February 2019 - Chapter President's Message
Our next social will be Sunday, 17 March at The Airport Ramada. Our planned speaker is Joe Bruce. Bruce works as director of children’s ministries at Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church. He is a 1981 graduate of Central Washington University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in science education. He spent three years teaching in Spokane, but left public education to help run a familyowned bike shop before joining Hamblen five years ago. Joe is the immediate past president of Rotary Club 21. He is a volunteer with NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has been a Solar System Ambassador for over ten years, but in reality has been on a 28 year mission discovering mysteries about space, the last frontier. (I couldn’t pass up the chance to throw in some Star Trek lingo there). OK, he gets a little dreamy when talking about landing a man on Mars or traveling outside the solar system. But he’s really down-toearth, he may even show up in an authentic blue, space shuttle flight suit and comes with plenty of his own visual aids. He calls them his big-boy toys.
The chapter needs some help with the upcoming ROTC awards, we need someone to assist by making the telephone calls to the respective schools we support. If you can assist in this endeavor please call or e-mail me.
Looming Defense Spending Cuts: The Trump Administration has announced it wants to reduce the Fiscal Year 2020 (begins Oct. 1, 2019) Defense Department spending levels from $733 billion to $700 billion. In addition spending caps of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 which sets strict caps on both defense and nondefense spending are scheduled to be re-imposed in FY 2020 and FY 2021. In the past Congress managed to make short-term compromises, lifting the caps for a couple of years at a time, but no such agreement applies to the FY 2020 Defense budget, at least not yet.
These automatic cuts, known as Sequestration, require that 50 percent come from Defense even though Defense spending only makes up 16 percent of the federal budget. Budget cuts mandated by the BCA pose a threat to national security and will substantially impact service members’ pay and benefits.
What can you do to prevent these cuts?
Contact your legislators, their contact information is located on our legislative action page. Any method, be it telephone, e-mail or snail mail can put pressure on them to prevent the cuts. Talk to your neighbors, relatives, other acquaintances and ask them to do the same. Now is not a time for the United States to get any weaker. Our potential enemies are not cutting their military budgets, they are increasing spending. Look at China, their navy is growing as you read this, they are building their third aircraft carrier, they have eight ballistic missile submarines, 70 amphibious ships, 240 surface combatants and 67 attack submarines. These vessels are not being built to protect their shores but to control the South China Sea and areas beyond.
They have built up several reef areas in the South China Sea and constructed runways, missile emplacements and stationed troops there. They have ignored the rulings by the United Nations and the International Court in the Hague. Our allies in the Pacific (Japan, Australia, New Zealand, The Philippines and others) are directly threatened by these moves to control shipping in this vital area. These are not the only moves the Chinese are making, they have compromised our defense industries and stolen technology they are using to build up ICBMs, attack aircraft and fighters. They claim to have a super-sonic missile that can target our aircraft carriers at extended distances and deploying them to the built up islands in the South China Sea.
Our Air Force is struggling to retain pilots and air crews. Army recruiting goals were not met, we, the United States, have two choices: continue to allow our foes go unchallenged and desert our friends and allies OR rebuild our armed forces to counter the actions of China and Russia.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW!