- August 30, 2016
ADC recognizes 10 communities for outstanding support to service members and military families in its first annual magazine
Behind every excellent defense installation is a city, county or region that provides exemplary commitment to supporting and honoring the service members and their families that call these communities their home.
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Despite almost-universal opposition to the statutory spending caps from defense advocates since the 2011 Budget Control Act was enacted, defense budget experts on Monday said the limits should remain in place to keep DOD spending in check.
“I would keep the Budget Control Act, or at least budget caps, because I think the process needs discipline, but I would raise them for defense and probably non-defense also,” former Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said during a discussion at the Brookings Institution. Ideally, Congress would reach a multi-year budget deal that addresses entitlements, revenue and the deficit, said Hale, currently a senior fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton …
Wind farm developers in Texas would be required to notify the Defense Department of their plans before connecting to the state’s electricity grid, under a legislative proposal the operator of the state grid wants lawmakers to consider. An official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) proposed the rule change to the Texas House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee during a hearing last week in Wichita Falls. Sheppard Air Force Base leaders have said two wind farm projects in north central Texas could threaten the installation’s pilot training mission by interfering with the base’s radar systems and limiting the number of days pilots could train. Warren Lasher, ERCOT’s director of planning, wants to see “increased coordination and communication” between DOD and wind energy developers to resolve the dispute over the projects near Sheppard and other similar conflicts …READ MORE
Pentagon officials are mulling the next steps in their exploration of whether the operation of military groceries could be privatized, after a number of companies expressed interest in taking over some or all aspects of the commissary system. “We have a significant response. It’s enough of a response that we think that a real evaluation of what we’ve got is needed, but it’s going to be a thoughtful and considered process,” Peter Levine, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, told the Military Times. “The thing we need to do is assess the information we’ve gotten, determine whether it’s enough to proceed to the next step,” Levine said. The next step presumably would be a formal request for proposals for a possible contract, according to the story …READ MORE
With the looming possibility of base closures or another form of downsizing, defense communities are paying more attention to the quality of their public schools, according to a commentary in Stars and Stripes. Education is a top quality-of-life issue for military families and the services are assessing the performance of local schools, among other factors, as they gauge the value of their installations, writes Jim Cowen, executive director of the Alexandria, Va.-based Collaborative for Student Success …READ MORE
The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Brunswick Executive Airport, Brunswick, Maine to participate in the fiscal 2016 Military Airport Program (MAP), allowing the business and general aviation airport at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station to remain in the program for five additional years. Brunswick was the only former military airport or joint use airport added to MAP this year, the third straight year FAA has picked only one participant. Brunswick’s selection will allow it to complete projects that started during the previous five years, according to an FAA fact sheet. Those projects include converting military hangars to civilian use, obstruction removal, drainage upgrades and installing wildlife fencing …READ MORE
In a bid to alleviate a growing shortage of fighter pilots, the Air Force is establishing up to two interim F-16 training units at existing F-16 training locations, the service announced Thursday. Officials expect to select candidate locations by the end of the calendar year, reported Air Force Times. To expedite the process of standing up the training units, the service will temporarily move F-16 aircraft from Hill AFB, Utah, to two existing F-16 training locations, the Air Force said in a release. This approach will allow the Air Force to avoid conducting an exhaustive environmental review and other analyses that would be required if the service intended to permanently base formal training units …READ MORE