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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

EPA Orders Army to Address Airborne Pollutants outside Ft. Gillem

  • September 24, 2014
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The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday order the Army to take “expedited corrective measures” at the former Fort Gillem located outside of Atlanta, after the service failed to take mitigation measures when its tests revealed toxic vapor in dozens of homes. The Army has collected air samples from 56 homes and businesses surrounding the installation over the summer, and plans to test additional residences. The vapors are believed to stem from groundwater contamination that seeped off of the post …

Authorization Bill Coming in Some Form, Levin Says

  • September 24, 2014
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Congress will pass the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill this year, although it’s unlikely it will occur through regular order with the Senate passing its version before it goes to a House-Senate conference, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday. Levin’s comments essentially confirmed that the annual defense policy bill most likely will follow a path similar to the one it went down last year after it stalled in the Senate in November when the two parties failed to reach an agreement over handling amendments …

Joint Use Airport at Sheppard AFB Selected for Military Airport Program

  • September 23, 2014
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The Federal Aviation Administration has selected the joint use airport at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, to participate in the 2014 Military Airport Program for an additional year, the agency announced earlier this month. The airfield at Sheppard also serves as Wichita Falls Municipal Airport, which participated in MAP for the past two years. The airport’s redesignation will allow it to complete the final phase of a terminal rehabilitation project, which will include the purchase and installation of two passenger loading bridges, and the demolition of the existing terminal building …

An Elegy to Fort Ord in Comic Form

  • September 23, 2014
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A new comic about the closure and redevelopment of the former Fort Ord, located on the Monterey Peninsula, accurately evokes the upheaval created when the military shutters a base as well as the overwhelming challenges involved in finding new uses for the aging infrastructure left behind. “Impossible City: The Afterlife of an Army Base,” published on Medium.com by San Francisco artist Andy Warner, also doubles as a succinct way to explain to loved ones or friends the range of issues touched on following a BRAC closure. Michael Houlemard, the Fort Ord Reuse Authority’s executive officer, said the organization has been getting positive feedback about the comic, reports the Monterey Herald. Houlemard is featured prominently in the 35-panel work. The 30-year-old artist said he first came upon the former Army post by accident in 2006. “It always kind of stuck around in my mind,” Warner told the paper.

Military Families Enjoy Moderate Savings at Commissaries in Hampton Roads

  • September 23, 2014
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Military families and veterans shopping at a commissary in Hampton Roads, Va., save an average of 16.5 percent on their groceries compared to shopping at local retailers, according to a survey conducted by the Virginian-Pilot. The average savings differed, though, depending on what supermarket chain was used for comparison. Harris Teeter showed the biggest gap, costing 30.1 percent more for the basket of 30 randomly selected items. Walmart’s prices were only 11.4 percent more expensive than the commissary, and Kroger’s were 13.3 percent higher …

Lewis-McChord Could Lose Headquarters under Medical Command Reorganization Plan

  • September 23, 2014
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Western Regional Medical Command, which employs about 200 people at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., would close under an Army proposal intended to shrink overhead costs. The proposal, which has not yet been approved by the Army, would reduce the number of regional medical headquarters from five to four, reported the News Tribune. The Army Surgeon General’s office sent the proposal to employees at the installation’s Madigan Army Medical Center last week. It could be carried out as soon as 2016 …

Ft. Monmouth Sparks Heightened Interest from Residential, Retail Developers

  • September 23, 2014
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Competition among residential and retail developers for space at the former Fort Monmouth has been growing recently as central New Jersey’s real estate market heats up. “As every day goes by, the market is getting stronger in those areas,” Les Smith, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield, told the New York Times. “If you come up with a good development site, they want it,” said Smith, whose firm is the real estate broker for the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority …

Federal City Opened up to Surrounding New Orleans Neighborhood

  • September 23, 2014
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Much of the fence surrounding the former Naval Support Activity New Orleans is coming down three years after the installation closed, in an effort to open up the Federal City project to the public and create a new entry point to the site for vehicles. The public has had access to the project since the Navy shuttered the support activity, but the Algiers Development District, which is responsible for the 114-acre redevelopment, wanted to remove the fencing to give it a more inviting appearance, reported the Times-Picayune. Workers will remove 1,500 linear feet of heavy-duty chain link fencing. Workers previously had removed about 1,300 linear feet surrounding a tract purchased by Delgado Community College; some of that fencing will be used to separate the community college from military housing still inside Federal City.

Spouse Employment Ranks High among Military Families’ Concerns

  • September 23, 2014
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Concerns about military pay and benefits, along with changes in the retirement system, ranked as the top two issues cited by service members, military spouses and veterans in a wide-ranging survey conducted by Blue Star Families. Military spouses and active-duty members also cited spouse employment as one of their top five lifestyle concerns, reported Government Executive. Military spouses frequently experience challenges finding jobs, primarily due to a lack of child care, frequent moves or employer bias. “Within open-ended responses, many spouses described encounters with potential employers who reportedly held preconceived notions that military spouse job seekers lacked adequate education, skills or experience, or who were concerned that frequent moves would ultimately mean short periods of employment …

Air Force to Transfer Last Parcels at Chanute AFB to Community

  • September 23, 2014
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The Air Force has approved transferring 394 acres at the former Chanute AFB, Ill., to the village of Rantoul via an economic development conveyance in a move that will complete the property’s transfer and allow the community to advance its development plans. The village can now approach developers interested in the site “so we can [realize] the economic growth in Rantoul that’s been on hold for such a long time,” Mayor Chuck Smith told the News-Gazette. Smith said there are three firms looking at properties at Chanute, which was shuttered in September 1993 after being recommended for closure in the 1988 BRAC round …

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