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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Chances Dim for September Vote on Policy Bill, Levin Says

  • September 10, 2014
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The Senate likely will not act on the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill before lawmakers leave Washington later this month, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday. Levin is not giving up, though, and continues to work with James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the panel’s ranking member, to put together a list of relevant amendments which could be considered in a limited amount of floor time. His goal is to reach a compromise with Inhofe over a unanimous consent agreement, reported the Hill. About 140 amendments have been attached to the annual policy bill. The Senate could finish debating the measure in one or two days, Levin said. The path, however, has become more complicated as a result of the debate over whether Congress should vote to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

White House Request Delays CR Vote

  • September 10, 2014
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House Republicans have pushed back the chamber’s vote on the fiscal 2015 continuing resolution after the White House asked to add language authorizing the government to take action in Syria against the Islamic State. The president’s request to include Title X authorization language for the United States to train and arm Syrian rebels who are fighting the Islamic State came at the eleventh hour, reported CQ. The House now is expected to take up the stopgap spending measure, which would fund the government through Dec. 11, next week …

$10M TIGER Grant to Reduce Congestion outside Ft. Meade

  • September 9, 2014
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The Maryland Department of Transportation will receive $10 million in federal funding to reduce congestion on one of the primary roads providing access to Fort Meade, the state’s two senators announced Tuesday. The funds, awarded through the Department of Transportation’s transportation investment generating economic recovery (TIGER) grant program, would upgrade Route 175 from an undivided two-lane road to a divided six-lane road, with a trail, sidewalks and on-road bike facilities. The stretch of road serves a major entrance gate to the post, which has expanded since the last BRAC round to support a residential and employee population of about 56,000 …

Brunswick Landing Holds Groundbreaking for Business Incubator

  • September 9, 2014
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Local officials held a ceremony at the former Naval Air Station Brunswick in Maine last week to mark the start of $1.5 million in renovations to turn a Navy maintenance facility into a shared manufacturing workspace for startups. So far five technology firms have said they are interested in moving to TechPlace when it opens at Brunswick Landing in December, reported the Bangor Daily News. “TechPlace provides a rare opportunity to join a community of creative innovators and bold entrepreneurs in a shared high-tech manufacturing workplace,” said Steve Levesque …

Approval of Joint Use Runway at Hill AFB Expected to Boost Economic Development

  • September 9, 2014
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Officials in Layton, Utah, believe a newly approved 90-acre project area with access to the runway at Hill Air Force Base will attract development to a business park being created under an enhanced use lease. The project area available for shared use is located on the east side of the runway. It was approved Tuesday by the state Military Installation Development Authority, reported the Standard-Examiner. Last year, the city and the Air Force entered into a partnership to market the parcel to industry …

House Introduces CR with Limited Extras

  • September 9, 2014
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House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running through Dec. 11, while also advancing several urgent needs. The most controversial provision in the fiscal 2015 stopgap measure would extend the Export-Import Bank through June 30, 2015. The provision is opposed by conservative Republicans and could cause them to withhold support for the bill, but the loss of those votes is not expected to jeopardize passage in the House …

Communities Flood Army with Response to Restructuring Analysis

  • September 9, 2014
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Army Environmental Command has received more than 93,000 comments so far from defense communities to its assessment of the environmental and economic impacts from shrinking the service’s active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000 by 2020. Officials still are counting public comments that were postmarked or emailed prior to the Aug. 25 deadline for responding to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment, which looked at the impacts of personnel cuts ranging from to 2,500 to 16,000 at 30 installations …

Pueblo Chemical Depot Marks Start of Weapons Destruction

  • September 8, 2014
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Officials at Pueblo Chemical Depot held a ceremony last week to mark the beginning of a five-year effort to destroy 780,000 mustard gas shells at the central Colorado facility. The ceremony follows several decades of planning and testing equipment to render the weapons harmless. The depot’s main plant began testing in 2010 to ensure the automated system that relies on robots works properly, reported the Colorado Springs Gazette. “For more than 25 years, the citizens of Pueblo have waited for the day when we could say the chemical weapons at the depot are being destroyed,” said Irene Kornelly, who heads the depot’s citizen’s advisory committee. The depot is scheduled to begin destroying its stockpile, which represents most of the nation’s remaining chemical weapons, in the fall and finish in 2019. The $3.5 billion destruction program employs nearly 1,000 workers.

Many ‘Most Vulnerable’ Democrats Sit on Armed Services Panels

  • September 8, 2014
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A number of Democrats ranked as “most vulnerable” by CQ Roll Call to losing their re-election bids in November sit on their chamber’s Armed Services Committee. With the committees’ chairmen — Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) — set to retire at the end of the current session, the potential exists for a fair amount of reshuffling on the two panels, reported CQ. Of course, a Republican takeover of the Senate can be expected to have more far-reaching consequences. Three of the 10 most vulnerable senators are Democrats on that chamber’s Armed Services Committee — Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.). In the House, three of the 10 most vulnerable members are Democrats on the Armed Services Committee —Ron Barber (Ariz.), Bill Enyart (Ill.) and Scott Peters (Calif.). The most vulnerable list of House members also includes one Republican on the panel — Mike Coffman (Colo.).

Pentagon to Keep Spotlight on Administrative Reforms, Hagel Says

  • September 8, 2014
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Administrative reforms at DOD will continue to be a priority despite renewed threats around the globe, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters Monday in Turkey. “As many of these more immediate threats that face our country and the world … must be a priority, that said, we also have other responsibilities,” Hagel said, reported Defense News. There will be a “continued focus on the reform measures that we have undertaken” — including changes within acquisition, healthcare and the nuclear force …

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