image description

Defense Communities 360 Headlines

LRA, Master Developer Offer Plans to Jump Start South Weymouth NAS Reuse

  • March 14, 2014
  • comments: 0

The LRA responsible for redeveloping the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth this week approved an alternate plan to one proposed by its master developer for reviving reuse of the former base, located outside of Boston. South Shore Tri-Town Development Corp.’s plan calls for changing the method for amending the bylaws governing zoning on the base, and eliminating requirements for votes by town meetings in Rockland and Abington, and the Weymouth Town Council. The power of approval would transfer to elected officials in each town …

Farr Presses DOD on BRAC Cleanup Funds

  • March 14, 2014
  • comments: 0

Troubled by a steep drop in the budget to clean up installations closed during previous BRAC rounds, California Rep. Sam Farr (D) asked defense installation officials at a House hearing Wednesday to explain why the department’s unobligated balance for BRAC cleanup funds was so high. Farr said he had learned that the department had about $900 million in unobligated funds for BRAC cleanup. He was equally concerned about the fiscal 2015 budget request for $270 million for the account, which would represent a 40 percent drop in funding from this year’s allocation and a 64 percent decline from FY 2013′s allocation …

Reduction in Army Brigades to Follow Cuts in End Strength, Vice Chief Says

  • March 13, 2014
  • comments: 0

Army planners are determining how many brigade combat teams will need to be eliminated as the service’s active-duty forces shrink to between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers, the end strength included in its fiscal 2015 budget request. The Army’s size is slated to drop to 420,000 under DOD’s five-year spending plan, an outcome which could be averted if Congress lifts the spending caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. The Army already is reducing the number of brigade combat teams from 45 to 32 as part of its plan to shrink its active component end strength by 80,000 soldiers to 490,000 by 2015 …

Water Seeks Higher Level among Pentagon Priorities

  • March 12, 2014
  • comments: 0

Defense officials have begun to take a closer look at the shrinking availability of water supplies across installations and the resulting impact on readiness, with their latest efforts focused on determining which bases can be expected to face a shortage in the coming decades. As the basis of its planning effort, the Pentagon is directing installations to calculate how much water they have access to, how much they use and how much they absolutely need …

‘Florida G.I. Bill’ Aims to Make State More Friendly to DOD, Veterans

  • March 12, 2014
  • comments: 0

New legislation approved by the Florida Legislature will offer assistance combating encroachment to the state’s defense communities, out-of-state tuition for public universities to veterans and funds to market the state to veterans. The bill, unanimously passed by the House and Senate, provides $7.5 million to purchase buffer zones to protect three installations from encroachment — MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville and Naval Support Activity Panama City. “It sends a signal to the BRAC commission as well that Florida wants to keep the installations we have and keep the people we have …

Congressman Urges SunZia to Divert Project from Missile Range

  • March 12, 2014
  • comments: 0

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce (R) this week urged the developer of a proposed, 515-mile-long, high-voltage transmission line linking central New Mexico to southeastern Arizona to adopt a route that avoids White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M, after being briefed on the results of a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. “The MIT Report validates DOD’s concerns that the construction of the above-ground SunZia transmission lines would threaten the defense mission at White Sands Missile Range …

Need for BRAC is Clear, Installation Officials Tell Lawmakers

  • March 12, 2014
  • comments: 0

A new round of base closures is needed to avoid wasting money on unneeded facilities, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, told the House Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Wednesday. Equally important, granting DOD the authority to realign and shutter installations also would free up defense funds for other urgent priorities, including readiness and modernization, Conger told lawmakers. The services’ installation chiefs who testified along with Conger all emphasized that they have excess capacity, a disparity that is particularly acute for the Army and Air Force …

Inhofe Demands Clear Spending Plan from Pentagon

  • March 12, 2014
  • comments: 0

After defense officials presented conflicting accounts over the past two weeks of what force structure levels are included in their five-year spending plan, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants DOD to clear up the confusion right away. “Everyone knows it’s a dilemma,” Inhofe said. “They’re trying to do something to make the sequestration part of the budget less offensive …

DOD Plan Would Turn Commissaries into Business Enterprise

  • March 12, 2014
  • comments: 0

The Pentagon’s proposal to drastically reduce federal subsidies for military groceries would force most stateside commissaries to operate as a for-profit enterprise, according to documents released last week in conjunction with DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. The Pentagon is proposing to reduce the annual direct subsidy to commissaries by $1 billion over the next three years; the annual subsidy now totals $1.4 billion. After three years, the lower funding would reduce the average discount for military families from 30 percent to 10 percent, according to senior defense officials. At that point, stateside commissaries would need to cover their operating costs to remain viable, reported Stars and Stripes …

Lawmakers Unlikely to Adjust Sequester Cuts through FY’15

  • March 11, 2014
  • comments: 0

With a difficult compromise on spending already achieved in December, Congress is unlikely to offer agencies additional relief from the existing spending caps until fiscal 2016. The bipartisan deal reached late last year reversed $63 billion in discretionary spending cuts across the government over FY 2014 and 2015, reducing the urgency to revisit the caps until the agreement expires on Sept. 30, 2015. At that point, though, serious discussions on a new deal to lift the spending caps could begin …

Array ( )