Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs | Santa Fe, N.M.


Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs

At their recent meeting in Santa Fe, members of the NCSL Military Task Force received a briefing by Gabe Gough and Ted Diaz with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ Office of Intergovernmental Affairs based in Washington, D.C. A regular meeting of the Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs was held on April 20-21, 2017 in conjunction with NCSL's Executive Committee meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The meeting was held at the Hotel Santa Fe, 1501 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, N.M. 

The task force was created in 2007 to address issues affecting military-community relations and the health and well-being of veterans.  Among the issues covered: development near military installations; military-community partnerships to respond to mission change; veteran hiring and procurement preferences; mental health, substance abuse and family relationships facing returning veterans; and benefits for military personnel, veterans and their dependents. The task force consists of 54 state legislators and legislative staff from 29 states. 

Clickable image gallery

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Task Force members participated in a full-day site visit of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N.M. The base and its various mission partners employs about 20,000 active duty, civilians, Guard and Reserve personnel,  including nearly 1,902 active duty military and civilians that belong to Air Force Global Strike Command. Kirtland occupies 51,558 acres. The mission of the 377th Air Base Wing is to execute nuclear, readiness, and support operations for American air power. Kirtland AFB is a center for research, development and testing of non-conventional weapons, space and missile technology, laser warfare and much more. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs Convenes at the New Mexico Capitol, Senate Finance Committee room 322.

  • Opening Remarks by Task Force Co-Chairs: 

Representative Dan Flynn (R-Tex.)

Representative Ken Ito (D-Hawaii)

  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Introductions

New Mexico Support for Military Bases

  • Presiding: Jaime Simon, U.S. Department of Defense, Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program
  • Speaker: Eric Kivi, director, New Mexico Office of Military Base Planning and Support | No presentation

Q&A with New Mexico’s Adjutant General

  • Presiding: Representative Dan Flynn (R-Tex.) 
  • Speaker: Brig. Gen. Andrew E. Salas, Adjutant General for New Mexico | No presentation

Putting Veterans First: The Latest from the VA

  • Presiding: Representative Tom Sloan, Kansas
  • Speakers: 

Gabe GoughOffice of Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C. | No presentation

Ted Diaz, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C. | No presentation

New Mexico Support for Veterans: Rural and Urban

  • Presiding: Representative Ken Ito (D-Hawaii)
  • Speaker: Jack R. Fox, secretary, New Mexico Department of Veterans Services | No presentation

Updates from NCSL Staff & Federal Partners

  • Jaime Simon,  DoD REPI Program | No presentation
  • Tara Butler, DoD Office of Economic Adjustment | No presentation
  • Marcus Beauregard, Defense-State Liaison Office | No presentation
  • NCSL Staff

Encouraging Veteran-Owned Businesses

  • Presiding: Erica Warren, Kentucky General Assembly
  • Speakers:

Richard Coffel, director, New Mexico Veterans Business Outreach Center | No presentation

Chris Sweetin, owner, 3D Security Training Solutions, Albuquerque, NM | No presentation

Focus: Native American Veterans

  • Presiding: Representative Ken Ito (D-Hawaii) 
  • Speaker: Joe Rosetta, vice chair, Southwest Native American Veterans Association, Albuquerque, NM | No presentation

Horses for Heroes

  • Presiding: Representative Dan Flynn (R-Tex.) 
  • Speaker: Rick Iannucci, executive director, Horses for Heroes, Santa Fe County, NM

Task Force Adjourns

Opening Reception at the New Mexico History Museum

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Presentation to NCSL Executive Committee

  • Scott Blackburn, interim deputy secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs  | No presentation

Next NCSL Military Task Force Meeting:
Aug. 6, 2017 – Boston, Mass. – NCSL Legislative Summit