Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

05/07/2019 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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Audio Topic
01:12:21 PM Start
01:12:57 PM Presentation: Preparing Alaska's Defense Communities for the Future
01:44:18 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to a Call of the Chair --
+ Presentation: Preparing Alaska's Defense TELECONFERENCED
Communities for the Future by Tim Ford, CEO,
Assoc. of Defense Communities
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
   HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS                                                                  
                          May 7, 2019                                                                                           
                           1:12 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Laddie Shaw, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chris Tuck, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: PREPARING ALASKA'S DEFENSE COMMUNITIES FOR THE                                                                    
FUTURE                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TIM FORD, Chief Executive Officer                                                                                               
Association of Defense Communities                                                                                              
Washington, District of Columbia                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided a PowerPoint presentation                                                                       
entitled, "Preparing Alaska's Defense Communities for the                                                                       
Future," dated 5/7/19.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JEFF STEPP, Staff                                                                                                               
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Asked a question during a PowerPoint                                                                   
presentation entitled, "Preparing Alaska's Defense Communities                                                                  
for the Future," dated 5/7/19.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LADDIE SHAW called the  House Special Committee on Military                                                             
and   Veterans'   Affairs  meeting   to   order   at  1:12   p.m.                                                               
Representatives Thompson,  Kopp, Rauscher, and Shaw  were present                                                               
at the  call to order.   Representative Spohnholz arrived  as the                                                               
meeting was in progress.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION:   PREPARING ALASKA'S  DEFENSE COMMUNITIES  FOR THE                                                               
FUTURE                                                                                                                          
 PRESENTATION:  PREPARING ALASKA'S DEFENSE COMMUNITIES FOR THE                                                              
                             FUTURE                                                                                         
                                                                                                                              
1:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHAW announced  the  only  order of  business  would be  a                                                               
presentation by the Association of Defense Communities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:13:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM  FORD,  Chief  Executive   Officer,  Association  of  Defense                                                               
Communities (ADC),  provided a PowerPoint  presentation entitled,                                                               
"Preparing  Alaska's Defense  Communities for  the Future."   Mr.                                                               
Ford informed  the committee  ADC began 45  years ago  within the                                                               
Office of Economic Adjustment, U.S.  Department of Defense (DoD).                                                               
He  said the  Office of  Economic  Adjustment is  the DoD  agency                                                               
tasked with  engaging communities,  thus ADC was  formed to  be a                                                               
nongovernmental partner  working with  communities and  states to                                                               
support the military.   One of ADC's goals is  to be a connection                                                               
point between defense communities,  defense states, the military,                                                               
and industry, to ensure all  work together in support of national                                                               
security.    The  association is  an  [Internal  Revenue  Section                                                               
501(c)(3)]  organization  and  has additional  goals  to  enhance                                                               
knowledge and to  educate.  As part of ADC's  goal to educate, it                                                               
educates  lawmakers,  at  the federal  and  state  levels,  about                                                               
issues confronting  defense communities and states,  so lawmakers                                                               
understand the efforts  taking place across the  country to share                                                               
information   and  ensure   preparedness.      As  a   membership                                                               
organization,  ADC  has members  in  communities  in Alaska,  and                                                               
engages  with  the Department  of  Military  & Veterans'  Affairs                                                               
(DMVA);  in fact,  the deputy  commissioner  is a  part of  ADC's                                                               
State Advisors Council that oversees  and shares state efforts to                                                               
support the  military.  In  addition, ADC holds  conferences with                                                               
the  military in  Alaska on  military bases,  and last  year, Mr.                                                               
Ford was in Fairbanks (slides 1 and 2).                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD directed attention to  slide 3 entitled, "Our Programs,"                                                               
noting ADC hosts significant events  including a national summit.                                                               
In  addition, each  winter ADC  brings together  military leaders                                                               
and communities for an event  called "Installation Innovation" to                                                               
discuss the future  of military bases.  Returning to  the goal of                                                               
legislative  education,   he  said   ADC  supports   the  Defense                                                               
Communities  Caucus as  a way  to urge  lawmakers at  the federal                                                               
level  to  support   key  issues  that  help   the  military  and                                                               
communities.   Also, ADC issues  a widely read  e-newsletter, "On                                                               
Base,"  which is  distributed to  interested  parties across  the                                                               
country  and is  available to  all.   Mr. Ford  explained one  of                                                               
ADC's   signature    program   is   "America's    Great   Defense                                                               
Communities," which  is a  program in  partnership with  the U.S.                                                               
Automobile Association  (USAA), that highlights  what communities                                                               
are doing  to promote quality of  life; in the last  three years,                                                               
eighteen  communities  have  been   recognized  for  being  great                                                               
American defense communities (slide 4).                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:18:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  asked   what  characteristics  make  a                                                               
community a great defense community.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD opined  a great defense community has  an awareness that                                                               
its role  is to support  [the military]  every day, at  the state                                                               
and  local government  level, and  at the  community organization                                                               
level.   For  example, the  community actively  participates with                                                               
and  advocates  for the  defense  community.   Further,  ADC  has                                                               
learned there are many different  categories of support including                                                               
education,  housing, and  childcare.   In  fact, as  part of  the                                                               
great defense community program, ADC  is building a large library                                                               
of  ideas;  although  all communities  and  states  are  slightly                                                               
different, ADC is developing a  picture of what great communities                                                               
do  to  support  nearby  military   installations.    He  advised                                                               
education  is  the  number  one   focus  in  terms  of  community                                                               
engagement and  ADC seeks to  ensure great schools  are available                                                               
to  military families.    Another important  issue  is to  ensure                                                               
quality housing is available to servicemembers on- and off-base.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  expressed her understanding  Alaska has                                                               
the  highest per-capita  rate of  current  and retired  military;                                                               
Anchorage, Fairbanks,  and other  Alaska communities  have worked                                                               
hard to be military-friendly, as  has the University of Alaska by                                                               
facilitating the  transfer of students'  credits.  She  asked for                                                               
specific  and practical  recommendations  as to  how a  community                                                               
becomes a great military defense community.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD  said ADC  has learned the  needs of  servicemembers are                                                               
constantly  evolving thus  ongoing engagement  with the  military                                                               
makes  a community  great:   listening  to what  the military  is                                                               
doing;  listening  to  servicemembers'  needs;  making  sure  the                                                               
community adjusts  to "those  dynamics."   He acknowledged  it is                                                               
difficult  for  communities to  anticipate  and  prepare for  the                                                               
changing needs of the military and servicemembers.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:23:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SHAW  asked  whether  ADC   works  directly  with  service                                                               
organizations such  as the Disabled American  Veterans (DAV), the                                                               
American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD  said ADC works with  the Association of the  U.S. Army,                                                               
the  Air  Force  Association,  local governments,  DoD,  and  all                                                               
branches  of the  military  services.   Also,  ADC partners  with                                                               
other military groups  in its role as a  connection point between                                                               
local and state governments and the military.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD turned  attention to slide 5 and  informed the committee                                                               
the first  key issue  communities should be  aware of  are budget                                                               
issues; budget  issues determine how military  installations grow                                                               
and how  they are supported.   The last five to  seven years have                                                               
been a "chaotic  period," although in the last  two years funding                                                               
has  been stable  and there  have been  some increases  in active                                                               
duty strength, in Alaska and  elsewhere; however, in the upcoming                                                               
year,  there may  be an  unpredictability to  the defense  budget                                                               
that could cause harm to  military installations.  He said issues                                                               
around  "the military  construction  bill" will  not be  resolved                                                               
quickly because of debates on  [the border wall being constructed                                                               
between the U.S. border with  Mexico], and other military funding                                                               
will be  debated as well.   Mr. Ford opined there  is a consensus                                                               
to not have  a decline in the defense budget,  but the outcome is                                                               
uncertain.  He stressed it  is important for local communities to                                                               
voice opinions  to their congressional delegations  in support of                                                               
passing the military budget (slide 6).   Another key issue is the                                                               
"new" national defense strategy (slide 7).  He remarked:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     If you talk to anyone in  DoD they have been taught now                                                                    
     to align everything  they say, in terms  of the defense                                                                    
     strategy, but I  think there's a lot  of question marks                                                                    
     in the  post-Mattis era  and in  ... the  Department of                                                                    
     Defense,  where  this  strategy goes,  moving  forward.                                                                    
     But  it has  been very  critical to  how DoD  is making                                                                    
     decisions and, and [what] we  have told our communities                                                                    
     over and over  again is read it,  digest it, understand                                                                    
       its implications, but I think we're all trying to                                                                        
       figure out what does this mean and how will things                                                                       
     evolve with the new secretary of defense.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD  continued to  slide 8  and stated  the third  key issue                                                               
concerns quality  of life,  a topic  that was  viewed as  "a nice                                                               
thing  to  talk about"  but  is  now recognized  by  departmental                                                               
leadership as  a real factor  in decisions about the  location of                                                               
bases.  He pointed out the  location of bases is important to the                                                               
economies of  defense communities; for example,  DoD's investment                                                               
at  Eielson  Air   Force  Base  is  a   long-term  investment  in                                                               
Fairbanks.    Further,  DoD   leadership  believes  education  is                                                               
important and the  quality of schools near bases will  be part of                                                               
future  basing decisions;  ADC  has  worked with  DoD  on how  to                                                               
measure the  quality of schools.   He provided examples  of state                                                               
and local programs that promote a  broad quality of life such as,                                                               
improved   education   for   children  of   servicemembers,   and                                                               
employment for military spouses.   The final issue in this regard                                                               
is  the concern  about housing;  although on-base  housing is  an                                                               
internal  DoD  issue,  70  percent   of  servicemembers  live  in                                                               
communities  surrounding bases  thus the  quality, affordability,                                                               
and availability of housing is critical.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:30:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD  continued to slide  9 and  pointed out more  states are                                                               
investing in  defense infrastructure -  just as they do  in other                                                               
economic drivers  - to ensure that  DoD can meet its  mission and                                                               
bases  are retained;  for  example,  Massachusetts established  a                                                               
bond  fund  of  $150  million  for projects  in  support  of  its                                                               
military  installations.    In  addition, states  and communities                                                               
are driving installation resiliency  and efficiency efforts, such                                                               
as  a  partnership   in  New  Jersey  to   improve  water  supply                                                               
facilitated   by  the   use  of   an  intergovernmental   support                                                               
agreement, which  allows [local  and state governments]  to share                                                               
services with bases  to reduce costs.  Another  example of direct                                                               
state investment is  that Virginia purchased land  to provide for                                                               
base expansion  (slide 10).   He stressed  military installations                                                               
are just  one piece  of a state's  defense economy  that includes                                                               
industries  in   support  of   defense,  such   as  manufacturing                                                               
facilities, that can also be promoted  at the state level, and he                                                               
provided examples (slide  11).  A new program  called the Defense                                                               
Community  Infrastructure Program  is  a  federal funding  stream                                                               
which  can be  used  at  the state  and  local  level to  support                                                               
infrastructure  projects  that  enhance   military  value.    The                                                               
program requires a cost-share of  30 percent outside funds and 70                                                               
percent  DoD funds;  allocation  for the  program is  forthcoming                                                               
(slide 12).                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:34:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD provided  a list of  five areas  on which  he encouraged                                                               
state  leadership  to  focus:    understand  current  and  future                                                               
mission capabilities  by creating  a state commanders  council to                                                               
ensure  regular   contact  with  base  commanders;   protect  the                                                               
availability of land, facilities,  and airspace from encroachment                                                               
by development; improve and invest  in the ability to accommodate                                                               
and  support the  future force  through advance  planning; manage                                                               
the  cost  of  operations  by creating  efficiencies  by  sharing                                                               
services; support  your state's efforts on  military retention by                                                               
focusing  attention on  the importance  of the  military and  its                                                               
future (slides  14 and 15).   He invited the committee  to attend                                                               
the Alaska  Defense Forum hosted  by ADC in Fairbanks  in October                                                               
[2019],  which will  be an  opportunity for  community and  state                                                               
leadership to talk  about the future of defense  in Alaska (slide                                                               
16).                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:39:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON returned  attention to  slide 12,  which                                                               
referred  to  federal  funding  in support  of  state  and  local                                                               
infrastructure  projects   that  enhance  military  value.     He                                                               
recalled  [House Bill  316, passed  in the  Twenty-seventh Alaska                                                               
State Legislature]  allows a community or  an area to be  named a                                                               
military facility zone and thus  provides various benefits to the                                                               
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.   FORD  noted   the  money   to  support   state  and   local                                                               
infrastructure projects  has not  been appropriated and  he urged                                                               
the committee  to inform the  Alaska congressional  delegation of                                                               
the  importance  of this  funding  to  local communities  and  to                                                               
states.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:40:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF  STEPP,  Staff,  Representative  Chris  Tuck,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,   asked  Mr.   Ford  to   elaborate  on   how  state                                                               
legislatures participate in the defense forums.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. FORD explained the goal behind  defense forums is to help ADC                                                               
members organize at  the state and local level.   The conferences                                                               
have  provided a  way for  states to  bring communities  together                                                               
and,  in some  states,  the  forums have  been  the  start of  an                                                               
ongoing effort.   For example,  in Ohio,  ADC hosted a  forum and                                                               
now  the  state holds  a  statewide  forum to  bring  communities                                                               
together on an  annual basis.  The  second goal of a  forum is to                                                               
share information ADC  has garnered on the  "bigger picture," and                                                               
to share national ideas that can  be focused to a local level and                                                               
engage  business leaders,  and local  government.   He said  when                                                               
local entities  and members of  the public are engaged,  they are                                                               
more willing to support and  advance [military] issues.  However,                                                               
participation  by   state  legislatures   varies  by   state;  in                                                               
California the  forum is hosted  by the state  legislature, which                                                               
puts legislators  and staff from  the governor's office  in close                                                               
contact  with  base  commanders.     He  assured  the  committee,                                                               
subsequent to  the forum in  Alaska, there will  be opportunities                                                               
for  the  legislature  and  authorities at  the  local  level  to                                                               
discuss how to continue statewide engagement.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:44:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Military and Veterans'  Affairs meeting was                                                               
adjourned at [1:44] p.m.                                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HMVA_07MAY2019_Tim-Ford-PPT-Presentation.pdf HMLV 5/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HMVA_07MAY2019_ADC-State-Of-Support.pdf HMLV 5/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HMVA_07MAY2019_BIO-Tim-Ford-ADC.pdf HMLV 5/7/2019 1:00:00 PM
HMVA_07MAY2019_ADC-Annual-Report.pdf HMLV 5/7/2019 1:00:00 PM