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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force Installations Nominee Advances Past Committee

  • June 26, 2014
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The nomination of Miranda Ballentine to be the next assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and energy has advanced to the full Senate after the Armed Services Committee this week voted to “favorably report out” her nomination. President Obama nominated Ballentine, a top sustainability and renewable energy official for Wal-Mart Stores, for the post in January. She testified before the committee last week. To watch a webcast or read her answers to written questions, visit the committee website …

Worst-Case Scenario Would Be Devastating for Colorado Springs

  • June 26, 2014
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Fort Carson, Colo., would lose up to two-thirds of its population of 24,000 soldiers by 2020 under a worst-case scenario evaluated as part of a required assessment of the impacts of eliminating 70,000 active-duty soldiers from the Army. A cut of that magnitude would result in $1 billion in lost wages, a loss of 21,000 jobs and a big blow to the housing market in the region …

Power Plant Regulations at Heart of Senate Road Block on Spending Bills

  • June 26, 2014
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An effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to block a recent Environmental Protection Agency proposal regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants appears to be at the center of last week’s decision by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to suspend debate on a package of three fiscal 2015 spending bills. And while the two Senate leaders and appropriators are trying to restart the appropriations process, failure to break the impasse could mean that all of the momentum in both chambers to move spending bills according to regular order this year could be lost …

Army Analysis Describes Range of Impacts following Next Round of Troop Cuts

  • June 26, 2014
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The Army Thursday released an assessment of the potential economic impacts at 30 installations required before it makes specific basing decisions. The assessment builds on last year’s programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) which paved the way for the service to reduce its active-duty end strength from 570,000 to 490,000 soldiers. The latest analysis, a supplemental PEA, evaluates the environmental and socioeconomic impact of slashing an additional 70,000 personnel from the active-duty force, a move triggered by the stringent spending caps mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act …

DOD Readiness Chief Gains Senate Confirmation

  • June 25, 2014
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The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Jessica Wright to be the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, the department’s senior official responsible for issues related to military and civilian personnel, including quality of life. Wright has been serving as acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness since January 2013, and previously served as assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved her nomination in January, but a floor vote had been delayed since then …

New Development Pushes Chaffee Crossing into a New Chapter

  • June 25, 2014
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After a string of announcements in the past year about new development coming to Chaffee Crossing, the reuse project at the former Fort Chaffee in western Arkansas is transitioning into a new phase of development, reports the City Wire. “I think there’s going to be smaller scale developments just because, and particularly here at Chaffee Crossing, because of the configuration of our property now. We’ve sold a lot of large tracts and because of that, we now have a lot of smaller, specialized pieces of property,” said Ivy Owen, executive director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority …

State Pitches in for Runway Extension Benefitting nearby Vance AFB

  • June 25, 2014
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The Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission last week approved a $204,750 grant to help pay for a runway extension at Enid Woodring Regional Airport, bringing the commission’s total contribution to the project to more than $730,000 over the past three years. The project is being led by the city of Enid and is intended to support Vance Air Force Base, which is about 8 miles from the airport. Lengthening the runway by 2,300 feet to 8,000 feet would allow T-38 aircraft from Vance to use the regional airport for regular operations, as well as to divert there due to strong crosswinds or threatening storms …

Will Unfunded Milcon Requirements Harm Readiness, Authorization Committee Asks

  • June 25, 2014
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The Defense Department’s fiscal 2015 military construction request is 40 percent lower than it was in FY 2014, prompting the Senate Armed Services Committee to ask the department to assess the risk to readiness it is accepting by deferring many of its construction requirements. The panel said it was worried about the likely impact of curtailing milcon spending on the number of facilities in poor to failing condition, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that milcon cuts will ultimately lead to lasting negative impacts to our military’s readiness and their ability to effectively respond to crisis abroad and at home …

Senate Looks to Regain Momentum on Spending Bills

  • June 25, 2014
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Senate appropriators and the chamber’s leadership continue to discuss ways to bring a package of three domestic spending bills back to the floor after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week withdrew the fiscal 2015 “minibus” from consideration due to a dispute with Republicans over amendments. So far, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said she is not considering sending individual spending measures to the floor as a way to advance the fiscal 2015 appropriations process …

Former McClellan AFB Ready for Next Property Transfer

  • June 24, 2014
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McClellan Business Park, the redevelopment project at the former McClellan Air Force Base in northern California, shortly will accept ownership of an additional 198 acres of land from the Air Force. The business park already has been managing leasing for much of the tract, but a formal title transfer will make the job easier, said Alan Hersh, senior vice president for the project. Officially, the Air Force will hand the site over to Sacramento County before it goes to the business park. The property most likely will be used for aviation and industrial activities. All base property is scheduled to be turned over to the business park by 2019, reports the Sacramento Business Journal.

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