So says Army Col. Cynthia Murphy of the ongoing joint basing merger of McChord Air Force Base and Ft. Lewis in Washington. Murphy, who is the Ft. Lewis garrison commander, and Army Brig. Gen. Jeff Mathis, I Corps and Ft. Lewis deputy commander, joined McChord leaders at a recent town hall meeting with the air base’s civilian employees. According to Mathis, “We’re going to take our time and get this done right the first time.” Mathis declared that, despite rumors of lost jobs, “There will be more jobs to be had” as the joint installation support structure grows. Some Air Force civilian employees will be shifting to the Army and that has prompted concerns over lost pay and job status. Air Force officials stated at an earlier meeting that although some civilians shifted to the Army might initially wind up in a lower grade, they would retain their same pay. Murphy said, “We’re working at it person-by-person, looking for the right combination.” (McChord report by Tyler Hemstreet)
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.