Tag Archives: Quantico

Private Sector Ends Unwanted Alien Invasion

Hydrilla: Michelle Obama’s heart-healthy next menu item.

Prince William County, VA is suffering the ill effects of another alien invasion and a collection of politicians is engaged in vigorous hand–wringing over possible solutions.

No, this isn’t another rant about illegals clogging 7/11 parking lots. This time it’s alien plants clogging Quantico Creek.

Recently Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman, Del. Mark Dudenhefer (R–2nd), Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, and Dumfries Councilmember Helen Reynolds took a pontoon boat tour of Quantico Creek. (Oddly enough Supervisor Frank Principi, a Democrat who is usually an enthusiastic participant anytime commuter ferries are involved, did not make the voyage.)

Creeping along at about the same speed as OJ’s SUV, the group’s mission was to see for themselves the extent of the hydrilla crop currently infesting Quantico Creek. Hydrilla is a green, leafy and invasive species from Florida that might do well in a vegan’s salad bowl, but causes extensive problems in lakes and waterways.

Hydrilla also has much in common with the federal government: It grows and grows, and as it increases in size all surrounding activity slowly grinds to a halt as a result of silt buildup and tendril blockage.

In Quantico Creek hydrilla is so extensive it’s impossible for boaters to cross and the alien vegetation has crowded out white lilies, swans and crabs.

Unfortunately the creek touches a number of jurisdictions so agreeing on a solution is going to be difficult. If the problem is solved, everyone wants credit but if there are problems no one wants to take the blame. Plus, anytime a political decision takes place outdoors, it attracts “environmentalists” with all the attendant scare stories, warnings and potential lawsuits.

However, I have a suggestion with two advantages in that it saves time and eliminates hydrilla. Simply call the Montclair Property Owners Assn. (MPOA) because it solved the very same problem over ten years ago

Back in 1994 Lake Montclair was rapidly becoming Swamp Montclair. Hydrilla covered approximately 45 percent of the lake. Lakefront property owners were rapidly losing the use of the lake. After easing into the water — jumping was out of the question since it was like leaping into a bowl of mold chowder — you felt like Moses in the bulrushes. The obnoxious plant would rub against your bare legs like a sex harasser on Metro’s Red line.

The MPOA was offered the same three options the politicians are considering. The first is harvesting. Think John Deere combines in the water. Unfortunately, this option is particularly attractive to politicians because it’s perpetual. You don’t eliminate the hydrilla; you just give it a yearly styling.

In fact, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has been running a harvesting program on the Potomac for almost 40 years. The Army Corps of Engineers (the same experts in charge of levies in New Orleans!) mows the river annually and everyone involved is happy. Politicians get to appropriate and show “concern” for the problem and the Corps of Engineers gets to justify its budget. A win–win for everyone but the taxpayers.

Montclair could have purchased a huge harvesting machine and donated the annual hydrilla crop to the school lunch program. But someone has to operate the harvester, repair the harvester and store the harvester, which means the cost never ends. Appealing to government but a problem for the private sector.

The second option is always carp. Montclair tried neutered Japanese carp in an effort to harvest hydrilla the natural way. I used to throw rice off the dock in an effort to entice passing carp into my section of the lake, but it never worked. And neither did the carp.

It could have been neutered carp suffer from a testosterone deficit that affects their appetite or maybe they were just resentful after losing their manhood. Or it could have been the hydrilla infestation was so extensive solving the problem would have required a concentration of carp dense enough to allow one to walk across the lake without getting your feet wet.

I’m reasonably sure the politicians won’t opt for carp either, not because it’s ineffective, but because it’s tough to have their photo taken hugging a live fish.

The last option is the one that works: herbicide treatment. Naturally this choice put the victims of hysterical “environmentalist” indoctrination into a tizzy because it introduces a chemical into a liquid. Of course adding salt to your soup does the same thing, but “environmentalists” are immune to analogy.

The Montclair greenies were joined by fishermen who had no problem with property owners losing the use of the lake as long as they could persuade a bass to stop hiding in the hydrilla long enough for them to hook it.

After approximately a year of debate (lightspeed in political terms) the MPOA board realized hydrilla was also adding to the cost of lake dredging; the association’s largest recurring expense. So in late 2000 the MPOA board approved a treatment with a chelated copper herbicide. Problem solved without wasting tax dollars or time. It was a perfect conservative solution: local, effective and cost–conscious. Which is another reason Mayor Foreman should call Montclair ASAP.

He’s concerned that eliminating hydrilla could cost Dumfries half its annual $4 million budget. Montclair treated an entire 110-acre lake for only $20,730.00.


31st Modern Day Marine Military Exposition Set for Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA, September 27 – 29

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2011 — The 2011 edition of the world’s largest military exposition focusing on enhanced capabilities for expeditionary forces will be hosted by Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, September 27 – 29.

Co-sponsored by the base, the 76,000-member Marine Corps League, and Marine Corps Systems Command, the 31st Modern Day Marine Military Exposition will showcase products and services of more than 500 companies, which support military land, air and sea operations. Much of the equipment now used by Marines and other U.S. and allied forces confronting enemies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world was first showcased before military leaders, operations planners and acquisition managers at previous editions of the expo.

Exhibits at this year’s exposition will fill three large display halls and outdoor exhibit areas. Visitors see the latest operational equipment and technology and video presentations, models and prototypes of items soon to enter service. Defense contractors from throughout the U.S. and allied nations around the world will present their products and services, get feedback from the warfighters, and respond to questions.

The Modern Day Marine Military Exposition has issued a special invitation to federal, state and local law enforcement personnel to attend this year’s expo. Much of the equipment on display will be of types that can be used not only in military applications but also in law enforcement, including counter-terrorism operations.

Quantico is home of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, which develops Marine warfighting concepts and determines the Corps’ capability requirements for doctrine, equipment, organization, training, education and support. The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory at Quantico is part of the Development Command and responsible for improving current and future naval expeditionary warfare capabilities for the Marines and their amphibious roles and missions. Also at Quantico is the Marine Corps Systems Command, the Corps’ principal agency for acquisition and sustainment of systems and equipment for the Marines’ warfighting mission. Many of the personnel who staff those organizations will visit the exhibit halls and discuss missions, capabilities and requirements with defense industry professionals.

In addition to the large number of equipment displays, several special activities are held in conjunction with the Modern Day Marine Exposition. One of the most important is a special by-invitation-only Report to Industry covering equipment and systems research, development, testing and acquisition programs and policies. Those presenting the report will be LtGen John Wissler USMC, DCMC, Programs & Resources, HQMC; LtGen Richard Mills USMC, CG, MCCDC; BGen Frank Kelley USMC, Commander, MCSC; and Mr. Bill Taylor, PEO, Land Systems. The Report will be moderated by BGen Kelley. The Report to Industry will be held aboard the expo site 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 29. That report will be followed by Marine Corps Systems Command Program Director Briefings in which industry representatives will gain additional insight into requirements and acquisition procedures from the men and women who manage programs through which Marines acquire and field weapons and equipment for the Corps.

Another feature of the expo will be the “Warfighters Corner,” a venue in which Marines recently back from service in combat zones will describe what equipment and systems worked best for them, and also provide suggestions and recommendations for how improvements, modifications or replacements might be made to better help Marines survive and win on the battlefield, in seaborne operations and in aerial engagements. Subjects, this year, will be Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, USMC Energy, Navy Marine Corps Medical Team, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Combat Equipment.

A colorful Enlisted Awards Parade will be held, beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 28th. Awards will be presented to Marines and Sailors from units around the world. The awards are sponsored by the Capital Marines Detachment of the Marine Corps League. Later on that same day, September 28th, the Modern Day Marine Military Exposition’s Grand Banquet and Awards Dinner will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Crystal City section of Arlington, VA.

That event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. During the Awards Dinner, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, will present the Marine Corps League’s top awards – the Iron Mike Award and the Dickey Chapelle Award – to two distinguished Americans for outstanding service to the nation and to the Marine Corps. The Iron Mike Award is named for a statue at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, which is famous among Marines as a symbol of service, sacrifice and valor. The Dickey Chapelle Award is named for a woman war correspondent who covered the Marines in several wars. She was killed on a combat patrol with Marines in Vietnam. Recipient of the Iron Mike Award will be Major Paul F. Hastings, USMC (Retired), who has had a long, distinguished role in leadership and advisory positions with the Marine Corps League. The Dickie Chapelle Award will be presented to Ms. Bonnie Carroll for her leadership role as Founder and President, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a national Veterans Service Organization.

Once again this year, the Modern Day Marine Exposition will have a “Family Day” – a day on which family members of Department of Defense military and civilian personnel can tour the exhibits, learn about today’s military equipment, systems and technology, and see what new items will soon be arriving in the inventories of military forces. Family Day is Thursday, September 29th.

News media representatives desiring to cover any portion of the exposition will be required to present their press credentials upon arrival at the exposition site in order to register for the event.

All attendees will be required to have picture identification available when entering the base at Quantico. Uniformed Marines may enter exhibit halls without a special registration badge. All other military personnel, civilians and industry representatives must register during registration hours. Additional information on the exposition is available at http://www.marinemilitaryexpos.com