Good Neighbors: States, Military Partner on the Environment

11 a.m.-noon | Saturday, Nov. 14

The Department of Defense’s ability to train today’s armed forces is often compromised by activity around military bases. Wind farms can disrupt flight training; lighting from houses and street lamps can compromise night-time infantry training; and potential noise disturbances can force the military to restrict artillery practice to specific times of day. Mutual understanding between installation commanders and state and local officials can result in legislation and best practices that ensure sufficient buffer zones between residences and installations, reroute civilian obstacles to less intrusive areas, and limit restrictions governing training. This session will focus on how that understanding can provide the military the space and freedom it needs to fully prepare for its operations and at the same time allow the host community to benefit through the development of conservations and recreation spaces.


sloanKansas Rep. Tom Sloan

Rep. Tom Sloan, in his eighth term in the Kansas legislature, is chairman of the Vision 2020 Committee, a long-range planning committee for the state House of Representatives. He is also a member of the Energy and Utilities Committee, Energy and Environment Special Committee and the Government Efficiency and Technology Committee. His primary areas of legislative work involve energy, telecommunications, water and military relations issues.
Sloan has a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree from Michigan State University and bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.  He has taught at several universities, been a government affairs specialist for a petroleum company, special assistant to the Secretary of Corrections, Chief-of-Staff for the Kansas Senate majority leader and president, and director of three departments for an electric and natural gas company. 
Sloan is a graduate of both the Bowhay and Toll Fellowship Leadership Programs, and serves on the U.S. Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee and the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative's Steering Committee. He has also chaired meetings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and with the FCC and assistant secretary of the Army (Civil Works).



Jim Ricker

assistant chief of staff
Community Plans and Public Affairs, G-5, U.S. Marines
Jim Ricker serves as assistant chief of staff for G-5 at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. G-5 is the Community Plans Liaison Office at the U.S. Marines base. In his role, Ricker is responsible for the command’s Encroachment Control Program, Community Plans Liaison Office, Community Relations and the Public Affairs Office.
Ricker joined the Marine Corps in 1976 and began his career as an aviation airframe mechanic. He was promoted to first sergeant in 1994, then to sergeant major in 1997, spending the last nine years of his career as a sergeant major. Ricker’s service includes his position as the director of the SNCO Academy in Okinawa, Japan. In March 2004 he transferred to Twentynine Palms, Calif., and assumed the duties as the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and the Marine Air Ground Combat Center Sergeant Major.
He was transferred to the retired list July 1, 2006, and then performed the duties of the deputy director of Current Operations and Training, before being assigned to his current position in 2007.