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County Board to Consider Establishing Defense Services Branch

Supervisors Marion Ashley and John Tavaglione are slated to introduce the concept during the Board of Supervisors' regular meeting Tuesday, recommending that the new OMDS be a branch of the Economic Development Agency.

Riverside County supervisors next week will debate whether to establish an Office of Military and Defense Services to identify strategies for protecting the county's two remaining military installations from closure and increasing federal contracting opportunities.

Supervisors Marion Ashley and John Tavaglione are slated to introduce the concept during the Board of Supervisors' regular meeting Tuesday, recommending that the new OMDS be a branch of the Economic Development Agency.

EDA Public Information Officer Tom Freeman, who doubles as the county's foreign trade commissioner, was a career U.S. Air Force serviceman and also reached the rank of colonel in the California National Guard.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Ashley or Tavaglione had him in mind to manage the new office, provided it's established.

According to documents posted to the board's policy agenda, the defense services office would be chiefly focused on confronting the prospect of another round of Base Realignment and Closure -- BRAC -- initiatives.

The Obama administration has broached the issue under plans to further slash defense spending. The current proposed Pentagon budget falls just shy of $500 billion and would cut troop strength to pre-World War II levels, according to published reports.

The last BRAC was in 2005 and did not directly impact Riverside County. However, during a nationwide deactivation of bases in the early and mid-1990s, March Air Force Base was downsized to a reserve facility, with two-thirds of the installation shut down and made available for civilian use.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center in Norco has survived each of the BRACs, but county officials have expressed fears recently that the facility may end up on the chopping block.

"It is in the economic interest of our county and its 28 cities to protect these bases from another BRAC process to the best of our ability, and to ensure we are making every effort to grow local contracting opportunities within the county," Ashley and Tavaglione wrote in their proposal. "Thousands of direct jobs are created by these two installations for our local and regional workforce."

According to the supervisors, Department of Defense records indicate around 900 county-based businesses received $5.1 billion in defense contracts over the last 12 years.

"Small and medium-sized businesses benefited from those contracts, and those orders meant jobs for our workforce," Ashley and Tavaglione stated.

They said the proposed OMDS would be responsible for cultivating relationships between area businesses and "major defense contractors" in the interest of securing roles as suppliers of goods and services.


—City News Service.

Nero Goth March 29, 2014 at 04:09 AM
-What was done that was TS was stated publically that TS work was done and can't be discussed. LOL see circular. That is the same thing I am saying, other then the obvious "it involves Satellites". Everything I said was already published in the newspapers, that missions couldn't be moved yet, they were classified, missions were being moved to Falcon, etc. etc. etc. Nothing I am saying is lacking honor or pride here, I am just stating what has been publically released - Duh.. wouldn't be that dumb otherwise. Besides the old building is at this moment torn down, dishes were removed a while ago, and they been spending all this time removing the Asbestos. Onizuka is now passed into history like the old Nike facility in Burbank, or the half dozen silos now being Urban Explored or featured in the news of the week article as a new home for some one.
Nero Goth March 29, 2014 at 04:24 AM
Oh by the way, the reason for the 'Base' designation, as previously it was a Air Station (designation for a remote limited number of building installations) was to defend the budget. See designations were originally based on how big a facility was in SQFT, as well as how many buildings or how many runways it had. A Numbered Air Force for example would expect to have multiple Wings of aircraft and those would need multiple buildings and runways etc. So setting aside a billion for expenditures, upkeep, etc. was justifiable. Well here comes along this 'single building' claiming it was the same thing as a Numbered Wing, worse a Number Air Force, because the base had remote stations, like a Wing, but around the entire planet, like a Numbered AF. It reported directly to a CINC (NORAD / AFSPACECOM) like a Numbered AF or Wing and most of all it had this 'budget' unreal for all these computer systems and satellites it had to maintain, fund, research, etc. Needless to say the roof caved in when this was during the 'Swords to Plowshare' years and BRAC closures. To justify it's existance and to ease all the ruffled feathers, they had to build the 50SPW at Falcon to justify all the expenditure overall, and the Direct Reporting Onizuka was doing by adding someone else 'at the General level' then some 'Colonel', even if he was a Full Bird, which he wasn't allowed to be (got your Eagle you were gone was the motto for OAFB). So to justify the budget for the building, they had to redesignate the only 'Base' in the AirForce without a landing strip on it to that level. That made it easier for Los Angeles AFB as well, which had its own issues since the crash of the Airline Industry in Los Angeles turned the entire area around it into a no man's land of closed hangers and buildings. One point they were discussing putting LAAFB under Onizuka just to justify its continued existence budgetarily. That irked some nerves for a while, especially when Edwards is just a toss over and they got a General or two around and actually fly stuff in and out, that LA AFB better be realigned under them!
Andy the Analyst March 30, 2014 at 03:37 AM
@Nero Goth re: ONIZUKA AFB, I JUST NOTICED YOUR COMMENT. WE WERE BOTH THERE AT THE SAME TIME, AT LEAST FOR A FEW YEARS. I will comment on your comments soon. I must go to bed. I was at the ceremony renaming it to Onizuka AFB, and for a some years past the Loma Prieta Earthquake. Months later they discovered many fractures in the steel framework in the major building itself. I was told that about 12 more seconds of swaying would have caused the main building to collapse. I was still at work several stories up. ~~~~~~ all the various departments had majors or LT COL in charge. But there were five full COL there. One was in charge of the whole facility, but was not in charge of certain tenant organizations. ~~~~~ Due to what I was doing I met some of them and was introduced to several 2 and 3 star generals when they visited. But that was because of what I was doing and where I sat. Most of the hundreds of other Lockheed personnel there were in a higher pay grade but I fit into a slot where I was occasionally seen talking with the top brass in the front office, and most of them never even saw a general even though they worked there for years. ~~~~~ It was overall an interesting experience to work there, and I felt I was doing some worth while work for my country's security. Were you there when .....? (Another big event). I have to leave now, but intend to comment on this again.
Andy the Analyst March 30, 2014 at 03:58 AM
@SA Later on at Onizuka AFB, the AF put up name signs on the freeway and invited local city council members from Mt View, Sunnyvale.and San Jose to some guided tours. Of course they were not shown any secrets. There was even a "family day" when employees could bring their family members to go inside the building and see some representative exhibits. Nearly all the various suites off the main hall were not open for tours or even family allowed to visit on that one day. I think one operations suite was open, the one that communicated with the space shuttle. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ They did not want war protesters picketing by the fence or the gate because some terrorists could pretend they were just demonstrators and then throw hand grenades at the people at the gate off or set off personal bombs. ~~~~~ TO prevent a coordinated attack at multiple AF installations there was a warning communication system that IF ANY DEMONSTRATES APPEARED AT ANY of the secure installation, ALL SUCH INSTALLATIONS WOULD IMMEDIATELY BE PLACED ON HIGH SECURITY ALERT STATUS.
Andy the Analyst March 30, 2014 at 04:11 AM
@SA. WHAT I STARTED TO SAY WAS THAT UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE FREE ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA, CALLED WIKIPEDIA. (It has nothing to do with a totally different group called (WIKI-LEAKS). Actually it has information about most or all military bases, WWII battles, ships and airplanes that take government acknowledges. For my discussion above you can look for "Onizuka AFB" or Sunnyvale and Blue Cube, or several other titles. It does not have classified information on it.

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