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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

New Orleans Considered Model for Ending Veteran Homelessness

  • February 5, 2015
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New Orleans appears to have set a high bar for eliminating homelessness among veterans when it announced last month that it had gone a step beyond ending chronic homelessness. The city said it had reached a point at which it could ensure “every homeless veteran who can be located is placed in permanent housing or in temporary housing with an identified permanent housing placement” within 30 days. It achieved a “zero” level of veteran homelessness by relying on a “housing first” approach, which emphasizes moving the homeless into permanent housing quickly even if it means lowering the barriers to entry …

Carter Eases through Nomination Hearing

  • February 4, 2015
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Ashton Carter’s nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday to be the next defense secretary was largely tension-free and may be quickly followed by a vote on his candidacy by the full Senate next week. “We will talk to the majority leader to see if we can’t get your nomination to the floor so that you can get to work,” Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said at the end of the day-long hearing, reported CQ. Carter told the panel he hopes to get rid of the statutory caps on defense spending and find a way with Congress out of the “wilderness of sequester …

Colorado Springs Comes out to Shield Ft. Carson from Army Restructuring

  • February 4, 2015
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An overflow crowd made up of Colorado Springs residents and leaders showed up Tuesday afternoon to support Fort Carson at an Army listening session before officials determine how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. The Army is considering eliminating up to 16,000 personnel — almost all soldiers — from the post by the conclusion of a second round of restructuring intended to cut the service’s end strength to 420,000. The meeting is “not a BRAC hearing,” moderator Ed Anderson, a retired three-star general, emphasized at the outset of the session, which lasted three-and-one-half hours. Brig. Gen. Roger Cloutier, the Army’s director of force management, said “not a single decision has been made …

Budget Proposal Calls for Pause in Marine Corps Drawdown

  • February 4, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget request released Monday would retain the active-duty end strength for the Marine Corps at 184,000 for at least one year before dropping to 182,000. The pause is needed to assess “the impact of the four-year drawdown on small unit leaders in the face of a continued high operational tempo,” according to the budget. The number of Marines has been shrinking as the military withdraws from Afghanistan. Overall, the budget requests $24 billion for the Marines’ base budget, a $1.6 billion increase, and seeks to return the Marines Corps to its core mission as an expeditionary, emergency response force …

Changing Behavior Represents Next Frontier in Reaching Military’s Energy Goals

  • February 4, 2015
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The Navy and Marine Corps are tapping into of the hottest trends in academic research to help slash their expenditures on fuel and electricity — using psychology and the behavioral sciences to influence people to save energy by changing their habits and practices. “The opportunities that we see on the behavioral side of the house are phenomenal,” Marine Corps regimental commander Col. Jim Caley told the Washington Post. “And they’re frankly less expensive than us trying to buy new equipment.” While Caley is focused on trimming fuel use by Marine Corps vehicles, equipment and outposts during deployments, Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, is working with two behavioral science experts …

Navy Stands up ‘Information Dominance’ Command in Southeastern Virginia

  • February 4, 2015
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The Navy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week to mark the creation of the Information Dominance Forces Command in Suffolk, Va., an organization made up of about 700 military, civilian and contractor personnel. The command has been operating since October, working to improve cybersecurity through dozens of efforts both ashore and afloat. Over the past several months, the command has been consolidating and aligning the missions, functions and tasks previously managed by the separate information dominance commands of Navy Cyber Forces, Fleet Cyber, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography, and the Office of Naval Intelligence …

Senate Budget Hearing Overlooks Shortfall in Defense Spending

  • February 4, 2015
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The urgency associated with raising the statutory cap on defense spending was all but ignored on Tuesday as the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request. Neither Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) nor ranking member Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) mentioned the need to raise the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending during their opening statements. Enzi stressed the “overspending” in Obama’s proposal that would expand the national debt, reported Defense News. The committee, along with its House counterpart, is responsible for developing an FY 2016 budget resolution, a document some GOP lawmakers are hoping calls for relaxing the defense caps …

Carter Favors an ‘Efficiency’ BRAC

  • February 3, 2015
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Ashton Carter, the president’s nominee for defense secretary, said he would direct the department to carry out a base closure round that focuses on efficiency and consolidation rather than transformation if Congress authorizes a new BRAC, according to written answers he provided the Senate Armed Services Committee in advance of his confirmation hearing Wednesday. “BRAC 2005 was skewed by the fact that a large number of its recommendations were focused on transformation, had high up-front costs and were never expected to yield savings,” Carter stated. “However, those recommendations that were focused on efficiency had impressive payback and accounted for a small portion of the costs — much like the 1993 and 1995 rounds …

New BRAC Round Would Limit Military Force Structure, Forbes Says

  • February 3, 2015
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, said he opposes a new BRAC because conducting a round of base closures would freeze the military’s force structure at a level he believes is too low. “If you believe, as I believe, that these force structures are not right, that we are going to have to build these force structures up greater, then you’d better fight like the dickens to make sure you don’t have a BRAC …

DOD Budget Looks for Savings in Quality-of-Life Benefits

  • February 3, 2015
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The president’s fiscal 2016 budget request released Monday reprises cost-savings reforms to commissary benefits and the basic allowance for housing (BAH) from the previous year’s request, with some tweaks. The proposal would continue the Pentagon’s effort to slow the growth in BAH by requiring service members to pay an additional 4 percent in out-of-pocket costs over the next two to three years. The change, which comes on top of a 1 percent reduction in BAH approved by Congress for FY 2015, would save DOD $400 million in FY 2016 and $3.9 billion over the next five years …

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