Local

May 1, 2013

AV Board of Trade heads to Washington, D.C.

The AV Board of Trade recently made its annual legislative trip to our nation’s capitol, the 57th annual trip to be exact, since their first visit as the AV Progress Association.

As always, appointments are made around topics included in the white papers that are compiled throughout the year.  Committee chairs in transportation, environment, healthcare and aerospace all contribute to the pages of talking points hand delivered, and now also e-mailed, to each appointment.

Some wonder why our delegation travels each year to our nation’s capitol when we could catch up with our elected officials in our district.  This has been my 5th or 6th trip with the AV Board of Trade in different capacities and I see a tremendous value in these legislative trips. We focus on something “they don’t already know.”  Rather than “preaching to the choir” about items that they are also working on, we inform them about pressing news “hot off the presses”.

That old cliché of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” really applies.  We have to be vocal about our needs and wants. Each member of our annual delegation carries a copy of our white papers that they have read and know inside and out.  We make appointments with both Congressmen Howard “Buck” McKeon and Kevin McCarthy, as well as Sen. Diane Feinstein, the FAA and our contractors.  Depending upon time, we try to stop by and exchange information with Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and NASA as well as catching up with the Aerospace Industries Association and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

One of our top priorities each year is Edwards Air Force Base and protecting its airspace from encroachment.  Not everyone that we meet during our legislative trips knows where the Antelope Valley is, but they know where Edwards Air Force Base is.  This trip reminded me once again of how fortunate we are to have Edwards Air Force Base a part of our community, and our national security.

Due to the Air Force Materiel Command reorganization, we also planned this trip to collaborate once again with our friends at the Arnold Community Council who represent Arnold Engineering Development Center [Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn.] “AEDC is a one-stop center for ground development test.” They are working diligently “in establishing a Congressional Range & Testing Center Caucus.” We also caught up with a delegation from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., also a part of AFMC and the Air Force Test Center [headquartered at Edwards].

We also met with Katie Wheeler Mathews, deputy director, in Governor Jerry Brown’s office and briefed her on our region.  She indicated Brown’s passion for transportation.  We reminded her of our “inland port” as well as our space port.  We will take this direction for our trip to Sacramento in May. We invited the governor to our valley, offering a VIP red carpet tour of all we have to offer, highlighting transportation.

Our delegation made a stop at Edison International and discussed renewables and the capacity of the current system to support new green generation projects with Polly Gault, executive vice president.

Another stop was at Boeing with an update from Al Hoffman, site manager for Edwards AFB and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, on the current challenges facing the workforce at Edwards AFB and Air Force Plant 42.  We received an update on the Phantom Eye and the KC-46 Tanker, the F-15SA (Saudi Arabia) and the Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft.

Wherever we went, we discussed the importance, and the mission of the control tower at Plant 42 just receiving word that it was on a FAA list of possible closures. We also discussed the possible UAV corridor (or air route which is the FAA term) between Air Force Plant 42 and Edwards Air Force Base/NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and the current challenges of building, assembly, test and disassembly to transport to Edwards AFB or other test areas to access R2508 air space.

“As always, we received a warm welcome from our local congressional representatives, House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarty,” said Drew Mercy, AV Board of Trade president. “Both of them were eager to step in on behalf of the Antelope Valley, working together to develop a strategy to keep those towers open.”

“Sitting down with the FAA officials themselves, I was relieved to learn that at that time no final decision had been made, so I sought to convince them how important these towers were for jobs, public safety and national security,” Mercy continued. “The idea of shutting down the FAA’s control tower at Plant 42 was perhaps the most ludicrous.  When considering the small cost of the tower’s operations against the services it provides to the Air Force and defense contractors, it just didn’t make sense, and fortunately the FAA came to the same conclusion when they announced later that Plant 42’s tower would be spared.”

It is this kind of proactive approach this business advocacy non-profit has initiated since its inception which receives attention and get results.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 
 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>