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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

JBLM to Lose Medical Headquarters

  • July 9, 2015
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The Army’s Western Regional Medical Command will be moving to Hawaii, costing Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., about 60 jobs and a command position for a two-star general, officials confirmed this week. The move comes as the Army is consolidating its five regional medical commands into four headquarters. The medical command will relocate to Honolulu, home of the Army’s Pacific headquarters, reported the News Tribune. A deputy commander for the medical command, a position most likely assigned to a brigadier general, will remain at JBLM and focus on patient care throughout the Pacific …

Talks to Reach Compromise over Defense Bill Remain on Track

  • July 9, 2015
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Negotiations to hash out a compromise version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill are progressing this week as members of the House and Senate Armed Services subcommittees meet to work out differences in each of their sections. “All the different panels are meeting today and tomorrow and then Friday we intend to wrap it up and be prepared to submit our final decisions,” Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), who chairs the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, told CQ Roll Call. Talks at the subcommittee level are not expected to address several high-profile issues which will be left for the chairmen and ranking members of the two Armed Services committees. Those include provisions dealing with Guantanamo detainees, acquisition reform, and compensation and benefits for military personnel …

Planning Agency to Craft Diversification Plan following loss of Aviation Brigade at Ft. Campbell

  • July 9, 2015
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The Pennyrile Area Development District will receive a $393,348 community adjustment assistance grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment to mitigate the loss of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Campbell, Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield (R) announced last week. The planning district for western Kentucky will use the funds to put together an economic diversification and growth plan for a six-county region in Kentucky and Tennessee. The plan will examine earlier and proposed reductions; assess the impacts of those reductions; identify and analyze the capacity of the region in several key areas; and define strategies for local, regional and state leadership needed to mitigate impacts and spur growth in the area …

Army Set to Announce Cuts in Force Structure

  • July 8, 2015
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The Army’s announcement as to how it will shrink its active-duty end strength by 40,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2017 is expected Thursday, with congressional delegations and defense committees likely being notified on Wednesday, according to defense community officials and Washington insiders. The Army has not commented on the pending announcement, however. Two weeks ago the service had been expected to identify which installations and units would suffer personnel cuts needed to comply with the statutory spending caps, but officials postponed the announcement. The service’s chief of public affairs told community representatives at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit that a decision to trim the number of troops from 490,000 — the Army’s end strength target for the end of the current fiscal year — to 450,000 by FY 2017 already had been made. Somewhat less certain, said Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, is the service’s plan to shrink its active-duty forces to 420,000 …

Pending Army Cuts Underscore Changing Attitudes about BRAC

  • July 8, 2015
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With the Army expected this week to identify up to 30 installations that could lose thousands of personnel, defense communities are bracing for the worst. “We’re on pins and needles,” Carl McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, told the Washington Post. “To not create a Detroit-like scenario, we cannot lose soldiers. We’ll feel every soldier we lose,” McLaughlin said. A worst case outcome for Fort Drum would mean the loss of 16,000 soldiers and civilians at the post in New York’s North Country. Counting spouses and children, a third of Jefferson County’s population could disappear …

Wright-Patterson AFB’s Neighbors Intent on Forging Partnerships

  • July 8, 2015
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One week after the Dayton Development Coalition and the state of Ohio accepted ADC’s Community Excellence Award, local leaders continued to reach out to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to identify partnership opportunities that will either help it trim spending or enhance its services. “For the base, the conversation has been on how we can avoid costs or generate revenue,” Col. John Devillier, the 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, said at a meeting with community representatives. “That means a new way of thinking about how we interact …

Filmmaker’s Offer Prompts SouthField Developer to Renovate Navy Hangar

  • July 8, 2015
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In a reversal of plans, LStar Management, which assumed control of the redevelopment of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station in May, has decided to renovate an old Navy hangar for filmmakers after it was approached by a company interested in using the space to make a movie. Instead of demolishing the 33,000-square-foot hangar as part of its plan for turning the Boston-area site into SouthField, the project’s latest master developer has been readying the hangar for the movie maker, reported Wicked Local Weymouth. The first phase of the renovation will cost about a half-million dollars and covers remediation of the soil and lead paint, and the replacement of 400 broken windows, said LStar managing partner Kyle Corkum. A second phase would upgrade an office attached to the hangar …

State Pledges $5.6M for UAS Park at Grand Forks AFB

  • July 8, 2015
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North Dakota is allocating $5.6 million to support the continued development of the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business and aviation park at Grand Forks AFB, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) said Monday. About $3 million of the funding will be used to upgrade a flight tarmac and other infrastructure that will support UAS testing and flight operations, according to a release from the governor’s office. The 217-acre project is being developed under an enhanced use lease with Grand Forks County and calls for 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office, shop, laboratory and data center space required for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development, and data analysis and management …

Obama Reiterates Threat to Veto Defense Bill

  • July 7, 2015
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During a rare visit to the Pentagon, President Obama on Monday reiterated his threat to veto the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill because it relies on a budget framework that would shortchange the nation’s future by restraining spending on non-military aspects of national security such as education and research. “We’re not going to eat our seed corn,” Obama said, reported CQ. The military has the best troops in the world in part because “we’ve got a strong economy and we’ve got a well-educated population and we’ve got an incredible research operation and universities,” the president said. “We shortchange those, we’re going to be less secure,” he said …

Pentagon Official’s Visit Intended to Reignite Partnership Initiative at Great Falls

  • July 7, 2015
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Officials from the Air Force and Great Falls, Mont., hope efforts to find mutually beneficial partnerships between Malmstrom AFB and its host community will be revitalized following a recent visit by Steve Zander, director of the Air Force Community Partnership Program. Representatives from the base and the city — along with county, education and health officials — began meeting last year to look for ways to take advantage of the new DOD authority allowing installations and communities to share support services for municipal functions and other activities. Initial ideas generated included establishing a clearinghouse for training opportunities, opening up the city’s parks and recreation department to the base, allowing the city to conduct water testing for the Air Force, integrating public works, enhancing radio communications and finding a new use for underutilized real estate at Malmstrom …

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