LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY EXPANDS MASSACHUSETTS’ MILITARY ASSET AND SECURITY STRATEGY TASK FORCE
Murray announces four subcommittees to support state’s efforts to protect military bases
NEWTON – Wednesday, March 16, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced the state’s Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force will expand to include four subcommittees: Business, Industry and Military Alignment; Education, Innovation and Workforce Development; Community and Municipal Support and Engagement; and Military Mission, Operations, Opportunities and Efficiencies.
The Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force (the Task Force) was created by Executive Order on February 27 to work with stakeholders to develop and implement actions that will better position, promote and protect Massachusetts’ six military bases: Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield; Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee; Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford; U.S. Army’s Soldier Systems Center in Natick; the Massachusetts Military Reservation on the Cape; and Fort Devens.
Lieutenant Governor Murray outlined specific goals of the Business, Industry and Military Alignment subcommittee at the Massachusetts High Technology Council’s Annual Meeting today in Newton. The Business, Industry and Military Alignment subcommittee will include a partnership between MassDevelopment, an existing member of the Task Force, the Defense Technology Initiative (DTI) and the New England Council to establish a convener for local businesses and the defense industry.
“During my visits to each of the state’s military bases, it became even more clear how critically important our military bases are to the state’s local and regional economies,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force. “By working closely with the Defense Technology Initiative and the New England Council, the Task Force now has an official partnership representing Massachusetts’ defense industry and business community. With military bases and defense and aerospace industries generating more than 120,000 jobs in Massachusetts, we need the business community to stay engaged as we work together to protect the jobs, investment and missions in and around our military bases.”
The DTI, created by the Massachusetts High Technology Council during the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), is building a strong case to protect the defense industry across New England. In Massachusetts, DTI has assembled a team that includes local business and industry experts including: MITRE, MIT’s Lincoln Labs, Draper Labs, BAE Systems, Textron, Lockheed Martin, Dynamics Research Corporation, Oasis Systems, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts.
DTI created Science and Technology boards at the U.S. Army’s Soldier Systems Center in Natick and Hanscom Air Force Base following the 2005 BRAC to demonstrate a strong and effective network across government, industry and academia to leverage resources and develop innovative technologies that support the state’s military bases and the economy. As a leader of the Business, Industry and Military Alignment subcommittee, DTI will further advance this work on behalf of the Commonwealth.
“We appreciate the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Murray in formalizing and enhancing collaborative efforts to support our military installations and defense technology assets,” said Christopher Anderson, president of the Defense Technology Initiative and the Massachusetts High Technology Council. “There are significant challenges facing the increasingly technology-oriented defense and homeland security priorities of the federal government. Our capacity to align premier defense technology cluster assets in Massachusetts and New England with those priorities is essential and employing a proven public-private model – led by DTI, MassDevelopment and other regional partners – is the best way to preserve and enhance the bases, create jobs and support the mission of the U.S. military."
The New England Council, another member of the Business, Industry and Military Alignment subcommittee, will work with businesses and the industry statewide to support Massachusetts’ six military bases. The New England Council will act as a convener for chambers of commerce in Massachusetts, including chambers surrounding the state’s military bases. The New England Council also has a long-standing relationship with the New England Congressional Delegation as well as the business community. With these relationships, the Council will increase partnerships among New England chambers of commerce to strengthen the entire region’s message of protecting military assets and bases.
“New England’s military installations play a critical role in our region’s economy and it is crucial that the public and private sectors throughout the six states come together to support and protect them," said James Brett, President and CEO of The New England Council. “The New England Council looks forward to working with the Lieutenant Governor and DTI to make the strongest case for why these bases and facilities are so important to our region’s economic wellbeing and security.”
In 2011, DTI commissioned a study with the UMass Donahue Institute to evaluate defense contracting trends in New England and document the contributions that support defense missions in the region. The New England Council is partnering with DTI, the Task Force, MassDevelopment and the UMass Donahue Institute for the release of this data, expected in June 2012.
“The Patrick-Murray Administration has made strong investments in growing the Commonwealth’s innovation economy, further strengthening Massachusetts as a world leader in innovation and technology,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “By expanding the Task Force to include the business and defense industry, we can work towards delivering the best resources, equipment, and technology for Massachusetts’ military bases.”
“I am honored to be a part of the commonwealth's Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force,” said Major General L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General (Acting) of Massachusetts. “The men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard have been proudly serving the great people of Massachusetts both overseas and here at home for 375 years. I find it both humbling and extraordinary that the people we defend are now joining in an effort to defend and protect Massachusetts’ military missions. I support the Administration's initiative to expand the Task Force into four specialized areas and look forward to continued collaboration with each subcommittee.”
The four newly created subcommittees will further engage the public with the state’s efforts to support Massachusetts’ military bases. DTI and the New England Council will lead the Business, Industry and Military Alignment subcommittee, which is intended to also include each regional chamber of commerce president or director in Massachusetts. Additionally, the Science and Technology boards at Natick Soldier Systems and Hanscom Air Force Base will be invited to appoint a liaison to serve on the Business, Industry and Military Alignment subcommittee. The Education, Innovation and Workforce Development subcommittee will be selected by the chair of the Task Force and secretaries of Education and Labor and Workforce Development. The Community and Municipal Support and Engagement subcommittee will include representation by each municipal manager in a base or surrounding community. The Military Mission, Operations, Opportunities and Efficiencies subcommittee will include representatives from various state agencies and retired military servicemen and women.
Additionally, state Senator Michael Rush and state Representative James Vallee, two appointed members on the Task Force, will create a Legislative Caucus within the Task Force to engage their colleagues in the legislature.
With the support of Governor Deval Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray signed Executive Order #541 creating the Task Force on February 27. As chair of the Task Force, Lieutenant Governor Murray leads regular meetings including tours and roundtable discussions in support of the state’s six military bases. The Executive Order authorizes the chair to expand the Task Force to “establishing working groups, meetings, forums and any other activity” in support of promoting and protecting Massachusetts’ military bases. To learn more about the Task Force, please visit: www.mass.gov/governor/militarytaskforce.