Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The efforts of the Travis Community Consortium to keep Travis Air Force Base open and viable

October 26, 2003

Ex-pilot becomes liaison for TAFB

By Ian Thompson

-- Hanging up the Air Force blue he wore for two decades, James Curtis will now spearhead the efforts of the Travis Community Consortium to keep Travis Air Force Base open and viable.

Curtis is the liaison between the alliance of local governments, college and business groups, and the lobbying group it hired, Madison Government Affairs.

Madison had been Fairfield's Washington-based lobbyist for military affairs for several years before the consortium hired the firm.

Curtis will be the conduit between the consortium, Madison and Travis AFB. The former pilot of both C-141s and

C-17s was hired Oct. 13.

Local officials formed the consortium earlier this year following the recommendation of an analysis of what local communities needed to do to protect Travis Air Force Base from possible closure.

The report's top recommendation was to "create a regional agenda with one set of goals and objectives," it stated.

Those in the consortium are Solano County, it's seven cities, Solano Community College, the Solano Economic Development Corp. and the Travis Regional Armed Forces Committee.

Curtis served 21 years in the Air Force, including 17 at Travis Air Force Base. His last assignment was with the 15th Air Force. He is on leave until his retirement Dec. 31.

He has served as the 15th AF chief of Strategic Airlift Standardization and Evaluation and at the Air Force Personnel Center as chief of Special Flying Programs and chief of Strategic Airlift Assignments.

Married with three children, Curtis decided "it was time to pursue a new career" and planned to stay in the region because his wife's family is from the San Francisco Bay Area.

While much of the attention is focused on the upcoming round of base closures in 2005, Curtis stressed the region's support of the base and its missions has to extend beyond 2005.

"We need to be thinking in the long term," Curtis said, lauding the area's record to date of supporting the base.

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