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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Pittsburgh-Area Groups Attempt to Coordinate Veterans Services

  • October 30, 2014
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The Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the Heinz Endowments have launched an initiative to coordinate the 180 organizations in the Pittsburgh region that provide services to veterans and their families. The effort’s aim, jumpstarted by a $50,000 planning grant from Heinz Endowments, is to create a coordinated network of service providers. The grant initially will be used to conduct a needs analysis of available resources and services. Participating organizations next will develop a provider network that leverages services from all sectors to address the needs of Pittsburgh’s veteran community …

Energy Department Funds Testing of Wave Energy Devices at Hawaiian Base

  • October 30, 2014
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The Department of Energy is providing $10 million to two companies to test wave energy conversion technologies in the late stages of development at a Navy site off the waters of Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The two companies, Ocean Energy USA and Northwest Energy Innovations, will test their marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies for one year in new deep water test berths, according to a press release. The tests will collect performance, reliability and cost data. MHK technologies convert the energy of waves, tides, rivers, and ocean currents into electricity …

Forbes to Pursue Armed Services Chair

  • October 29, 2014
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) has decided to challenge frontrunner Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to chair the House Armed Services Committee in the 114th Congress, a Forbes spokesman said Wednesday. Forbes faces an uphill battle for the powerful post as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the outgoing chairman, has indicated he favors Thornberry, reported the Hill. Thornberry has served as the panel’s vice chairman since McKeon assumed the top spot four years ago. Forbes chairs the panel’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee; he previously was chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which is responsible for overseeing installations and BRAC policy …

DOD Budget Picture Remains Unfavorable, Comptroller Says

  • October 29, 2014
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Congress most likely won’t provide any long-term budget guidance until next spring when lawmakers will need to deal with the expiration of the debt ceiling, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord said this week. McCord said he’s not looking for lawmakers to act on the Budget Control Act spending caps when they return to Washington following next week’s elections, reported Defense One. “We don’t really expect that there’s going to be some kind of a budget deal. It doesn’t seem that likely in the lame duck session …

Riverside County Establishes Commission to Protect Air Force, Navy Facilities

  • October 29, 2014
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Motivated by the prospect of a new BRAC round in the near future, Riverside County in Southern California this week created a commission to shield its two military installations from the budget knife. “We’re taking this seriously,” said Supervisor Marion Ashley. “We’re leading a countywide effort to secure the support of our cities … because we believe in protecting these bases and the people who work there,” she said, reported the Valley News. The body’s primary focus will be strengthening the position of March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Norco ahead of the next round of base closures …

State Investment in Electric Boat Bolsters Defense Manufacturing Sector

  • October 29, 2014
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The state of Connecticut will provide Electric Boat with a $10 million loan to support an expansion at its Groton facility that will add up to 200 jobs, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) announced Wednesday. Electric Boat’s expansion, estimated to cost $31.5 million, is needed to accommodate additional engineers, designers and other professionals that the company requires as it completes work related to the Navy’s Virginia class nuclear submarines as well as the Ohio replacement program, the newest class of submarines. “Our state’s defense product and parts manufacturing sector is becoming increasingly important to the Pentagon’s supply chain and, ultimately, our national defense strategy as illustrated by the growing number and value of contracts awarded to Connecticut-based industry leaders like Electric Boat over the past decade …

Ohio County Seeks Consultant for Evaluation of Former Lima Army Tank Plant, Its Workforce

  • October 29, 2014
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Allen County, Ohio, is seeking a consultant to support local economic adjustment efforts aimed at preparing, retaining and diversifying current and displaced workers at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in preparation of the M1A3 Abrams product line and future production of both military and nonmilitary structures at the facility in northwestern Ohio. Sealed bids will be received by the Board of Allen County Commissioners in the Commissioners Office, 204 North Main Street, Suite 301, Lima, Ohio until 2 p.m., on Dec. 1 at which time they will be publicly opened and read aloud for the purchase of a Future Alternatives for the JSMC and its Workforce …

Readiness to Decline again if Spending Caps Remain, Army Officials Warn

  • October 29, 2014
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Senior Army leaders are increasingly concerned about the health of the force, as the department faces new demands and the likely return of sequester’s full impact in fiscal 2016. Unless Congress acts to relax the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps, the Army’s end strength, modernization and readiness will remain out of balance at least until 2019, Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, said last week. It could take the Army as long as four years to fully recover from that state, he said. “We would come into that fiscal year with a readiness deficit … that we wouldn’t be able to drop money to fix …

Utah National Guard, Neighbors Look to Protect Training Site

  • October 28, 2014
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Officials with the Utah National Guard and communities surrounding Camp Williams are considering recommendations in a recent joint land use study to protect the facility from encroachment as residential development approaches its perimeter. One strategy the city of Herriman is pursuing to preserve open space around the installation, located 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, is to obtain funding from the Army Compatible Use Buffer program. The city could use properties where development is restricted to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities …

$3M DOD Grant to Help Diversify NE Pennsylvania Defense Sector

  • October 28, 2014
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The Defense Department last week awarded Pennsylvania a $3.0 million grant to strengthen defense manufacturers in the northeastern portion of the state and help them diversify in the face of uncertain DOD budgets. The state will use the grant, awarded by the Office of Economic Adjustment, to launch the Northeast Pennsylvania Defense Transition Partnership Initiative, an effort to deploy a collaborative network of workforce and economic development organizations. The two-year initiative will help the region craft a customized economic development strategy and increase the global competitiveness of the region’s defense sector …

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