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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Western Pennsylvania County Seeks to Recover from Defense Cutbacks

  • January 15, 2015
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Cambria County officials last week approved a $350,000 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to revitalize Johnstown, Pa., following cuts in the local defense industry. “The main reason they approached us really is because of the amount of job cuts that our defense industry has experienced in the region,” John Dubnansky, county grant writer, told WTAJ News. The county will use the funds for several renovation projects including one to convert a building in downtown Johnstown so it can house college classrooms, retail space and a rooftop restaurant. “This is an economic development project for us to create jobs in the area versus just seeing job losses like we have had,” said Dubnansky. The county also will conduct a study to look at the region’s economic strengths, he said. “We’ve tailored this great opportunity to what our community needs were,” said Doug Lengenfelder, the county’s president commissioner.

No BRAC until Military’s Future Role Is Clarified, Thornberry Says

  • January 15, 2015
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One week after taking the reins of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) revealed a strong reluctance to consider authorizing a new round of base closures, and underscored the need to better define the future roles and missions of the nation’s military before going ahead. “We are still having a discussion in this country about what the role of the United States is in the world and about what sort of military capabilities we need to fulfill that role. Once you give up a base or a training range, it’s gone forever …

GOP Widens Majority on House Armed Services

  • January 15, 2015
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Republicans will increase their majority on the House Armed Services Committee in the new Congress to reflect the party’s expanded majority in the chamber. The party’s majority will increase by three, from 34-28 to 36-27, with the committee growing from 62 to 63 members, reported CQ. That change follows increased interest in national security, according to Republican aides. The expanded majority means it will be more difficult for Democrats to obtain compromises on matters before the panel …

Residents, Leaders Highlight Contribution Played by Ft. Eustis

  • January 15, 2015
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Local leaders on Tuesday highlighted the devastating impact a reduction of up to 4,200 soldiers and civilians at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., would have on the surrounding Hampton Roads region, during the Army’s seventh listening session devoted to the community impacts of shrinking the service’s active-duty end strength to 420,000 by fiscal 2020. “This base is so central to our community,” Newport News Councilwoman Sharon Scott said during the meeting attended by about 300 people. “You’re going to take away dollars, you’re going to take away businesses, you’re going to take away jobs. That is going to be so critical …

ADC Releases Updated Federal Directory

  • January 15, 2015
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To help members connect with key figures in D.C., ADC has released an updated version of its directory of nearly 100 contacts at the Pentagon, other federal agencies and non-governmental organizations whose work affects defense communities and their partner organizations. The federal directory lists contact information for senior-level officials in the office of the secretary of defense, including the Office of Economic Adjustment; each of the military services, along with their installation management agencies; and other Cabinet-level departments such as Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Commerce (Economic Development Administration). The directory also includes an extensive listing of non-governmental organizations such as the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the International City/County Management Association, the Military Impacted Schools Association and the National Association of Development Organizations. Visit the ADC website to read other recent publications.

Goal of Passing Spending Bills Independently May Be Elusive, Cochran Says

  • January 14, 2015
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The new chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee says he is aiming to pass the federal government’s 12 spending bills for fiscal 2016 individually but concedes chances are good he’ll be forced to bundle some measures to move them through the chamber. “Try as we might, we’re going to end up with some bills grouped together, probably, to expedite the consideration of them all,” Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) told CQ. Cochran also stressed the need to start crafting spending bills early to avoid the need to resort to continuing resolutions and omnibus bills to keep the government open …

Budget Deal Will Be Difficult to Justify, Sessions Says

  • January 14, 2015
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Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Budget committees, says the bar will be relatively high for fiscal conservatives to sign off on an agreement to relax the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending. “I believe if people want to raise the defense cap, then they’re going to have to justify it,” Sessions told DefenseNews. “We’re going to have to talk about it, and we’re going to have to go to more than just general rhetoric but specific justifications because it doesn’t do any good to have … the Budget Control Act if we’re not going to adhere to it but [for] a year or two …

Illinois’ Kirk to Head Senate Milcon Spending Panel

  • January 13, 2015
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With Republicans assuming control of the Senate, Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) will chair the Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in the 114th Congress. Kirk previously had been the panel’s ranking member. Illinois has three major installations — Naval Station Great Lakes, Scott Air Force Base and Rock Island Arsenal. Last week, the committee’s Democrats announced that Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) will be the milcon panel’s ranking member. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who will serve as the full committee chairman, has not formally announced the cardinals for each of the 12 panels, but the Republican conference ratified the selections, reported CQ. Cochran also will take the gavel for the defense appropriations subcommittee, with Dick Durbin (Ill.) remaining the senior Democrat on the panel.

ADC Overhauls Process, Criteria for Board Nominations

  • January 13, 2015
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ADC this year is revamping the process for nominating members to its board of directors and introducing new criteria for selecting candidates. The moves are intended to establish more formal policies for selecting directors, while ensuring the board features “the best and brightest” of the association’s members. Most significantly, the nominations committee no longer will focus on maintaining an equal balance among members from base redevelopment communities (LRAs), active defense communities and the private sector. The nominations committee, which is being chaired by past president Bob Murdock, now will strive to ensure that a simple majority of the board is from the public sector …

Business Center Has Been Helping North Carolina’s Defense Sector Grow since 2005

  • January 13, 2015
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The North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) last week celebrated its 10th year of helping firms in the state capture defense contracts. NCMBC is the only statewide military business center in the nation, said Executive Director Scott Dorney. “No other state dedicates the resources that North Carolina does to growing the military economy, expanding our tax base and creating jobs for people across the state — while supporting our military with the critical products that they need to train, fight and win America’s conflicts …

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