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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

NW Florida Officials Focus on Combating Encroachment to Protect NAS Whiting

  • April 15, 2014
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Officials in Northwest Florida believe their long-term effort to protect Naval Air Station Whiting Field from urban encroachment is their best defense against the potential for losing out in a future base closure round. Over the past 14 years, Santa Rosa County has either purchased or acquired easements on 3,500 acres adjacent to the airfield. A majority of the acreage falls within Whiting’s accident prevention zones …

Pay, Benefits Reform is Needed, Marine Corps’ Enlisted Leader Tells Lawmakers

  • April 15, 2014
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The highest ranking enlisted Marine is under fire from his own troops after telling a congressional panel that a deterioration in readiness due to sequestration is more harmful to personnel than moderate cuts to pay and benefits. Marines are not running around thinking about “compensation, benefits or retirement modernization,” Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett told the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee last week …

Army Needs to Help Communities Understand Impact of Privatized Lodging, Panel Says

  • April 15, 2014
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The owners of hotels outside military installations that have privatized lodging are concerned on-post facilities could gain an unfair competitive advantage, according to the report of the House Appropriations Committee accompanying its fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. Their concern stems from the possibility that hotels developed under the Privatized Army Lodging (PAL) program could be made available to the general public while also benefitting from hotel stays made by soldiers who are traveling …

Developer to Break Ground Shortly on DOD’s Largest Solar Array at Ft. Huachuca

  • April 15, 2014
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Construction of a massive solar project at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is expected to begin soon following this week’s announcement by the Army that a collaboration among multiple federal and private partners will result in DOD’s largest solar array to date. The 20-megawatt project is a joint effort among the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, Fort Huachuca, the General Services Administration, Tucson Electric Power and developer E.ON Climate and Renewables. Tucson Electric Power will fund, own, maintain and operate the project, and contract with E.ON for the design, engineering, procurement and construction …

DOD Report Reveals Extent of Facility Budget Cuts under Spending Caps

  • April 15, 2014
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Spending on installation services, facilities sustainment and military construction would be trimmed by $17.5 billion if the defense budget were held at sequester levels from fiscal years 2016-2019, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pentagon. The Army would be forced to make the most far-reaching reductions to installation services, with the report projecting it would need to cut spending by $3.8 billion over the four-year period. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are projected to cut installations services spending by a total of $1.0 billion from FY 2016-2019, compared to the department’s five-year spending plan submitted as part of its FY 2015 budget request …

Non-Combat Injuries Hinder Veterans’ Return to Everyday Life

  • April 14, 2014
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When it comes to the most enduring impact of 12-plus years of war, coping with health problems not considered combat-related may be the primary legacy for the majority of veterans. While more than 50 percent of service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 say their physical or mental health has deteriorated, most of those health problems do not stem from injuries suffered in combat. Almost 80 percent of those reporting worsening health — about 1 million service members — say they were not seriously injured in combat …

Army Breaks Ground on Flight Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

  • April 14, 2014
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The Army’s flight activity center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurt is finally getting a new home – after operating for more than 50 years out of an outdated hangar originally designed for the Navy’s antisubmarine blimp fleet. Officials broke ground Friday on a new facility to house Communications-Electronics Research…

Army Uses Geo-mapping for Renewable Energy Planning

  • April 14, 2014
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In a first-of-a-kind analysis, the Army has gathered geospatial data to identify land on military bases that may be available for renewable energy projects. The goal of the Army Environmental Command’s study was to identify clear parcels suitable for renewable energy projects. The effort was part of a larger goal to make 25 percent of all energy consumed on Army installations to be from renewable energy sources by 2025…

Michelle Obama, Jill Biden: New Help on the Way for Veterans’ Caregivers

  • April 14, 2014
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More than 5.5 million Americans care for wounded service members and veterans, “and they shouldn’t have to bear that alone,” First Lady Michelle Obama said Friday at the White House. She was joined by Jill Biden, former first lady Rosalynn Carter and former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) at an event highlighting…

Air Force Has Few Options In Light of Capitol Hill Opposition to BRAC

  • April 14, 2014
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Despite serious problems created by declining budgets, Congress remains adamantly opposed to a new round of base closure, leaving the Air Force with few options for cutting costs associated with installations. “The department is facing a serious problem created by the tension of declining budgets, reductions in force structure and limited flexibility to adapt our infrastructure accordingly,” said John Conger…

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