The SSMCP is an innovative and flexible partnership uniquely positioned to provide regional leadership to bridge military and civilian communities.
To foster communication, understanding and mutual benefit by serving as the most effective point of coordination for resolution of those issues which transcend the specific interests of the military and civilian communities of the South Sound region.
JBLM Growth Coordination Plan
In early 2010, the Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment awarded a grant for the region to study the military growth impacts in the area. A planning document emerged called the JBLM Growth Coordination Plan .The Plan recommended establishing a new JBLM regional partnership, which was created in May 2011 via a memorandum of agreement (MOA) as the South Sound Military Communities Partnership, or SSMCP. The SSMCP provides a framework for collaboration in the South Sound region between local governments, military installations, state agencies, and federal agencies to better coordinate efforts in areas such as: military relations; transportation and land use planning; environmental protection; emergency preparedness; loans applications ; health care; population forecasting; workforce development; education; housing; and economic development.
2017 Legislative Agenda
Pass a 2017-19 Capital Budget: Demonstrate progress towards resolving encroachment in the McChord North Clear Zone
- SSMCP supports passage of a 2017-19 Capital Budget that includes $2 million to support resolution of encroachment in the McChord North Clear Zone, as set forth in the negotiated Capital Budget released on July 20th. SSMCP continues to coordinate for federal funds for the project.
- Civilian activity within NCZ property presents a public safety issue for military operations and civilians alike. Resolving encroachment is a shared responsibility between Federal, State, and local authorities.
Make key investments in the I-5 Corridor from Mounts Road to Tumwater
WSDOT’s Corridor Sketch identifies solutions to improve mobility along I-5 from Mounts Road through Tumwater.
- SSMCP supports WSDOT in its efforts to implement the short-term solutions identified to improve mobility from Mounts Road through Tumwater.
- SSMCP requests $5 million for further development and implementation of the mid to long-term strategies identified in the WSDOT Corridor Sketch to include focused interchange improvements (I-5/US 101) and a strategic plan for the Nisqually River bridges. SSMCP supports the Nisqually Tribe’s proposal that evaluation of the strategies should assess the benefits and costs related to regional congestion relief, as well as ecosystem benefits to the Nisqually River estuary for salmon productivity and flood control.
SSMCP Policy Positions
Maintain Active State support for Military Affairs in Washington
SSMCP believes in a strong commitment from the State in support of military affairs. This support should include:
- Full funding of the Washington Military Alliance (WMA); recognizing and protecting the economic benefit realized in the State by government and the private sector due to our military’s presence;
- Increased access to medical providers for service members, veterans, and their families – specifically behavioral health services.
Support Military & Civilian Compatible Land Use
SSMCP was founded on and strongly agrees that strong and collaborative partnerships are vital in identifying and resolving existing land use conflicts and preventing potential future land use conflicts. SSMCP supports joint land use strategies that do not usurp local control. Specifically, SSMCP supports:
- Designating military installations as regional centers for the purposes of regional and transportation planning
- Allocating state resources to assist with resolution of compatible use issues
- Coordination with and investment in military-community organizations such as SSMCP, Forward Fairchild, KEDA, Greater Spokane, Inc., etc.
Support Emerging Projects in the Region
SSMCP is supportive of congestion relief projects that improve the flow of traffic surrounding JBLM. These projects include but are not limited to:
- Widening of DuPont/ Steilacoom Road from Integrity Gate to Exit 119 on I-5
- Addressing the at grade rail crossing near the main gate entrance at Exit 120
The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership (SSMCP) works to address issues that affect military and civilian communities around Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and to foster outcomes that are mutually beneficial for the South Sound region.
2018 JBLM Workforce Survey Coming Soon!
2016 JBLM/Camp Murray Regional Survey
SSMCP collaborated with partners to create the 2016 JBLM/Camp Murray Regional Survey to gain insight on aspects of demographics, statistics and perceptions of Active Duty, Reserve, Guard and civilian personnel.
The South Sound Military & Communities Partnership earlier this year surveyed nearly 3,100 residents who are active-duty military, Reserve, National Guard, Department of Defense civilian employees and veterans to gauge their impressions of the South Sound.
Initial findings show that personnel assigned to or are involved with Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray love the area for its quality of life.
Since 2011, SSMCP surveys of JBLM/Camp Murray employees and local communities continue to reveal valuable information for community leaders and JBLM officials. Survey results over the past five years indicate that the communities surrounding JBLM have formed symbiotic relationships with the military installation. Either would struggle without the other. While JBLM is an interdependent economic component of the South Puget Sound, it is intrinsically linked to the communities and commerce of the region.
Most communities in the South Sound have a large number of JBLM employees forming a JBLM-centric, communities cluster. JBLM’s economic impact on Washington State (No. 2 employer in WA) and the South Puget Sound region (No. 1 employer in Pierce County) highlight the need for critical military-community support for JBLM. In addition to the economic value of JBLM, its employees create demands on community-based social systems such as: housing, social services, public education, healthcare, transportation, and business development. This year’s survey touches on all these social systems gathering data from a wider range of participants than in previous surveys.
The analysis for past surveys centered solely on active duty Service Members. SSMCP Stakeholders wanted to track trends in living locations for JBLM employees across the region. SSMCP broadened the scope of this year’s survey to all JBLM employees. DOD civilians and contractors make-up a large percentage of the permanent JBLM workforce and tend to remain in the South Sound region longer than active duty military. Data for the survey was collected between May and June 2016. There were 3,061 respondents to the 2016 survey.
Past surveys found on average 70-72 percent of Active Duty respondents lived off JBLM. The responses regarding home ownership or renting are a reversal from the last survey in 2013 when 60 percent rented and 40 percent owned their home. This year 60 percent own and 40 percent rent and 87.5 percent live off-base. Survey results reveal some of the reasons why housing choice follows this pattern.
Off-base housing choice may also contribute to the continued negative perceptions about JBLM traffic congestion. The No. 1 complaint for those living in the South Sound is traffic congestion with 65 percent of respondents noting this as the major negative factor.
Other Fast Facts:
- Nearly 80 percent feel the education system provides adequate education to children in contrast with 2013 findings which revealed a higher 90 percent satisfaction rate.
- AAFES retail shopping appears to be in a rapid decline over the past 3 years.
- The two most heavily used gates, Madigan and Steilacoom-DuPont, account for 40 percent of the traffic entering JBLM.
- This year, 59 percent of active duty respondents plan to transition to civilian careers opposed to the 2013 findings that 30 percent were planning to transition out of military service.
SSMCP is directing its information gathering outside of the borders of the military base this year with the SSMCP Community & Business Survey. SSMCP will partner with a consulting firm to gather useful business and community information on interactions with, and perceptions of, military presence in the South Sound. See the Results
Between 2013 and 2015, the SSMCP coordinated the development of a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM.) Learn More
The SSMCP staffs several Working Groups comprised of regional stakeholders and subject matter experts tasked to (1) Assess the continuing relevance of the 2010 GCP recommendations and (2) Make recommendations to the Steering Committee for ongoing implementation and coordination. Current groups include Healthcare, Social Services, and Economic Development.
Signing of the NCZ Memorandum of Agreement, May 2017 at Eagles Pride Golf Course
Elected Officials Council: Open to all elected officials in greater Pierce and Thurston Counties
- Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County
- Bud Blake, Thurston County
- Don Anderson, Lakewood
Executive Leadership Team:
- John Caulfield, Chair, City of Lakewood
- Scott Spence, Vice-Chair, City of Lacey
- Don Anderson, Pierce County
- Tom Knight, JBLM Headquarters (ex officio)
Steering Committee Members
- Larry Sanchez/Joe Cushman, Nisqually Tribe
- Ramiro Chavez, Thurston County
- Ted Danek, DuPont
- Randy Lewis, Tacoma
- Steve Sugg, University Place
- Michael Grayum, Yelm
Working Group Chairs:
- Tom Pierson, TPC Chamber of Commerce (Economic Development WG)
- Dona Ponepinto, United Way of Pierce Co. (Social Services WG)
- Steve Roark, WA Dept. of Transportation (Transportation WG)
- Marc Daily, Thurston Regional Planning Council (Transportation WG)
- Alex Fastle, Pierce Transit (Transportation WG)
- Dr. Anthony Chen, TPC Department of Health (Health Care WG)
- Debbie LeBeau, Clover Park School District (Education WG)
- Amy Ybarra, South Puget Sound Community College (Education WG)
SSMCP Program Manager, Bill Adamson
Sarah Luna, SSMCP Program Coordinator