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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Pentagon Required to Evaluate Army Downsizing under Amendment to House Bill

  • May 17, 2015
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The secretary of defense would be required to certify that an active-duty end strength for the Army below 490,000 soldiers will be adequate to meet the nation’s defense strategy, under an amendment added by House lawmakers last week to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The amendment, approved by voice vote, was offered by Republican Reps. John Fleming (La.) and Elise Stefanik (N.Y.). Both represent Army communities that stand to lose thousands of troops in the Army’s next round of restructuring. Officials are expected to announce early this summer how they will realign the service’s end strength from 490,000, the Army’s target for the end of FY 2015, to 420,000 by FY 2020 …

Authorization Bill Passes in House despite Democratic Opposition

  • May 17, 2015
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House Republicans overcame an uncharacteristic lack of Democratic support on Friday to pass the chamber’s fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, 269-151. The opposition from Democrats did not stem from significant differences over defense programs but, rather, from the effort by the party, along with President Obama, to fight the legislation’s reliance on DOD’s overseas contingency operations account to evade the statutory spending caps. The legislation, H.R. 1735, would authorize DOD to spend $38 billion on operations and maintenance needs that ordinarily would be funded in the department’s base budget …

Paper Questions Lack of Job Growth at Federal City Project

  • May 17, 2015
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At the 10-year anniversary of the 2005 round of base closures, the Times-Picayune takes the opportunity to chronicle the history of the Federal City project, the redevelopment of the Naval Support Activity New Orleans, and question why it hasn’t achieved its goal of creating 10,000 jobs. The project was born out of the 2005 BRAC round when officials from New Orleans and Louisiana successfully lobbied the BRAC Commission to keep open the Naval Support Activity’s Algiers campus — located on the west bank of the Mississippi River — and move the headquarters for Marine Forces Reserve there from the Navy’s Bywater campus across the river. The state pledged $125 million to build a new facility for the Marines …

Air Force Awards First DOD Contract under ESPC Program for Small Projects

  • May 17, 2015
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The Air Force recently awarded an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) to upgrade exterior lighting at Laughlin AFB, Texas, under an Energy Department program intended for small-scale energy conservation measures that can be installed in six months or less. The contract represents the first awarded by a DOD activity under the ESPC ENABLE program. “ESPC ENABLE was designed to help agencies that may have smaller buildings; facilities that are sometimes left out of the normal performance contracts,” said Kurmit Rockwell, ESPC manager at the Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program …

Senate Panel Fails to Resolve Questions over OCO End-Around

  • May 14, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday approved its fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, 22-4, after failing to assuage Democrats opposed to the measure’s reliance on DOD’s war funding account to evade the statutory spending caps. The committee’s draft legislation, like the version being debated this week on the House floor, authorizes DOD to spend $38 billion of funds added to its overseas contingency operations account for items traditionally funded in its base budget. Stashing the extra funds in the OCO account allows Congress and the Pentagon to sidestep the Budget Control Act caps …

Amendment Offers Possible Reprieve for Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing

  • May 14, 2015
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Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing, which is slated to be deactivated by the end of the fiscal year, would receive at least a short-term reprieve under an amendment added by the Senate Armed Services Committee this week to its draft fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The amendment offered by North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis (R) would require the 18th Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and U.S. Army Special Operations Command to certify that the loss of the 440th — an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field — would not harm training at Bragg before the airlift wing could be deactivated. Army commanders would have 90 days after the legislation is enacted to make a decision …

House Votes to Remove Immigration Measure from Defense Bill

  • May 14, 2015
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House lawmakers on Thursday voted to strip a controversial immigration provision from the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, removing one possible barrier to the measure’s passage this week. Language added to the defense policy bill in committee last month would have encouraged the defense secretary to consider allowing individuals eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to serve in the military. The provision drew heated opposition from conservatives who tried to have it stricken from the bill by the House Rules Committee. Instead, lawmakers adopted an amendment, 221-202, removing the language …

Air Force Identifies Millions in Potential Utility Rate Savings

  • May 14, 2015
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Air Force officials have identified more than $22 million in potential savings on utility costs following an eight-year review of utility rates for nearly 70 Air Force bases in the continental United States. In 2007, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s energy directorate found a variety of opportunities to cut costs after it began examining electric, natural gas, water and wastewater invoices and contracts for potential savings. “We found savings in multiple ways,” Nancy Coleal, chief of the utility rate management team, told AFCEC Public Affairs. “Sometimes it was a billing error, sometimes a simple rate change. Every situation was unique; we really had to examine each base case by case …

Concord Seeks Community Reuse Planning Director

  • May 14, 2015
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The city of Concord, Calif., is recruiting for a director of community reuse planning. This position is the head of the Local Reuse Authority’s reuse office, which is a department of the city. The day-to-day responsibilities for the director include guiding and managing the city’s base reuse project to fruition in a manner consistent with the city’s adopted plans. The director manages a number of contracts with outside consultants and oversees a team of city staff from various departments. This position is required to frequently attend meetings conducted during evening hours and/or on weekends and sometimes has irregular work hours in order to meet deadlines and achieve objectives. A bachelor’s degree is required along with a master’s degree and 10 years’ experience. Please see the city of Concord website for full job description and how to apply.

Democrats to Oppose House Authorization Bill over Reliance on OCO Funds

  • May 13, 2015
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will whip Democrats against the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill over opposition to the measure’s reliance on DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to get around the Budget Control Act spending caps. The unprecedented move follows a DOD briefing Wednesday for House Democrats that concluded, “this bill is the wrong bill,” according to House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.). The annual policy legislation typically passes with bipartisan support. Equally surprising was the announcement by Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, that he also would vote against the measure …

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