Washington Military Alliance

Washington Governor Jay Inslee launched a new Washington Military Alliance last week. The WMA consists of over 20 military and economic development leaders who will work together to help plan for the impact of future reductions in military assets.

The WMA will help the state prepare for military downsizing. The group has representatives from a diverse background to cover industry, infrastructure, veteran, workforce, and economic development across the state. Inslee says the group will help the state plan ahead to support the communities and military personnel to be ready for the changes. He also stated that the military and defense sector is a vital part of the state’s economy.

Washington has the sixth highest military population in the nation. There were 136,000 military and civilian jobs relating to the military industry and $15.7 billion in economic activity within the state in 2012.

The WMA will be a policy adviser to the governor, state agencies, the Legislature, and other organizations. The group will help take into account the thousands of families and community members who will be impacted by the downsizing. It was originally formed to create the Washington Military Alliance Report in 2012, but has been reconvened to deal with changes.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County is one base that may be reduced by 16,000 personnel. The US Department of Defense is considering other reductions as well.

The WMA will meet quarterly, beginning at the end of this month. Meetings are open to the public.