BRAC@U


Archive for November, 2010

MDOT Makes Progress on Infrastructure Improvements

This year in 2010, Maryland has made significant progress in moving Maryland forward in its BRAC transportation efforts.  In very difficult times, we have triaged our BRAC transportation projects, to ensure that the most crucial infrastructure projects will be well on their way, if not completed by the September 2011 BRAC implementation date.  Despite the economic downturn that impacted the nation, the O’Malley/Brown Administration has protected our BRAC transportation priorities, funding the BRAC intersection program in excess of $149 million to date.  Recent highlights include:

 

 

On September 8th, Governor O’Malley announced $4.5 million in new funds to address BRAC transportation needs at Joint Base Andrews.   “We are urgently focused, as are you, on creating jobs, saving jobs, and improving the conditions that allow businesses – businesses large, medium, and small – to create and save jobs,” said Governor O’Malley.  “Investments in our infrastructure, including our schools and highways, have allowed us to hold on to jobs better than all but four other states and maintain a rate of unemployment that is 25% lower than the national rate. We live in a transformational time – and there is no State that is better equipped than ours to tap into the opportunities before us and the job-creating promise of the future.”

This included $2.5 million in federal funds, secured by Congresswomen Donna Edwards, to design improvements at two intersections impacted by BRAC traffic: MD 337 at I-495/I-95 Northbound off-ramp and MD 337 at Suitland Road / Westover Road.  In addition, Governor O’Malley announced $2 million to fund improvements at the interchange at I-495 / Forestville Road (see press release:  http://www.governor.maryland.gov/pressreleases/100908.asp).

 

On October 5th, we broke ground on the highest transportation priority project for Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) – US 40/MD 715, a $42.6 million project that will improve the interchange and widen MD 715 to the main gate of APG.  We also announced $7.2 million in additional funding, to advance the next set of BRAC priorities at APG.  This includes construction of Phase I of a project to improve US 40/MD 7/MD 159, and design work for intersections along MD 22 (see press release:  http://www.governor.maryland.gov/ltgovernor/pressreleases/101005.asp).

At Fort Meade on October 13th, the Lt. Governor highlighted new funding and unprecedented partnerships for advancing the most important priorities for Fort Meade – a set of improvements along MD 175 from the Baltimore Washington Parkway, onto growth areas of Fort Meade.

  • This includes a developer funded improvement from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD 295) to the MD 175/Rockenbach intersection;
  • The State Highway Administration’s $25.5 million improvement project at the MD 175/Rockenbach/Disney intersections.  Utility work is underway, and construction contracts are expected to be advertised this Fall;
  • Improvements to the Rockenbach Gate at Fort Meade.  This gate will experience a dramatic increase in traffic due to BRAC, yet the Army did not have the funds to improve the gate.  SHA will provide $10 million to construct gate improvements, under an agreement signed that day.  In exchange, the Army will provide 50-60 acres of land needed to widen MD 175 in the future.

At the event, the Lt. Governor also announced $1 million to launch planning efforts for the MD 32 corridor, in support of Cyber Command related growth at Fort Meade.  While not part of BRAC, the planning needs for Cyber Command will be similar.  

Also, in October, the BWI Business Partnership, in collaboration with the Central Maryland Regional Transit (CMRT), launched http://meaderide.com/.  This portal site provides user access to transportation options to and from the Fort Meade region. 

Capital projects have also advanced in support of BRAC actions at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), and Fort Detrick. Key intersection improvements to be implemented by SHA proximate to the NNMC Campus recently completed the Mandatory Referral process conducted by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and can now proceed toward construction of priority phases. At Fort Detrick, design of the US 15/Monocacy Blvd interchange project continues and now stands at 50% complete. SHA will host a public meeting on the project on November 16th, the details of which are available here.   

Progress was also made for an important initiative to support BRAC – Transportation Demand Management (TDM).  This low cost program promotes marketing and encourages alternatives to driving alone to work, including car pools, van pools, subscription bus service, telework and flex time.  By reducing the number of cars driven to the installations, it reduces traffic.  It also provides the workforce with more commuting options.

To make TDM work, collaboration is needed among transit agencies, the employers, state and local governments and the private sector.  Agreements were signed among the stakeholders at Fort Meade and APG to implement these programs.  MDOT received $155,000 in grant support from the Office of Economic Adjustment to launch Demand Management efforts this year.  MDOT also provided a $50,000 grant to continue work in 2011. (see press release:  http://www.governor.maryland.gov/ltgovernor/pressreleases/101013.asp).

In addition, in support of the BRAC TDM programs, the Lt. Governor announced $200,000 earlier this year to launch the Guaranteed Ride Home program in the Baltimore region. This eliminates a major barrier to using transit and ridesharing by providing a free ride home in the event of an unexpected personal emergency or unscheduled overtime (see press release:  http://www.governor.maryland.gov/ltgovernor/pressreleases/100602.asp).

BRACtivity Launched

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently introduced BRACtivity, its new e-newsletter covering the Department’s BRAC initiatives throughout the State. It consists of project updates, informational links, and other news and announcements likely of interest to its BRAC partners, and provides a useful resource for keeping abreast of transportation-related efforts underway.   

The most recent issue of BRACtivity is available here, and highlights the start of construction activities for key capital projects at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort George G. Meade, as well as important milestones achieved for projects in support of BRAC actions at the National Naval Medical Center, Joint Base Andrews, and Fort Detrick. 

Those interested can subscribe to receive future issues of BRACtivity by signing up here.

Welcome to Maryland!

In support of BRAC-related personnel reassigned to Fort George G. Meade, Maryland State Agencies participated in Destination Fort Meade Relocation Fair on Friday, Oct. 22, 2010. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) employees were joined by Defense Media Activity (DMA) and defense contractor personnel who learned more about real estate opportunities, mortgage programs, transportation options, education, quality of life and other amenities in the Fort Meade region.  The Fair, held at the DISA Skyline Building in Falls Church, VA, had an attendance of over 600 interested personnel.

“DISA was extremely pleased with the breadth and depth of information available to our employees at the Maryland Relocation Fair on 22 Oct,” said Mr. David R. Bullock, DISA BRAC Executive.  “The DISA workforce has recognized that the move to Fort Meade is real, and is aggressively searching for information on housing, education, transportation and quality of life issues.  The partnership we have forged with Maryland state and local government and business organizations has been enormously valuable in helping our employees answer their questions.  DISA appreciates the efforts of state and local organizations in helping us reconstitute our workforce at Ft Meade.”
Maryland state agencies that participated in the Fair included the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) and Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

CECOM Officially Moves into APG!

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) unfurled its flag October 22, 2010 at a ceremony marking the official arrival of CECOM to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG).

The uncasing of the CECOM flag, symbolizes “…not only our new presence here, but also the continuity of mission, of vision, of people and purpose of the United States Army Communications-Electronics Command, or simply, CECOM,” said Maj. Gen. Randolph P. Strong, CECOM commander, in his remarks at the ceremony. 

As part of the Army’s implementation of Base Realignment and Closure legislation passed by Congress in 2005, CECOM is in the final phases of its relocation from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to APG. With the completion of the construction of the first phase of the C4ISR Center of Excellence, the Army’s C4ISR Materiel Enterprise comprised of CECOM and partner organizations will now be co-located at the $800 million, 2.5 million square-foot campus.

The APG leadership, state of Maryland, and Harford County officials presented CECOM with symbols of the state in a gesture of welcome during the ceremony. Maryland Secretary of Higher Education Dr. James E. Lyons Sr., expressed his sentiment on the new partnership between CECOM and Maryland colleges and universities. Lyons stated that Maryland’s institutions of higher education are committed to providing the educational services to prepare the CECOM workforce for the future.

Now that CECOM is located at APG, the command will contribute to the installation’s transformation efforts in becoming the Army’s hub for science and technology.

“We bring a proud command heritage and look forward to helping Aberdeen Proving Ground transform into a beacon of science and technology for the Army and the region,” said Strong during his remarks. “We plan to use this campus as a catalyst for changing the way we do business,” said Strong. “We will nurture a collaborative working environment to develop, acquire, provide and sustain world-class C4ISR systems.”

BRAC Internship Website Goes Live

The future is looking bright for Maryland and its college graduates.  With the implementation of the Department of Defense’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), we are in the enviable position of having as many as 60,000 jobs in support of military installation consolidations.  Many of these jobs are in highly skilled science, technology, and engineering fields as well as procurement and legal services.   In addition to specialized skills training, potential employees will have to be able to obtain a security clearance.

To help students prepare for these careers, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Chair of the Governor’s BRAC Subcabinet, launched a new website in October for students to get connected right away to BRAC internship opportunities:   www.internshipCenter.mhec.maryland.gov .  The website, which serves as “matchmaker” for students and employers, features more than 500 exciting internships with private companies such as SAIC, Booz Allen Hamilton and government agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Information Security Agency (DISA).

“BRAC is here and will create new, good-paying, skilled jobs that require a highly trained workforce pipeline of workers eligible for security clearances.  BRAC also means that new internship opportunities are now available throughout the State,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.  “Governor O’Malley and I will continue to strengthen our partnerships with our higher education institutions and businesses as we prepare our young Marylanders for the jobs of tomorrow.”

We launched the new Website at the University of Maryland, College Park and Morgan State University, both of which are located in regions that will be impacted by BRAC.  The events, which connected students with representatives from several participating employers, attracted hundreds of students interested in learning about BRAC opportunities, the internship program, and how to obtain a security clearance.

Data indicates that most students who successfully complete an internship are offered a job after college. And by participating in a BRAC-related internship, students may be given an opportunity to be sponsored for a security clearance while finishing his or her studies.  This is a win-win for both employers and students and will provide Maryland with a workforce pipeline of cleared employees and students with solid jobs right out of school.

For more information on the website launches, please click on the links below:

http://www.governor.maryland.gov/ltgovernor/pressreleases/101005b.asp

http://www.governor.maryland.gov/ltgovernor/pressreleases/101007.asp

LT. GOVERNOR BROWN PENS OP-ED SALUTING VETERANS FOR SERVICE TO COUNTRY

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (November 11, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, the nation’s highest-ranking elected official to have served a tour of duty in Iraq, penned an op-ed for baltimoresun.com today commending veterans’ service and thanking Maryland’s military families for their sacrifices. Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown administration’s veterans portfolio and championed efforts during the first term to expand veteran behavioral health services, protect veteran business loan programs and increase funding for veteran scholarships.

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Baltimoresun.com: On Veterans Day, serving those who serve us

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-brown-veterans-day-20101111,0,7146967.story

By Anthony G. Brown

November 11, 2010

I learned from my parents that public service is the noblest calling any of us can answer. As a boy, I watched my father, a doctor in New York’s poorest neighborhoods, treat struggling families and the elderly — often out of his own pocket. I saw my mother raise five children, no easy task for any parent, and challenge each of us to pursue our dreams. Years later, while I was in college, driven by their example and inspired by our nation’s men and women in uniform, I answered a call to give back.

I joined ROTC as an undergraduate and deployed into active duty shortly after earning my degree. I spent five years on active duty, flying helicopters over Germany during the final years of the Cold War. After taking a three year sabbatical from military service to attend law school, I joined the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2005, I served a tour of duty in Iraq and watched as Iraqis voted in their first free and open election in more than a generation. And today, I drill regularly and command the 153rd Legal Service Organization based outside of Philadelphia.

I’ve tried to raise my son and daughter with the values I learned from my parents and the Army: honor, loyalty, hard work and to contribute to building a better world. In many ways, these are the same values that have shaped my beliefs as a public official in Maryland and inspired me to fight for veterans in every part of our state.

Our veterans have dedicated their lives to protecting men and women they have never met. They’ve put everything on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy as Americans — their lives, careers and families. We have a fundamental obligation to honor the sacrifices they’ve made, as well as those of their families.

Despite the public admiration and celebration of our veterans, Gov. Martin O’Malley and I saw a gap in services for many veterans when we first took office — specifically in the areas of behavioral health services, higher education and workforce training.

Some argue that Maryland should leave veteran services to the federal government. We disagree. We all have an obligation serve those who served in our name. That’s why we’ve invested $2.4 million in the Iraq Afghanistan scholarship program, helping more than 450 veterans pursue a higher education. We understand that veteran business owners often face challenges other businesses do not, which is why we’ve protected no-interest small business loans for service-disabled veteran owned businesses.

This year, we’ve placed a new focus on employment. In partnership with the building trades, we established the Helmets2Hardhats initiative to connect veterans with apprenticeships. And last month, we launched the Warrior to Worker program to streamline education, training and employment services for veterans in state government.

But it was the alarming number of servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with invisible injuries — post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury — that inspired our most significant step forward.

Working with the General Assembly, veterans advocates and the health care community, we passed the Veterans Behavioral Health Act to provide mental and behavioral health services to all veterans and expanded our efforts to reach and serve rural communities. In addition, we signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allows us to provide better access to care in every part of our state.

I joined the Army because my parents raised me with a simple belief: Before you can serve yourself, you have to serve others. Veterans across our state and our country were raised with the same belief. This Veterans Day, we honor their service and pause to say, “Thank you.” And the best way we can say thanks is to remember the obligation we have to serve them.

Anthony G. Brown is Maryland’s Lt. Governor. He has been a member of the United States Armed Forces for 26 years, is currently a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and is the nation’s highest-ranking elected official to have served a tour of duty in Iraq.

BRAC@U Launches

Welcome to our new Maryland Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) blog:  “BRAC@U!”  As we near the September 2011 deadline for BRAC implementation, we are creating new, high-paying BRAC jobs at a faster pace while continuing to ensure that the most critical mission of defending our nation advances in Maryland.  Because of our partnerships with our colleagues in federal, state and local government, as well as the private sector, we will build on the progress we’ve made and ensure a smooth, sustainable transition while we welcome new jobs, new neighbors and a continued commitment to a new economy.

So much has been accomplished since Governor O’Malley established the BRAC Subcabinet in 2007 – which I am proud to chair. And there is so much more to be accomplished in the foreseeable future as we welcome new residents and train our existing workforce for exciting career opportunities.  Construction is underway, military commands are arriving, we’re improving our roads and schools and we’ve invested in a workforce pipeline to meet the current and future mission needs. 

We have had to make tough choices to move our BRAC priorities forward. Still, even in these difficult economic times, we have remained faithful to our vision for BRAC and have made significant progress in accomplishing our priorities.  BRAC@U is a way to quickly inform our partners in this effort and the general public of what is currently happening and what to expect in the coming year. 

BRAC will continue to transform our region and State for the foreseeable future and we are delighted to share this exciting information with you. Please check in regularly to get the latest news.

Anthony G. Brown

Lt. Governor – State of Maryland

Office of Governor
WeConnect: Maryland

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