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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Carter to Defend FY’16 Budget before Congress

  • January 22, 2015
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Ashton Carter, who is almost certain to become the next Pentagon chief, will present the department’s fiscal 2016 budget request to Congress instead of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, according to the House and Senate Armed Services committees. “It’s going to be Carter, so we’re going to delay it some,” Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters Thursday. He said Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would present the budget request to his committee during the first week of March, one month after President Obama is scheduled to release the new spending proposal …

Hagel Offers Warning on Spending Caps

  • January 22, 2015
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During what he called one of his last official news conferences, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters Thursday that many of the gains achieved by the military will be lost if lawmakers fail to provide DOD relief from the statutory spending cap for fiscal 2016. “The progress we have made will quickly evaporate if sequestration returns in 2016,” Hagel said. “We need long-term budget predictability and we need the flexibility to prioritize and make the difficult decisions … more effectively …

Monterey Paved the Way for Communities, Installations to Share Municipal Services

  • January 22, 2015
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NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday featured the pioneering partnership between the city of Monterey, Calif., and the Presidio of Monterey that delivers many base operating services to the installation at a lower cost than it had been paying. The initiative, which began more than two decades ago as a pilot project, helped convince lawmakers to include language in the FY 2013 defense authorization bill permitting all installations to form partnerships with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. In the two years since the legislation was enacted, Air Force and Army installations have been trying to take advantage of the new authority by collaborating with their host communities to enter into intergovernmental support agreements …

Utility Plans to Build Solar Plants at Three Florida Airfields

  • January 22, 2015
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Gulf Power, a subsidiary of Georgia-based Southern Co., is planning to build a total of 120 megawatts of solar power at three military facilities on the tip of the Florida Panhandle — Eglin Air Force Base and the Navy’s Holley and Saufley fields. If the solar farms are approved by the Florida Public Service Commission, the project’s developer, HelioSage, would begin construction in February 2016. The three plants would be expected to come online beginning in December 2016. The planned capacity for each of the solar farms is as follows: Eglin AFB in Fort Walton Beach (30 megawatts); Holley Field in Navarre (40 megawatts); and Saufley Field in Pensacola (50 megawatts) …

Willow Grove LRA Taps Catellus as Master Developer

  • January 22, 2015
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The Horsham LRA on Wednesday selected Catellus Development Corp. to act as master developer for the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove located north of Philadelphia. The Oakland, Calif.-based firm beat out three other finalists — a team composed of Lennar Corp., Fla., and Toll Brothers, Pa.; the Hankin Group, Pa.; and Keystone Properties, Pa. The reuse plan for the 862-acre base calls for a town center; 1,486 residential units of various types; 1.8 million square feet of commercial uses, including a hotel/conference center; 452,000 square feet of other uses including a regional recreation center, new school and aviation museum; and parks and open space …

Thousands Turn out to Support Ft. Campbell at Listening Session

  • January 21, 2015
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Tuesday’s listening session at Fort Campbell, Ky., was marked by an overwhelming turnout, with an estimated 1,900 people filling seats at the post’s family resource center and two other venues receiving a live feed, and 2,500 others turned away. And with more than two dozen speakers making presentations in support of the installation and its host community, the session extended more than two hours after its scheduled ending time. In addition, the session was streamed online and broadcast on two radio stations. Afterward, the Army official in charge of the session — held to gather public input before deciding how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020 — said the community did “an awesome job …

JB San Antonio to Host Air Force Installation Support Center

  • January 21, 2015
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Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland will host the new Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center headquarters, officials announced Wednesday. Joint Base San Antonio was selected over three other candidates — Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio — primarily because much of the new organization’s subordinate staff already are located there, according to a press release. Initial personnel assigned to the support center are expected to begin reporting by summer 2015, with most of the staff slated to be in place by fall 2016 …

Electric Powertrain Manufacturer Moves to Alameda Point

  • January 21, 2015
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Wrightspeed, a designer and manufacturer of low-emission, electric hybrid powertrains, has moved its offices and assembly plant to historic Hangar 41 at the former Naval Air Station Alameda, located on San Francisco Bay. Wrightspeed makes electric powertrains that can be installed in existing delivery and garbage trucks, making them “near zero-emission, quiet and efficient commercial vehicles,” according to a press release. The company had not previously focused on garbage trucks and selected Hangar 41 at Alameda Point because it needs a building with doors large enough to accommodate the huge vehicles …

Judge Dismisses Developer’s Suit over Groundwater Contamination at Ft. Detrick

  • January 21, 2015
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A federal judge last week dismissed a housing developer’s $37 million lawsuit against the federal government alleging the Army’s negligent practices contaminated the groundwater underneath land outside of Fort Detrick where it planned to build 732 homes.
In U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Judge Catherine Blake ruled that Waverley View Investors failed to show that DOD environmental directives barred the Army from burying certain toxic chemicals in unlined pits at the installation prior to 1972, reported the Frederick News Post. She granted the Army’s motion to dismiss the suit. The homebuilder claimed that high levels of trichloroethylene in the groundwater stemming from the Army’s disposal practices since the 1950s reduced the value of its 93-acre parcel. The developer also sought damages to compensate it for development costs and lost profits.

Malmstrom Supporter Eyes Potential for Mission Growth in Next BRAC

  • January 21, 2015
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Malmstrom Air Force Base has the potential to benefit from a new round of base closures through mission growth, according to David Weissman, chairman of the Montana Defense Alliance. “We think that there might be the opportunity through the BRAC to actually increase the size of Malmstrom if they were to reduce a base and move assets around. So our strategy would actually be to look at growth,” Weissman told KRTV. Congress has ignored the Pentagon’s calls for a BRAC recently, but Weissman believes lawmakers are close to realizing that the military services need a way to pare down their excess capacity. “I believe that the next year or so will be pretty eye-opening for them all and they’ll come around and believe it’s the right thing to do,” he said …

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