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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Sumter Seeks Consultant to Perform JLUS for Shaw AFB

  • June 25, 2015
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The Sumter City-County Planning Commission is soliciting proposals from qualified consultants to prepare and deliver a joint land use study (JLUS) for Shaw Air Force Base and Poinsett Range in the city of Sumter and Sumter County, S.C. The project is funded by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. Interested firms must demonstrate knowledge and experience in community planning, development and land use issues, as well as military installation management and operations. Responses are due by July 24 at 5 p.m. The complete RFP may be found on the city of Sumter website. All questions regarding this RFP shall be in written form and directed to George K. McGregor at gmcgregor@sumter-sc.com.

Military Will Manage Even as Infrastructure Scrapes By, Conger Says

  • June 24, 2015
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The nation’s defense infrastructure has not been adequately maintained for the past several years as the Pentagon diverts funds for installation support to higher priority readiness needs, but the military will be able to cope even if the stringent budget caps forcing officials to skimp on facility needs continue through the end of the decade, the department’s top installations official said this week at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. “We’ve done this before and survived it,” said John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, referring to a similar situation in the 1990s. “It takes years for buildings to crumble …

Army, Air Force Not Currently Planning to Bypass BRAC

  • June 24, 2015
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Despite threats from the Obama administration to resort to alternative options if Congress fails to approve its request for a new BRAC round, the Air Force and Army have no immediate plans to rely on a rarely used authority to close or realign bases outside of a BRAC round, installation officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Before taking a step to use 10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687, the Air Force would wait for direction from the Defense Department, said Col. Jonathan Webb, director of Air Force Installations Planning. It wouldn’t be prudent to sidestep the BRAC process, Webb said …

Army Faces Limited Options in Addressing Excess Capacity

  • June 24, 2015
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The Army is paying $480 million a year to maintain more than 160 million square feet of excess infrastructure, and the service has only a limited ability to trim that cost, officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. The service estimates that 18 percent of its infrastructure is excess. One tack it is taking to address the surplus is asking garrison commanders to identify their unutilized and underutilized space, and to consolidate activities into their most efficient facilities, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. Facilities in the worst condition can then be mothballed or torn down. But this initiative will not produce significant savings, Hammack said …

Blunt Shows Unwavering Support for Missouri Installations, Military Veterans

  • June 24, 2015
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Sen. Roy Blunt has tirelessly supported Missouri’s role vital role in the nation’s defense during his first term in the Senate, as he has fought to sustain and expand missions at each of the state’s military installations. Blunt championed several key state defense priorities as part of the 2014 omnibus spending agreement, including $337 million to keep the Air Force’s A-10 fleet flying at Whiteman Air Force Base and elsewhere, and $1.46 billion to build 15 new Growler aircraft in St. Louis. He also worked to preserve the Missouri National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing training base in St. Joseph and the Army Aviation Flight Activity and the Missouri National Guard Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot, which are co-located in Springfield …

Former Ft. Bliss Commander Reprimanded for Role in Awarding Renewable Energy Deal

  • June 24, 2015
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The former commanding general of Fort Bliss, Texas, has been reprimanded for steering a contract that was part of the post’s net zero energy initiative to a firm run by two of his former classmates at West Point. Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, who more recently commanded U.S. advisory forces in Iraq, was formally reprimanded in February after a three-year investigation by the Army’s inspector general, the Washington Post reported this week. An Army review board is considering whether to strip him of his rank as a two-star general before he is allowed to retire this year …

Army Postpones Restructuring Announcement

  • June 23, 2015
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The Army’s announcement as to what units and organizations will be eliminated to comply with spending caps prompting the service to shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000, and possibly to 420,000, has been postponed, officials revealed Monday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. “I expect it within the next month,” Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, the service’s chief of public affairs, told representatives from Army communities anxiously awaiting the pending announcement. When the announcement is made, officials will first inform a variety of affected groups, including Congress and communities, in a 24-hour period before they publicly release the news …

BRAC Round Inevitable, Experts Say

  • June 23, 2015
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Congress is likely to approve a new round of base closures within five years, as BRAC is not the political third rail it’s frequently described as, Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said Monday at the opening general session of the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. While lawmakers are naturally disinclined against authorizing the Pentagon to close additional installations, the consequences of DOD’s worsening budget situation should help persuade Congress that a BRAC round is needed, Eaglen told more than 500 Summit attendees. The Budget Control Act caps have resulted in deteriorating readiness levels for the military, an indication of less frequent training and lower spending on facility maintenance, she explained …

Levesque Has Led Transformation of Shuttered Air Station into Thriving Business Mecca

  • June 23, 2015
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Steve Levesque’s determination to tap into Americans’ entrepreneurial spirit and help a community develop a strategy to deal with the loss of a major employer turned what could have been a devastating economic blow into a major opportunity. As executive director of the Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority, Levesque was charged with preparing a master plan for the redevelopment of Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, once it closed. Since 2008, he has been executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, and has led the implementation and oversight of that master plan and guided the once-bustling installation toward civilian reuse …

OEA Plans to Support Communities Coping with Downsizing

  • June 23, 2015
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With more than a dozen communities experiencing downsizing at neighboring military installations over the past several years and further cuts in personnel looming, DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment is planning to offer financial assistance and other support to affected communities. The agency plans to issue an announcement next month in the Federal Register soliciting communities to apply for grants to address personnel reductions — including military and civilian — of at least 2,000 at local installations, OEA Director Patrick O’Brien said Monday during the OEA Town Hall session at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Communities would be eligible if they suffered the cuts over the past three years or are slated to absorb them over the next three years …

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