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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Sale of Officer Housing to Result in Ft. Monmouth’s First Residential Project

  • July 5, 2015
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The LRA for the former Fort Monmouth last month approved the sale of 117 units of officer housing within the Fort Monmouth National Register Historic District in Oceanport, N.J., for $8.3 million, paving the way for the reuse effort’s first residential project. The officer housing is located on two parcels totaling 36.5 acres, and includes residential units in single, duplex and four-plex configurations surrounding and adjacent to the post’s parade ground. The developer’s proposal calls for 68 market-rate, for sale units north of the parade ground and 48 rental units south of the parade ground, according to a press release from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority. The South Post units would be a mix of market-rate and affordable housing rentals …

South Carolina, Washington Enact Laws to Protect Welfare of Military Children

  • July 5, 2015
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Two states for the first time have enacted laws to protect military children from neglect and abuse. Child advocacy legislation signed last month by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) requires local child protective services to identify child welfare and neglect incidents involving active-duty military families and share this information with the appropriate military authorities as soon as possible, according to a DOD Live blog post by Rosemary Freitas Williams, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy. “South Carolina and Washington have now set a precedent that we hope other states will follow in placing language in their state statutes that complements the DOD requirement to report all suspicions of child maltreatment to the state’s child welfare agency …

Strong Bond between Eglin AFB, Host Communities Helps Preserve Base’s Military Missions

  • July 5, 2015
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Eglin Air Force Base is the beneficiary of long-standing support from the 14 municipalities that surround it. A series of mutually beneficial partnerships have helped preserve the base’s vital flight training mission and other activities, and sustain the region’s infrastructure and natural resources. For anyone flying into the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, this close relationship becomes immediately apparent. Okaloosa County’s commercial service airport is located on land Eglin leases to it. The joint-use airfield accommodates more than a dozen types of military aircraft and all of the area’s civilian air traffic …

Conger’s Nomination to Comptroller’s Office Stuck for Now

  • July 2, 2015
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John Conger’s wait before the Senate votes on his nomination to be the principal deputy to the Pentagon comptroller could last a while longer. Conger — who currently is the acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment — was nominated for the new post on March 4 by President Obama, but the Senate Armed Services Committee has not yet held a confirmation hearing. His nomination, along with that of several others for senior civilian positions at the Pentagon, is being held up by Committee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.). Prior to Congress’ July Fourth recess, McCain said that hearings on those nominations would not be scheduled until “we find out whether the president is going to veto [the defense authorization bill] or not …

Democrats Counting on Strategy for FY’16 Spending to Bring GOP to Bargaining Table

  • July 2, 2015
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It’s too soon to tell whether the Senate Democrats’ strategy of blocking the chamber from bringing appropriations bills to the floor will achieve the party’s goal of forcing the GOP to the negotiating table to work out a deal to lift the spending caps on both defense and non-defense spending for fiscal 2016. It carries some risk as demonstrated by Senate Democrats’ move last month to stop the Senate from considering the FY 2016 defense spending measure. Afterwards Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized Democrats for recently approving the defense authorization bill but then turning around and voting against the legislation that would actually fund the military. But Democratic leaders believe their strategy is the best way to reach a compromise with Republicans over next year’s spending bills …

EUL Brings Health Care Firm’s Call Center to Ellsworth AFB

  • July 2, 2015
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A Virginia-based health care management firm is opening a call center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., on the first floor of a building used by the Air Force’s Financial Services Center. Advance Health is leasing the space through the enhanced use leasing program. Base officials worked through the governor’s office of economic development and the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority to court Advance Health, which was looking for a more central and western location for a call center, reported the Rapid City Journal. “We have our first success with that program,” said Scott Landguth, director of the Ellsworth Development Authority …

Planning Board Postpones Votes on Zoning Changes outside Moody AFB

  • July 2, 2015
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The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission this week tabled several zoning changes involving property outside Moody Air Force Base due to concerns the amendments could jeopardize future missions at the installation in south central Georgia. The two most significant proposals would increase the allowable density for properties handed down to family members and remove a noise impact area, reported the Valdosta Daily Times. Moody needs to overcome several hurdles in the coming years, including the loss of its primary mission hosting the A-10 Warthog close air support aircraft and a looming BRAC round, said Michael Lee, president of the South Georgia Military Affairs Council. The installation and the surrounding area need to have the flexibility to accommodate whatever mission Moody is assigned, he said. Shrinking the noise impact area could send the wrong message to the Air Force. “Let’s not gamble on Moody’s future,” Lee said.

Highway Interchange at Former March AFB Honors Region’s Historical Military Role

  • July 2, 2015
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The Inland Empire region of Southern California lacked a significant tribute to the role played by the military over the past century, so when officials at the March Joint Powers Authority (JPA) began thinking about the design for a new highway interchange, they saw an opportunity to highlight the site’s military past. The authority decided to pursue a design for the $65 million I-215/Van Buren Overcrossing project that would meet the region’s current and future needs while acknowledging the Air Force’s historic and continuing presence across Southern California. The recently completed freeway interchange, which is located within the former March AFB, was largely funded through the efforts of the JPA …

Leaders in Alabama Community Upgrade Schools ahead of Next BRAC

  • July 1, 2015
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The southeastern Alabama city of Enterprise has been investing in its local schools and upgrading the school system’s curriculum to improve the standing of Fort Rucker in a future base closure round, city leaders told the media earlier this week. “The thing that is very important is that we took a proactive approach of not waiting until BRAC occurs,” said Mayor Kenneth Boswell. “We wanted to go ahead and be prepared for BRAC so that it could not be utilized against us.” The press conference followed last week’s release of a report from the Stimson Center highlighting the importance of school quality and student achievement in public schools located at Army communities …

Hampton Roads Businesses Look to Adapt to Climate Change

  • July 1, 2015
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A broad planning effort among federal and local agencies and other stakeholders in the Hampton Roads region of southeast Virginia is aiming to produce a coordinated response to rising sea levels. Studies have projected sea levels in the area will rise between three-and-one-half feet and more than five feet by the end of the century. Much or all of Naval Station Norfolk is vulnerable to being flooded because “it’s so low and flat,” Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, told NPR. Flooding would affect the military as well as local businesses. “Any impacts that the Navy is going to feel is going to have a direct and indirect impact on the business infrastructure,” Toll said. “That goes all the way down to the small shops that are right on the water, because everybody lives here …

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