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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Tucson Residents Salute Davis-Monthan AFB

  • November 12, 2014
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Hundreds of supporters of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base celebrated the base’s history and its importance to the Tucson region during an event held Monday to raise funds for the installation’s local support group. “They can’t advocate for themselves through the Air Force or on Capitol Hill,” said Brian Harpel, president of DM50. “So it’s up to the community to do that for them.” The event, which was held at the Pima Air and Space Museum, also provided Tucson an opportunity to thank Davis-Monthan for its economic contribution. The installation’s annual economic impact recently was estimated at $1.5 billion …

D.C. Breaks Ground on Innovative Model for Meeting Homeless Veterans’ Needs

  • November 12, 2014
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Officials from the Department of Housing and Development and the District of Columbia held a groundbreaking this week for an affordable housing development that will benefit homeless veterans beyond providing them a place to live. The $33 million, 124-unit apartment building will set aside 60 units for homeless veterans. In addition, the building in Northeast Washington allows case managers and social workers to work onsite with veterans in tandem with the local VA Medical Center, reports Government Executive. The John and Jill Ker Conway Residence, funded through a mix of public and private support, follows the Housing First model for addressing homelessness. The approach calls for providing the homeless stable housing first, and then offering a variety of support services.

Authorization Bill Remains on Path to Informal Conference

  • November 12, 2014
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With staff from the House and Senate Armed Services committees having reconciled many of the differences between competing versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, the committees’ leadership this week will begin to hash out the higher profile issues that have not yet been settled. The committees’ chairmen, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and ranking members, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), will focus on more contentious issues affecting the future of the A-10 Warthog aircraft, the Army National Guard helicopter fleet and a Navy initiative to modernize its cruiser fleet. The panels’ best bet for clearing the annual defense policy bill during the lame duck session starting today almost certainly will be to repeat last year’s maneuver …

Navy Searches for Efficient Energy Solution at Guantanamo Bay

  • November 11, 2014
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The Navy is looking to the energy industry for ideas as it searches for a viable energy source for the unique environment of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. With the base infrastructure due for upgrades, Naval Facilities Engineering Command last week hosted 100 energy experts in Jacksonville, Fla., to discuss the potential for energy development there. While officials have listed prospective projects such as photovoltaic, waste-to-energy, energy-efficient generator power and automated controls, NAVFAC is not specifying what kind of project it wants; instead, it is soliciting recommendations from industry …

NASA, Google Reach Deal to Restore Hangars at Moffett Field

  • November 11, 2014
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The federal government on Monday struck an agreement with a Google subsidiary to restore historic Hangar One at Moffett Field in northern California as well as operate the airfield’s two runways. Hangar One has been stripped down to its skeletal framework after its skin was found to be leaching toxic chemicals. Under this week’s deal, Planetary Ventures will spend more than $200 million to refurbish and protect Hangar One — which was built after World War I to house Navy dirigibles — as well as rehabilitate Hangars Two and Three. The agreement calls for Planetary Ventures to pay NASA $1.6 billion to rent about 1,000 acres at the airfield located on South San Francisco Bay over the next 60 years …

Mayor Loses Election following Campaign Focused on Ft. Monmouth Redevelopment

  • November 11, 2014
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In a tight election requiring officials to count provisional ballots, the Monmouth County Clerk’s office determined on Monday that Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo lost his bid for re-election to his Republican challenger. The campaign focused on the redevelopment of the former Fort Monmouth on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast, with winning candidate Dennis Connelly criticizing both the plan and pace of redevelopment, reported NJ.com. Tarantolo is a member of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority board …

McAlester Seeks Consultant to Develop Defense Sector Economic Development Strategy

  • November 11, 2014
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The city of McAlester, Okla., and the McAlester Defense Support Association have issued a request for proposal notification seeking a consultant to develop a multifaceted McAlester defense sector economic development strategy focused on ensuring the long-term viability of the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, Choctaw Defense and all southeast Oklahoma defense- and homeland security-related industries. Further, the consultant shall provide ongoing technical assistance promoting military-and homeland security-related interests in southeast Oklahoma throughout the term of the professional services agreement. The RFP can be obtained by contacting Leroy Alsup, community and economic development director for McAlester, at 918/423-9300 ext. 4951 or leroy.alsup@cityofmcalester.com. The deadline for responses to the RFP is 5 p.m. (CST) on Dec. 15.

Congress Needs to Preserve, Expand Housing Aid Programs for Veterans, Report Says

  • November 11, 2014
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The nation has made significant progress in ending homelessness among veterans, but the 2015 goal set by President Obama is unlikely to be met. Rental assistance from all levels of government — which now helps more than 340,000 veterans afford housing — has played a central role in the 33 percent reduction in veteran homelessness between 2010 and 2014. It reaches only a fraction of veterans in need, however, and points to an effective approach for addressing veterans’ unmet housing requirements, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities …

Reversing Sequestration Missing from Republican Agenda

  • November 11, 2014
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The Republican landslide last week that allowed the party to seize control of the Senate and increase its majority in the House for the most part did not emphasize the tenets of the tea party and its philosophy of slashing government programs, with many of the winners abiding by traditional Republican values such as a strong military. “The isolationist wing of the GOP that favored deficit reduction over a strong defense seems to be in retreat,” Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, told Defense News. Despite a shift that would seem to favor defense hawks, however, Republican leaders in both chambers last week did not mention relaxing the Budget Control Act spending caps on defense as one of their priorities for the 114th Congress …

Hagel Plans to Stay for Duration of President’s Term

  • November 10, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to remain at his post for the remainder of the Obama presidency, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Friday. “The secretary is fully committed to his job as defense secretary and leading this department, and he looks forward to doing that through the remainder,” Kirby told reporters. The press secretary’s comments followed a report by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius about speculation that Hagel would leave before the end of 2016, reported Politico. “Administration officials speculate that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel may leave well before the president’s term ends; a likely replacement would be former undersecretary Michèle Flournoy, who was nearly picked for the job in 2013,” Ignatius wrote last week.
Hagel was sworn in as defense secretary in February 2013.

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