Report Outlines State’s Importance to Shifting National Security Priorities
SACRAMENTO – After more than 18 months meeting with military and business leaders from around the state, the Governor’s Military Council today released a report, “Maintaining and Expanding California’s National Security Mission,” which outlines ways the state can help protect and strengthen the military’s national security role and economic activity in California.
“As it has been for decades, our country very much depends on California’s proud military installations, which prepare men and women for military service, drive innovation and stimulate all manner of economic activity,” Governor Brown said.
The council has met with base commanders and local military support organizations to explore opportunities to strengthen national security operations in California amid federal budget constraints. The U.S. Department of Defense spends about $70 billion annually in California and has more than 30 major federal installations in the state, employing 360,000 Californians.
“California plays an essential role in our national defense,” said former Congresswoman and Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher, chair of the Governor’s Military Council. “Our military’s most important testing and training ranges are located here and as defense strategy shifts to the Pacific Region and embraces new technologies, California has become more important than ever to national security.”
The recommendations, developed by the council over the last 18 months, aim to enhance the state’s defense and national security mission and its benefits to California’s economy and communities while leveraging changes in federal military strategy to position the state to continue innovation and leadership in its military operations. The recommendations include:
• Actively engaging federal decision-makers to shape defense budget and policy proposals;
• Partnering with other states to strengthen integration of the Southwest defense testing and training complex;
• Supporting the aerospace industry, military contractors and other entities that sustain national defense activities in addition to conventional installations;
• Maintaining bipartisan support in California’s national security mission;
• Encouraging military installations to partner with local governments and companies to reduce operational costs;
• Strengthening incentives for veterans and discharging service members to stay in California;
• Assisting military installations to expand renewable energy and other shared energy priorities. Governor Brown has announced executive action to establish the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target in North America – 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030; and
• Helping military installations secure reliable water supplies amidst drought and climate change. Governor Brown signed groundwater legislation last year that creates opportunities for federal partners to engage with groundwater management agencies and will help to achieve water security for bases across the state.
The council’s full report is available here.
California is uniquely positioned to help the U.S. address emerging security threats, offering the skilled human capital and infrastructure necessary for a well-prepared and effective military force. The state’s national security advantages include a broad network of military installations for development and testing of new weaponry; sea, air and land ranges for training; strategic geographic location on the West Coast as U.S. diplomatic, economic and military strategy increases focus on Asia and the Pacific region; premier aerospace companies that form the center of the nation’s aerospace industry and provide a robust supplier base to the military; leading research universities and institutions that foster intellectual inquiry and technological innovation, ultimately providing aerospace and defense contractors with new talent and breakthrough research; and abundant sun, wind and other energy resources accompanied by a nation-leading policy framework to promote energy innovation and diversification as the Department of Defense pursues its ambitious renewable energy targets.
Governor Brown established the Governor’s Military Council in 2013, appointing former Congresswoman and Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher as chair and members including the Adjutant General of the California National Guard and retired admirals and generals from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard as well as bipartisan leadership from the Legislature and business leaders with significant experience in the defense industry.