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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force Introduces Programs to Increase End Strength

  • May 20, 2015
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The Air Force is reversing course and introducing several force management programs to increase its active-duty end strength following several years of personnel reductions. The course correction was prompted by a host of new missions, including the air campaign against the Islamic State and the effort to support NATO allies anxious over Russian aggression in Ukraine. The size of the Air Force began to shrink in fiscal 2014, when its end strength stood at 330,700 airmen. Now it has 312,980 service members, reported Air Force Times. The service’s FY 2016 budget calls for its end strength to rise 1.3 percent to 317,000 …

ADC Salutes the 2015 Defense Community Award Winners

  • May 20, 2015
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ADC is proud to announce the 2015 recipients of the Defense Community Awards, the association’s effort to recognize the achievements of communities and the leaders who support them. The winners will be recognized during the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit, June 22-24 in Washington. Here is a rundown of the 2015 winners by category: Community Leadership Award — Steven Levesque, Executive Director, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, Brunswick, Maine. Military Leadership Award — Col. Chuck Hodges, Installation Commander, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Base Redevelopment Excellence Award — March Joint Powers Authority, Riverside, Calif. Community Excellence Award — Dayton Development Coalition/State of Ohio; and Fort Polk Progress, Leesville, La. Installation Excellence Award — Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Congressional Leadership Award — Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.); Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.); Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.); and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) …

Florida County Considers Acquiring Airport Property from Eglin AFB

  • May 20, 2015
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In a bid to save money and help shield Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., during a future round of base closures, Okaloosa County officials are considering purchasing the property of the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport that it now leases from the installation. County commissioners on Tuesday voted to ask county airport officials to research the issue, reported Northwest Florida Daily News. The county currently leases the 131-acre airport property for about $400,000 a year. The airport had been called Northwest Florida Regional Airport until its name was changed earlier this year …

Budget Proposal includes Limited Funds for North Carolina Bases

  • May 20, 2015
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North Carolina defense communities would receive $345,100 to get ready for a future BRAC round under the new biennial budget moving through the state House. The budget — which covers the period from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2017 — also would create a new Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, as Gov. Pat McCrory (R) called for in his State of the State address in February, reported the Fayetteville Observer. The budget was approved by the House Finance Committee on Monday and may receive a floor vote before the end of the week, before moving to the Senate …

Effort to Ease HUBZone Eligibility Requirements at Closed Bases Gains Momentum

  • May 20, 2015
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A long-standing effort to make it easier for tenants at closed installations to qualify for the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program may finally bear fruit this year after language to relax the program’s eligibility requirements was included in the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The provision, which would loosen the requirement for 35 percent of a HUBZone participant’s employees to live within a HUBZone, also was included in the House version of the annual policy bill. As a result, the prospect that the changes make it into the final version of the authorization bill is very favorable. The effort to amend the HUBZone program — an initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — has been led by Maine’s congressional delegation to support the reuse project at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station …

Senate Milcon Bill Surpasses House Panel’s Spending Recommendation

  • May 20, 2015
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Spending on military construction and family housing programs in fiscal 2016 would rise $1.3 billion over current year funding to $8.1 billion, under the spending bill marked up Tuesday by a Senate Appropriations subcommittee. The milcon spending level recommended by the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee would be $400 million higher than the amount included in the appropriations bill passed by the House on April 30. Both versions, though, take a significant step toward restoring milcon funding to levels allocated as recently as FY 2014. Spending on military construction programs dropped about one-third in the current year as the department opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

ADC Membership to Vote on Five New Board Candidates

  • May 19, 2015
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ADC members will have an opportunity to vote on five new candidates to the association’s board of directors during the annual business meeting at next month’s National Summit in Washington. The board elections also will usher in the expansion of the board from 12 to 13 directors. That change was approved during a special vote of the membership held in March during the Installation Innovation Forum 2015. In 2016, the board will expand to 14 directors as a result of the bylaw change. Here are the five new candidates for the board …

House Defense Spending Bill Employs Extra Funds

  • May 19, 2015
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DOD would receive $579 billion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2016, an increase of $24.4 billion above the current level and $800 million above the president’s request, under the draft defense spending bill unveiled Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee. The spending bill takes advantage of $88 billion included in DOD’s overseas contingency operations account under the budget resolution adopted by the House and Senate. That represents the department’s share of the $96 billion in funds allocated to the OCO account to elude the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending. The administration had requested only $58 billion for the war account …

Community Attempts to Raise Profile of Ohio Manufacturing Facility

  • May 19, 2015
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After the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in northwestern Ohio was ignored in a report from a state commission outlining ways to boost federal and military jobs in Ohio, officials in Lima are looking at ways to get the attention of state leaders. The strategic plan released in April by the Ohio Federal and Military Jobs Commission primarily focused on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other installations in the state, reported limaohio.com. “The JSMC didn’t figure prominently into that,” Lima Mayor David Berger said at a meeting Monday of Task Force LIMA, the local support organization for the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, a government-owned, contractor-operated tank and military vehicle production facility. It’s not clear how the group should connect with state leaders, he said. “How we got ignored in this initial report is not very explainable at this point. We just have to continue to pursue this relationship,” Berger said.

Senate Bill Calls for Privatization Pilot for Commissaries

  • May 19, 2015
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At least five military commissaries would be privatized under a two-year pilot program, according to the version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. In addition to the pilot program, the bill calls for the Governmental Accountability Office to assess the potential costs and benefits of privatizing the entire network of military grocery stores, reported Stars and Stripes. The committee has not yet released the bill text or committee report. Veterans of Foreign Wars issued a statement opposing the Senate plan because it would cut into the discounts enjoyed by military families and veterans …

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