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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Prospects for Omnibus Drop following Obama’s Immigration Action

  • November 23, 2014
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As Republicans continue to grapple with a response to President Obama’s executive order on immigration, the likelihood that Congress clears an omnibus bill during the lame duck session to wrap up appropriations for fiscal 2015 continues to fall. That calculation comes as time is running out to act on an omnibus by Dec. 11 when the current continuing resolution runs out and conservatives remain convinced that the must-pass spending legislation is their most potent weapon to confront Obama on his executive order shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation …

Army Realignment Should Be Conducted under BRAC, Community Leaders Say

  • November 23, 2014
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The decision-making process the Army is using to shrink its active-duty end strength to 420,000 by fiscal 2020 lacks transparency, say leaders in two Army communities that stand to lose thousands of troops as officials decide what installations will lose up to 70,000 soldiers. Instead, the Army’s force structure realignments should be made through a formal BRAC round, they say. “No one is comfortable with the process of this whole drawdown and the way it’s being managed. The citizens at large, Congress, the Army — nobody’s happy with this process. … The meat-cleaver approach that is being taken to defense spending is unconscionable,” said John Crutchfield, president and CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce …

Aviation Restructuring Prompts Loss of Ft. Campbell Brigade

  • November 23, 2014
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Fort Campbell, Ky., will lose a 2,400-soldier combat aviation brigade by next October as part of an Army aviation restructuring initiative, officials announced last week. The decision to eliminate the post’s 159th Combat Aviation Brigade also will mean the departure of 3,800 family members and result in cascading economic impacts in the surrounding community. “The loss of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell will have a wide-ranging effect both on and off the installation on many levels …

City Names Developer for Alameda Point Town Center

  • November 23, 2014
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The Alameda City Council last week selected Alameda Point Partners to develop a 68-acre waterfront town center at Alameda Point, the former Naval Air Station Alameda located on San Francisco Bay. Alameda Point Partners is a partnership made up of six firms created specifically for the project and includes two Bay area firms — SRM Ernst and Thompson Dorfman Partners. The plan for the parcel calls for a town center, a mixed-use development with hundreds of homes, retail and open space …

Air Force to Identify Candidate Reserve Bases to Host New Tankers

  • November 23, 2014
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The Air Force has released the basing criteria it will use to select candidates for the first Reserve-led KC-46A main operating base. Officials plan to announce candidate installations in the spring of 2015, select the preferred and reasonable alternatives and begin the environmental impact analysis process in the fall of 2015, and announce a final decision in calendar year 2016, according to a press release. The Air Force will evaluate all Reserve-led global mobility wings with a runway of at least 7,000 feet against the criteria …

Mechanism to Block Executive Order through Appropriations Remains Elusive

  • November 20, 2014
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The Republican camp struggled to agree on a strategy to take advantage of fiscal 2015 spending legislation to block President Obama’s executive action shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. House appropriators say there is no practical way to defund the president’s action through spending bills, as the agency responsible for determining immigration status and work permits is funded through fees rather than congressional appropriations …

Eastern Pennsylvania Lawmaker to Take Reins of Milcon Spending Panel

  • November 20, 2014
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Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent (R) will take over the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in the new Congress, Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) announced Thursday. Dent, whose district stretches from Harrisburg to Allentown, previously served on the state-foreign operations panel, not military construction. His district includes Fort Indiantown Gap, an active National Guard Training Center which serves as the headquarters for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the primary training site for the Pennsylvania National Guard and home to the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery …

FY’15 Omnibus Talks Advance toward Funding Deadline

  • November 20, 2014
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Even as conservatives are uncertain how they will leverage must-pass spending legislation to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration, House and Senate appropriators continue to make progress hammering out a fiscal 2015 omnibus bill that would include funding for the entire federal government. Appropriators are planning on completing a year-end spending bill in time for the House and Senate to clear it before the current continuing resolution (CR) runs out on Dec. 11, reported CQ. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, told the publication that a House-Senate meeting over the FY 2015 defense spending bill has reached agreement on a compromise measure, except for a handful of issues …

Four Bases to Vie for Air Force’s New Installation Support Center

  • November 20, 2014
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The Air Force this week announced four installations — Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Scott AFB, Ill., and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio — as candidate locations to host the headquarters for the new Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center. The Air Force plans to announce preferred and reasonable alternatives and continue the environmental impact analysis process through early 2015. Officials from Air Force Materiel Command will begin to conduct site surveys of each candidate base to assess a range of operational and facility requirements …

Expansion of Training Area to Bolster Ellsworth AFB

  • November 20, 2014
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A massive expansion of a training area used by B-52 and B-1 bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., is close to obtaining federal approval following a six-year review process, Sen. John Thune said this week. Expansion of the Powder River Training Complex will improve the Air Force’s training capability. Consolidation of far-flung training flights also could save the service an estimated $20 million annually in fuel costs, reported the Billings Gazette. The expansion will quadruple the size of the existing airspace to an area of about 20 million acres northwest of Rapid City and spanning parts of South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota …

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