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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

The Trouble with a Full-Year CR

  • October 24, 2014
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While the top appropriators in the House and Senate are pushing for Congress to complete fiscal 2015 appropriations before the end of the year by passing a massive year-end omnibus, many lawmakers may prefer to move a yearlong continuing resolution that simply extends lasts year’s funding levels through Sept. 30, 2015. For some, the appeal of a full-year CR for all agencies would be getting appropriations out of the way so Congress can focus on other year-end business during the lame duck session. Such a move also would provide agencies certainty about their FY 2015 spending. For Republicans, it would be a way to deny Democrats a last chance to see their spending priorities implemented …

Efforts to Support Vance AFB to Focus on Boosting Military Value

  • October 23, 2014
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Construction of a 2,300-foot runway extension at a regional airport that it is intended to support Vance Air Force Base, Okla., is under way and on track to be completed next summer. The project will lengthen the runway at Enid Woodring Regional Airport to 8,000 feet, allowing T-38 aircraft from Vance to use the airport for regular operations, as well as to divert there due to strong crosswinds or threatening storms. The regional airport is about 8 miles from Vance …

State Commission Approves Solar Projects at Three Georgia Posts

  • October 23, 2014
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The Georgia Public Service Commission on Thursday approved the construction of solar photovoltaic arrays at three Army installations in the state — Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning. The Georgia Power Co., an operating utility of Southern Company, will finance, design, build, own and operate each of the 30-megawatt projects. All three are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, according to a commission press release. The projects, referred to as “Georgia 3×30,” are a collaborative effort among the Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives, the three installations, the General Services Administration and Georgia Power …

Nine Openings Available in FAA’s Military Airport Program

  • October 23, 2014
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The Federal Aviation Administration’s fiscal 2015 Military Airport Program, a valuable source of capital funding for former military airfields and joint use airports, has nine slots available for new participants or existing participants eligible for redesignation. None of the open slots, however, are available for general aviation airports, according to the Oct. 23 Federal Register notice. The program allows participating airports to receive grants from the Airport Improvement Program …

DOT Awards $1M to Community Colleges to Train Veterans as Commercial Drivers

  • October 23, 2014
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The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week awarded $1 million in grants to nine technical and community colleges to train military veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers. The schools will use the funds to recruit, train and provide students job placement assistance after graduation. The grants will provide training for nearly 400 new students, according to the agency’s press release. “Those that we entrust to protect and serve our nation deserve opportunities that utilize the skills and training they received on the job on military bases overseas and at home,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx …

Pentagon Likely to Conduct Study of Excess Capacity

  • October 22, 2014
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DOD may study the need for additional base closures even if language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of excess infrastructure is stripped from the conference report, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, said Wednesday. “Even if it doesn’t end up in the final version, I think it’s a signal that we can go ahead and do a capacity analysis at a parametric level,” Conger told CQ. “It’s not a bad thing to have those numbers,” he said. The bill language directs DOD to compare 20-year force structure plans for each of the services with an inventory of their installations to determine the level of excess infrastructure throughout the department …

Joint Use Wastewater Treatment Plant Supports Ellsworth AFB

  • October 22, 2014
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A $23 million wastewater treatment plant financed by the state is up and running in west central South Dakota and helping sustain growth at Ellsworth Air Force Base. The plant, which opened last month, is the product of a collaboration among the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, the city of Box Elder and Ellsworth. Both the base and Box Elder needed additional wastewater treatment capacity, a requirement which the development authority was uniquely positioned to address …

Microgrids Prove Key as Installations Advance toward Energy Security Goals

  • October 22, 2014
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Construction of a microgrid at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif., linking a system of small power plants, solar panels, batteries and diesel generators soon will enable the Mojave Desert base to operate independently of Southern California Edison in an emergency. The installation already is saving $10 million a year in energy costs. Workers started by adding a small generating plant, and then added solar panels and batteries. The base finished construction of a second generating plant this summer. Officials believe they soon will be able to generate about 80 percent of the base’s power needs …

Alabama Installations Are Ready for BRAC, Lt. Governor Declares

  • October 22, 2014
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After touring flight simulators and other facilities at Fort Rucker this week, Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey said she was confident state and local officials have taken the necessary steps to protect the installation from a prospective round of base closures. “We just don’t know when that is coming. But the name of the game is to be prepared in advance because when the call comes, it is too late to start preparing,” Ivey said. “We are prepared here at Fort Rucker.” She cited several steps the state has taken to position Fort Rucker to survive the next BRAC …

Connecticut Town to Conduct Land Use Study for National Guard Facility

  • October 22, 2014
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The town of East Lyme, Conn., is moving ahead with a joint land use study intended to ensure land uses in communities surrounding Stones Ranch Military Reservation remain compatible with the training facility. Stones Ranch encompasses nearly 2,000 acres of land managed by the Connecticut Army National Guard in East Lyme, Old Lyme and Lyme. Old Lyme will be one of the partners participating in the study, which also will analyze Camp Niantic; Lyme will not participate in the study, however …

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