Thursday, October 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sones: Travis tightening its belt, improving facilities

sones_SEDC_1_31_13

60th Air Mobility Wing Commander Colonel Dwight Sones speaks at the Solano Economic Development Corporation’s 30th annual meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn Thursday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 01, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — Budgets may be tight, but Travis Air Force Base is still more than able to carry out its mission, thanks to the dedication of its airmen and a determination to fill the needs of its service members and their families.

That was the central nugget of the talk Travis commander Col. Dwight Sones gave to the Solano Economic Development Corporation’s 30th annual meeting Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Sones said that the base is tightening its belt for the time being after the Air Force directed all major commands to start a series of cost-saving measures in case Congress allows massive cuts to defense spending, called sequestration, to take place in March and if Congress fails to pass an appropriations bill this fiscal year.

Expenses that are not deemed critical to the mission included cutting supporting flying missions not directly related to readiness, implementing a civilian hiring freeze, deferring repairs and renovations that are not emergencies and canceling all travel that is not mission-essential.

“Some things we will have to stop doing,” Sones said.

Sones described the measures as reversible and recoverable. He also described the situation as a very dynamic environment that could change quickly. Action is required now even though sequestration may not take place in March or may be delayed by federal leaders.

“We still have to deal with it,” Sones said.

Sones pointed out that the Air Force has not instituted anything like furloughs or reductions in force. He also promised those present that as Travis gets more information about the situation and any impacts, “We will keep you in the loop.”

He said Travis has gotten a reputation for stretching its dollars, with the base’s recent monetary awards for increasing its fuel and energy efficiency.

The Travis commander also used the talk to give Solano Economic Development Corporation members an economic snapshot of the base and the construction projects going on there.

Travis has $13.7 billion in assets and facilities, has a $1.4 billion economic impact and its spending generates about 5,000 jobs in the community, according to data from the base’s 2011 Economic Impact Report, which Sones quoted.

“And the 2012 data is expected to be very similar,” Sones said.

Travis still has a lot of construction in the works, even though it is less than in the past, Sones said.

It has seen several projects completed in the past year, such as the $5.4 million cargo-loading facility and the $11.9 million new fire station, as well as present projects such as the $14.5 million fuel-distribution system and the $1.7 million military working-dog facility.

The $70 million runway reconstruction and new assault runway construction is expected to be finished in April. The assault runway will be used for training by Travis aircrews and also by aircrews from other bases, “and that is huge,” Sones said. The savings from not sending aircraft elsewhere to train will allow the runway to pay for itself within three years.

A $22 million first phase of an airmen’s campus housing facility is under construction, with completion expected in January 2014 and the second through fourth phases expected in the next several years.

David Grant Medical Center just started the second phase of its planned improvements in November 2012, with $63 million being spent to improve the emergency room and outpatient facilities. Future improvements include the operating room, women’s clinic, and labor and delivery rooms.

Solano Economic Development Corporation President Sandy Person preceded Sones’ remarks by talking about Solano County’s economic situation. She said “there is a recovery in place” that has seen industrial vacancies in the county drop from 15.1 percent to 13.4 percent while unemployment dropped to 9.3 percent.

Person said that every community in the county has seen improvements with new businesses opening and bringing jobs to the area.

Solano Economic Development Corporation also recently embarked on a study funded by a $369,860 Department of Defense grant to examine and make proposals about better diversifying the county’s economy.

“This is not about shrinking Travis,” Person said. “This is about growing the pie.”

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensJanuary 31, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    Solano County is a horrible rotten host for any military installation with its peace protests, high cost unionized labor, high crime rates, marijuana ''dispensaries'', unchecked encroachment with 2 deadly bird attracting landfills at either end of both runways. Its like Solano County is begging for Travis to be closed. I'm not so sanguine about Travis staying open and I base that on previous observations of the life cycle of military bases. When the Federal Government starts spending hog-wild on a base, its a good sign the base will soon be nominated for closure. And Sandy Person and her laughable ''economic development'' corporation? She seems to be clueless about anything military. The bad news has already started as the Department of the Air Force has notified you that California will not be a State where the new KC-46 will be based at. Those aircraft and jobs wisely I'll not be sent to the military unfriendly state of California.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KFebruary 01, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    I am not an expert nor rocket scientist, but here's a suggestion to save A LOT of $$$$$s. How about letting the civilian workers that meet the service time requirement of 30+ yrs. but not yet the AGE requirement of 55+ retire if they are wanting to. It does not make any sense whats so ever to have two systems in place based on when you hired on. I know PPL that want to go NOW, having the time, but not the age. Under your OLD plan one can go with 30+ yrs. but would owe an age penalty under 55, as where I retired from PacBell (S.B.C. now again A.T&T). But under your NEW plan even with 30 yrs. service, under 55, NO CAN GO. That is INSANE!!!! But with Telco, you can retire with ANY age once you have 30 yrs. service. Travis ought to do the same. As Moses once said, "LET MY PPL GO." >>LOL

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • richFebruary 01, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe you're referring to the State of California employees retirement plan and CALPERS. I believe the FERS system has different rules. The State of California is far more generous with employee benefits then the reformed FERS system has. If Travis closes, many Federal employees will be ''Riff'd'' and they will lose quite a bit with no recourse or rights to be automatically hired elsewhere. GI's will simply PCS to new assignments elsewhere in the US or overseas depending on the Air Force's needs.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KFebruary 04, 2013 - 11:45 am

    No these civilian employees I am talking about are FED employees, GSes I believe.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Suisun City streets: Better than Vallejo, worse than Dixon

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Children run for the sake of running

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
60th Air Mobility Wing gets outstanding unit award

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Real McCoy ferry to shut down Thursday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Nairobi, oldest giraffe at Six Flags, dies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Day of Remembrance focuses on domestic violence prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Audubon group to offer wetlands walk, bird workshop

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Trailer rolls, knocks down pole, damages roadway

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Bridge to Life gets extension for temporary kitchen

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

Pumpkin bob set at Fairfield city pool

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Canada’s PM says shooting rampage was terrorism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Healdsburg bans tobacco sales to anyone under 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Davis votes to return armored vehicle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Study looks at lane splitting in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

125 San Francisco inmates to get computer tablets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California malpractice cap generates big spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Huge gold nugget going up for sale in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Methodist panel hears appeal over gay wedding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

AP-GfK Poll: Public wants tighter Ebola screening

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Key features of rigorous new US Ebola monitoring

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Goofy dinosaur blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Social Security benefits get another tiny increase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Teens’ travel renews concerns about terror appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Analysis: Fowle was North Korea’s easiest US case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Missile, fire from Egypt wounds 2 Israeli troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Mexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Nigeria truce is shaky, no news of abducted girls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers OK fighters for Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Prisons agree to end race policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Living a Democrat PC nightmare

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Real reason to vote yes on 46

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Keck did good job researching issue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

‘SNL’ adds black woman to cast from writers room

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
.

Sports

AP source: Goodell told to testify in Rice appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings measuring success on ‘wins and losses’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Giants’ bullpen melts down in 7-2 loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors hoping Kerr is final piece for title run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local Report: Armijo XC teams finish MEL 10-0

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Carr confident despite Raiders’ winless start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Phony World Series tickets, merchandise seized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Request denied to remove judge on Peterson case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Probe: UNC academic fraud was ‘shadow curriculum’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
World Series rating for opener drops to low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Beaten Giants fan shows significant progress

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Polian, Wolf nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Slumping Bears hope to slow No. 6 Oregon, Mariota

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford picked to win Pac-12 regular-season crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA owners fail to pass lottery reform

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Leafs-Senators game postponed after shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brad Keselowski not concerned with popularity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
SHR swaps crews for Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

From Mexico to the World Series, Petit Giants’ shines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
’85 World Series Royals relishing playoff run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

FedEx, UPS make plans for a better holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
The top 20 US cities for tech startup funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Silicon Beach’ brings tech boom to Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BofA to refund Apple Pay customers charged twice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Keith Bowen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Blanche Stevens

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9