• Budget Cuts Are Hurting Military, S.C. Governor Says0

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday urged Congress to reverse budget cuts that are harming the nation’s armed forces, during her annual meeting with senior officers from the state’s military installations. “We have got to reverse course. We have got to strengthen our military. We have to strengthen the equipment and the resources because we don’t know what is in the future,” Haley said, reported Military Times. She pointed to the growing threats at home and abroad, and cited the need for military commanders to bolster security following shootings in recent years at military facilities …

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  • Defense Officials Study Ft. Drum as Host for Potential Missile Site

    Defense Officials Study Ft. Drum as Host for Potential Missile Site0

    The Missile Defense Agency has begun evaluating Fort Drum, N.Y., as a host for a possible East Coast missile defense site. Officials met with utility providers to assess the ability of northern New York to accommodate the mission, which would create up to 1,800 military, civilian and contractor jobs, reported the Watertown Daily Times.

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  • Senate Bill Would Ease Burden on Military Families from Moves0

    Military families would have greater flexibility to expedite or postpone moves to accommodate school work by a child or a spouse’s professional or educational studies, under bipartisan legislation introduced Tuesday in the Senate. The 2015 Military Family Stability Act — introduced by Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) along with co-sponsors Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) — would permit a family to leave up to six months before or after the service member’s reporting date to the new installation. The family would continue to receive the housing allowance for its location, while the service member would reside in unaccompanied housing or be granted compensation …

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  • Defense Committees Appear Open to Eliminating Support for Commissaries7

    Defense officials may be disappointed that the conference report for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill rejects the administration’s proposal to slash federal funding for commissaries in the near-term, but a provision added in the House-Senate conference requiring the department to draw up a plan for eliminating taxpayer support for military grocery stores and exchanges indicates that lawmakers may be closer to embracing the cost-cutting reform than previously believed. The report, which calls for the Pentagon to craft a comprehensive plan for achieving “budget neutrality” for commissary and exchange benefits by the end of fiscal 2018, is primarily directed at military grocery stores since only 3 percent of the budget for exchanges is supplied by Congress …

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  • Lendlease Closes on Final Phase of Army Lodging Privatization Program0

    Lendlease Corp. closed on the final phase of the Army’s Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program, securing $250 million in additional project debt, the international property and infrastructure group said Thursday. The transaction brings the company’s total senior debt financing for the initiative to $715 million and allows it to add 2,058 hotel rooms located on Fort Lee, Va., and Fort Benning, Ga. Lendlease’s privatized hotel portfolio now stands at 12,492 hotel rooms on 41 military installations …

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  • DOD Readies New Plan for Trimming Commissary Subsidies0

    In the face of congressional resistance to its plan for phasing out funding for commissaries, defense officials are working on a new proposal that aims to preserve discounts for military families and protect employees from pay cuts, according to draft documents being prepared for the administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request. The new plan still is designed to make military grocery stores self-sustaining — as military exchanges are — but it would trim funding for commissaries more gradually than the administration’s FY 2016 proposal while testing variable pricing as a way to offset lower funding levels, reports Stars and Stripes. The plan also would prohibit commissary employees from incurring a pay cut while the stores are being converted to non-appropriated fund activities, which receive no congressional funding …

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