Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Washington State will push for expanded U.S. defense role

by Matt Rosenberg September 12th, 2012

If Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and the state’s Congressional delegation have anything to say about it, planned cutbacks in U.S. defense facilities and spending won’t get in the way of an expanded U.S. military role for the Evergreen State and military contractors who call it home. In a request for proposals issued on behalf of the Washington Military Alliance, the state’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) is seeking a contractor who for up to $300,000 will prepare a report detailing the hows and whys of Washington’s vital strategic defense role for the U.S. even as the nation continues its shift to a leaner and more focused military. The Alliance was created by Gov. Gregoire and the state’s federal legislators, and includes state and local officials, regional community groups supporting military installations, and economic development organizations. Using the report, it will “coordinate a unified message” to “effectively compete for a continued and expanded share of national defense spending,” according to the RFP document.

The RFP elaborates that Washington is in a good position even as the military downsizes, because of an increasing emphasis by the U.S. Department of Defense on Asia-Pacific operations. One component of the state’s lobbying campaign will be to withstand the next round of military base closures and realignments. That process hasn’t yet begun. The broader defense downsizing strategy was further accented in January 2012, with the release by the DOD of the report Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership Priorities for 21st Century Defense.”

“It’s critical Washington State is on the strongest possible position to demonstrate to federal policymakers that maintaining and expanding military missions in Washington State promotes national security and is a wise, cost effective, fiscal investment,” the RFP states.

Public Data Ferret’s compendium of articles on Washington military contracts shows they have been awarded to a range of firms statewide for water filters, fuel, foreign base supplies, dam maintenance, medical and biomedical equipment, Saudi Air Force surveillance plane upgrades, firefighting equipment, drone support, food supplies, building an oceanographic research vessel, HVAC work, construction and facility project planning, and nuclear submarine improvements.

As previously reported by Public Data Ferret, a September 2010 Washington Economic Development Commission report found that in fiscal 2009, U.S. military contract obligations in the state totaled $5.2 billion and, including indirect and induced impacts, military spending comprised seven percent of total state jobs and eight percent of labor income. Major Army, Navy and naval air facilities dot the Puget Sound landscape, and awards to Washington military contractors have been been steady, and varied in type.

Public Data Ferret’s compendium of articles on Washington military contracts shows they have been awarded to a range of firms statewide for water filters, fuel, foreign base supplies, dam maintenance, medical and biomedical equipment, Saudi Air Force surveillance plane upgrades, firefighting equipment, drone support, food supplies, building an oceanographic research vessel, HVAC work, construction and facility project planning, and nuclear submarine improvements.

The deadline for response to the RFP issued by OFM on behalf of the Washington Military Alliance is September 20th. A winning bidder is to be selected on September 25th, and work on the contract to begin by October 9th.


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