For nearly a century, Pierce County has worked side-by-side with the base to build partnerships, address traffic concerns, accommodate growth outside the base, and help veterans transition into the civilian workforce. I’m proud of our military men and women and their families, and I want them to feel secure knowing they will always have a home here in Pierce County.”
With bigger cuts looming, Army confirms JBLM medical headquarters moving to Hawaii
The Army confirmed this week that it’s moving a Joint Base Lewis-McChord medical headquarters to Hawaii, taking 61 jobs and a command position for a general officer.
The news has been an open secret since September, when The News Tribune first published a story on an Army proposal to consolidate its five regional medical commands into four headquarters.
JBLM is losing the Western Regional Medical Command, which oversees Madigan Army Medical Center and 10 other hospitals west of the Mississippi River. The command has about 165 employees led by a major general.
June 21, 2015
"For the first time ever, two states recently passed legislation that supports the safety of military children and their families. On June 4, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the first bill for military child advocacy into law, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a similar bill into law six days later...The two state bills will each require their local child protective services to identify child welfare and neglect incidents involving active duty military families and share this information with the appropriate military authorities as soon as possible."
WA Transportation Package Passes
July 1, 2015
Today around 12:15 am, House Speaker Frank Chopp took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and opened debate on the Transportation Revenue package (SB 5987 ). Shortly before 1:30 am, the Speaker called for the vote and it passed 54-44.
Pierce County legislators who voted in favor include: Representatives Fey, Jinkins, Kirby, Kochmar, Muri, Sawyer, Stambaugh, Stokesbary, Wilcox and Zeiger and Senators Angel, Becker, Conway, Dammeier, Darneille, Miloscia and O'Ban. Local project highlights included in the package follow:
Ø $1.9 billion SR 167/SR 509 Puget Sound Gateway
Ø $495 million I-5/JBLM Corridor Improvements
Ø $22 million I-5/Port of Tacoma Interchange
Ø $3 million SR 16 Corridor Congestion Study
Ø $450 thousand SR 162 Design Study
Ø $15 billion tax authority for ST3
Association of Defense Communities National Summit Coverage
July 1, 2015
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center produced a short news segment on the event that perfectly captures its “Defense Communities at a Crossroads” theme.
The two-minute segment includes snippets of remarks from Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, and Stephen TerMaath, BRAC division chief. It also highlighted the results of the instant poll of attendees taken during the opening general session that revealed that 92 percent of respondents believe the status quo is worse than holding a BRAC round and that 86 percent believe Congress will approve a new BRAC round within five years.
JBLM Commander Col. Chuck Hodges Wins Defense Communities Award
WASHINGTON D.C. - Joint Base Lewis-McChord Commander Col. Chuck Hodges got national recognition on June 24 for his work and partnerships with surrounding communities, particularly the base's host community of Lakewood. Hodges won the Military Leadership Award at the Association of Defense Communities ' 2015 National Summit. The award recognizes an individual from any branch of the military whose outstanding leadership has been essential in building and sustaining partnerships with defense communities that are home to active, realigning or closing installations. Throughout his tenure as commander at JBLM, Hodges has demonstrated a commitment to working and collaborating with all of the base's neighboring communities. ADC's summit attendees included Mayor Don Anderson, as well as Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Derek Kilmer and Rep. Adam Smith. SSMCP would like to congratulate Col. Hodges on the award and thank him for his time and dedication to the greater JBLM community.
Governor Inslee Creates Military Downsizing Subcabinet - SSMCP a member
June 17, 2015
On June 17, the inaugural meeting of the Governor's Subcabinet on Military Downsizing was convened. Over the next two weeks, the group will be working hard to draft a plan to prepare for and react to downsizing that may occur at not only JBLM in the near term, but any military installation in the state in the future. The SSMCP is serving on the Subcabinet. View more about the subcabinet here .
KIRO 7TV (CBS) (Two clips), KOMO 4TV (ABC)
The axe may fall on thousands of jobs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as early as next week. That's according to Governor Jay Inslee who met with advisers today in an effort to cushion the impact. KIRO 7's Essex Porter is live just outside the base, where he is talking with businesses that could be hit hard.
June 5, 2015 KOMO 4TV (ABC), The News Tribune
Governor's office says that the number of active duty army personnel could be reduced by 11,000 soldiers and the Department of Defense civilian employees at JBLM. The focus of the subcommittee is now to prepare a plan that would include workforce training and reemployment for those affected by the cuts.
UPDATE 6/8/2015: Governor announces Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender will chair the group.
Pierce County TV
June 14, 2015
Major General Dahl welcomes attendees to the the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay. View the story here .
Elected Officials Council
The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) hosted local, state and federal elected officials from the greater Pierce and Thurston Counties at the Eagles Pride Golf Course Clubhouse on June 4. Attendees recognized the service of JBLM leaders leaving in the summer of 2015, heard about progress on the JBLM Joint Land Use Study, progress on SSMCP's 2015-16 Work Plan and the 2015 SSMCP Business & Community Survey, the status of the Washington Military Alliance and Washington State Military Transition Council, and more.
You can now view presentations from the Washington Military Alliance , Washington Department of Veterans Affairs , and the SSMCP .
House Votes to Authorize $25M in Defense Bill for Transportation Upgrades at Growth Bases
May 21, 2015
Defense communities still coping with mission growth stemming from the 2005 round of base closures could apply for a total of $25 million for transportation infrastructure improvements, as the result of an amendment added on the House floor last week to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The provision, sponsored by Reps. Denny Heck (Wash.) and Don Beyer (Va.), would authorize the funds to be allocated to the Office of Economic Adjustment, which would award grants through a competitive process. The amendment states that the money should be used for transportation upgrades “associated with congestion mitigation in urban areas” related to the last BRAC round.
“[The grants] would require local, non-DOD entities to contribute, creating valuable military-civilian partnerships,” according to the “Dear Colleague” letter circulated by the two sponsors.
“We all hate traffic. But when traffic affects our military’s ability to get to base, do the job, and be ready for anything, we must do more,” Heck said in a statement issued after the House passed the underlying legislation on May 15. “This proposal creates a more streamlined, competitive grant program for the construction of transportation improvements in military communities like ours,” he said.
Heck offered the amendment to benefit road projects outside of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Beyer’s goal is to improve access to Fort Belvoir.
The amendment could benefit the same communities that collectively received $300 million as a result of language in the FY 2011 defense appropriations bill intended to fund transportation projects needed to improve access to medical facilities affected by BRAC 2005. That money was distributed to Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, San Antonio and Lakewood, Wash.
JBLM Installation Commander Colonel Chuck Hodges, US Representative Adam Smith Recipients of 2015 Association of Defense Communities Awards
May 20, 2015
ADC is proud to announce the 2015 recipients of the Defense Community Awards, the association’s effort to recognize the achievements of communities and the leaders who support them. The winners will be recognized during the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit, June 22-24 in Washington.
Here is a rundown of the 2015 winners by category:
Military Leadership Award — Recognizes an individual from any branch of the military whose outstanding leadership has been essential in building and sustaining partnerships with defense communities that are home to active, realigning or closing installations. The nominee may be active or civilian military personnel who has played a role in defense community issues at any level and who demonstrates vision for establishing new models of partnerships across the country.
- Col. Chuck Hodges, Installation Commander, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Congressional Leadership Award — Recognizes a sitting member of the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives whose leadership is essential to (1) support active, realigning or closing installations; (2) build partnerships between the military and communities; (3) advance policy issues that support defense communities across the country; and/or (4) support military families and veterans.
- Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
- Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.)
- Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.)
- Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.)
JBLM Installation Commander Col. Hodges Command Retrospective at South County Connections
Col. H. Charles Hodges, Jr., JBLM Commander, took a look back and spoke about several accomplishments and improvements to JBLM over the past three years, to include: Joint Base re-branding; transportation initiatives and solutions; transition assistance for service members; environmental sustainability; and more. Colonel Hodges retires in August 2015, and will be much missed by the South Sound Communities.
Funding for I-5 improvements around JBLM included in FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act
May 15, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which included an amendment that would provide funding for roads in urban areas around military installations such as Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The amendment from Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) authorizes $25 million to be made available through the Office of Economic Adjustment for “transportation infrastructure improvements associated with congestion mitigation in urban areas related to recommendations of the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.”
“We all hate traffic. But when traffic affects our military’s ability to get to base, do the job, and be ready for anything, we must do more,” Heck said. “This proposal creates a more streamlined, competitive grant program for the construction of transportation improvements in military communities like ours.”
In 2014, Rep. Denny Heck introduced the COMMUTE Act to provide a more streamlined process for military installations facing traffic jams around the country.
“Combined with a comprehensive state plan to complete SR-167 and improve I-5 around JBLM, a strong plan to provide federal revenue will bring our transportation network up to speed with our state’s needs,” Heck said. “In addition to this common-sense amendment, it is time to restore long-term certainty to the Highway Trust Fund, create more good paying jobs, and build infrastructure worthy of the 21st century.”
CONTACT: Kati Rutherford (202) 226-4013
SSMCP participates in 30th Annual Washington2Washington Trip to DC
From May 11-13, SSMCP Program Manager Tiffany Speir attended the Tacoma-Pierce County's 30th Annual Washington2Washington trip. The group spoke with representatives from the Association of the US Army, the Association of Defense Communities, the Office of Economic Adjustment, the Assistance Secretary of the Army, the Army Medical Command, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Transportation, the Deputy Director of Force Management John McLaurin, WA Representative Cathy McMorris-Rogers, WA Representative Derek Kilmer, and legislative assistants for WA Representatives Adam Smith and Dave Reichert.
You can view more about the trip here .
"We will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. Our relationships with Asian allies and key partners are critical to the future stability and growth of the region."
In January 2012, the United States redefined its global security priorities with the words above. The changing global environment, signified by the rising political and economic power of Asia, necessitated an adjustment of national strategic goals. On the surface, little may appear changed in a region mostly covered with blue water. Army forces are still in Korea, Japan, and Hawaii. That surface view belies the strategic, operational, and tactical changes that have occurred as the Army’s direction has shifted to the Pacific, spearheaded operationally by I Corps.
The U.S. military learned a great deal from the past 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among these lessons was the necessity of joint operations and coordination with unified action partners. Joint Publication 3-0, Joint Operations, summarizes the need for joint operations:
To succeed, we will need adaptive and thinking professionals who understand the capabilities their Service brings to joint operations: how to integrate those capabilities with those of other Services and inter-organizational partners to optimize the strength of unified action: and how to organize, employ, and sustain joint forces to provide national leaders with multiple options for addressing various security threats.
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On March 31, Senator Murray held a press roundtable to highlight issues connected to sequestration, the potential damage it could do to JBLM and its surrounding communities, and its harmful effects to the greater Puget Sound area. Tiffany Speir, SSMCP Program Manager, spoke at the event.
SSMCP Hosts Washington Military Alliance at JBLM
Army Downsizing Listening Session
On January 21, 2015, the Army held a public listening session related to potential reduction of up to 11,000 active duty and civilian contractors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM.) Over 500 people attended the Army listening session and 67 people testified in person, including WA Governor Jay Inslee, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero, Mayors and Council members from Lacey, Lakewood, Yelm, University Place, DuPont, Olympia, Orting, and many more. The event ran an hour longer than scheduled due to the large turnout.
The Army will announce its decision of whether JBLM will be downsized by summer 2015. Again, thank you for showing your support for and concern about JBLM!
News coverage of Army Listening Session:
2014 News Links
December 28: NW Military News: South Sound Community Rallies to Protect Joint Base Lewis-McChord
December 28, 2014: KING 5TV (NBC) 11,000 jobs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are on the line because of proposed pentagon cuts. They're not official yet, but nearby business and community leaders are sounding the alarm about how the public will have a say.
December 28, 2014: Community Leaders Rally to Protect JBLM Workforce
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is bound to share in the sweeping drawdown of Army forces that is unfolding across the country, but a group of South Sound business and civic officials wants to make sure that most of the reductions happen someplace else. The local officials are readying to make their last, best pitch to the Pentagon to keep troops here. They want to attract a big turnout at a town hall on Jan. 21 in Lakewood where the Army is asking to hear from people who might be impacted by its proposal to slash as many as 11,000 positions from the JBLM workforce.
More Private Sector Companies Recruiting Military Veterans - Northwest Guardian, December 11, 2014
Yelm, Tumwater Renew Agreement for Pocket Gopher Cost-sharing - Nisqually Valley News, December 11, 2014
Pierce Transit to Add 16,000 New Service Hours in 2015 - The Suburban Times, December 10, 2014
Weekly Volcano (Northwest Military.com)