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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

No Avoiding BRAC under Budget Constraints, Graham Says

  • March 11, 2015
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A new round of base closures will be needed if lawmakers keep the statutory caps on defense spending in place,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said at a hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. “At the end of the day, as much as we all love our bases, we’re going to have to address this problem,” Graham said, reported CQ. “And if we want to insist upon sequestration,” he said, “then we’d better be willing to go back home and tell people, ‘You can’t get there from here and every base that’s open today is not going to survive …

Senate Budget Resolution Will Retain Budget Caps

  • March 11, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget resolution the Senate Budget Committee is crafting will retain the statutory caps on defense and non-defense spending but include a reserve fund allowing the discretionary spending limits to be raised later in the year. To take advantage of the higher spending afforded by the reserve fund, Congress and the White House would need to strike a deficit reduction agreement ensuring the extra spending is offset either by other spending cuts or revenue increases. The committee also is considering ways to provide much-needed relief to the Pentagon budget, including a plan from Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) to raise defense spending in FY 2016 and 2017 …

Army Listening Session Underscores Ft. Gordon’s Growth Plans

  • March 11, 2015
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In contrast to the two dozen listening sessions held in other communities over the past several months, speakers at Tuesday’s meeting about Fort Gordon focused on the post’s opportunities for growth following the move of Army Cyber Command to the Augusta, Ga., installation. “I think what the community should be confident in is the type of forces we have at Fort Gordon right now. Those are ones that are in high demand,” Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, the post’s commander, said after the meeting. “If you think about high-demand, low-density forces — intel, signal, cyber — that’s really what we have here at Fort Gordon. What I’m confident in is that demand is going to continue into the future …

EDA Grant to Support Demolition Project at Brooks City Base

  • March 11, 2015
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The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded Brooks City Base a $1.2 million grant to demolish 23 former military buildings that will create space for future development on San Antonio’s Southeast Side. The project’s total cost is about $2.4 million. The targeted buildings were deemed unsuitable for reuse and are either vacant or lacking in modern efficiencies. Redevelopment of the property could lead to the creation of 1,500 jobs, according to a press release. “Brooks City Base has transformed into a thriving mixed-use community but, as a former military base, there are still several small, old or otherwise unusable buildings that we need to remove before we can fully maximize our potential,” said Brooks City Base President & CEO Leo Gomez …

Reserve Fund Plan May Draw Necessary Support for Budget Resolution

  • March 11, 2015
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Republican lawmakers have come up with a maneuver that may satisfy both defense and fiscal hawks as the House and Senate Budget committees craft a fiscal 2016 budget resolution, but it wouldn’t solve the underlying dispute over whether Congress will raise the $523 billion national security spending cap. Under the idea that has been discussed, the Budget committees would establish a reserve fund, which would allow the discretionary spending limits in the budget resolution to be raised later in the year as long as the new spending is offset by either other spending cuts or revenue increases, reported CQ. The resolution still would set FY 2016 spending at the Budget Control Act limits …

Graham Pushes for Solution to Sequestration

  • March 11, 2015
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A small group of senators, led by Lindsey Graham, is hard at work looking for a way out of the mandatory caps on defense and non-defense spending. “What we need to do is buy back sequestration. What we’re trying to do is put together a mini Simpson-Bowles deal,” Graham said in reference to the deficit reduction package offered by former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles. As with that plan, Graham said he would be willing to consider a combination of tax hikes and entitlement cuts, reported the Hill. The prospective candidate to run for president in 2016 said he would offer to close tax loopholes in exchange for reforms to entitlement programs …

Defense Community Awards Season Opens

  • March 10, 2015
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ADC has opened the nominations process for the 2015 Defense Community Awards program. The awards highlight the accomplishments of defense communities and their installations in front of key decision makers from Congress and DOD. ADC will present this year’s awards at the third annual Defense Communities Congressional Breakfast that will take place on Capitol Hill during the Defense Communities National Summit, June 22-24. Awards honor a community, installation, public official or military leader demonstrating leadership, innovation and excellence. Specific categories include: Congressional Leadership, Military Leadership, Community or State Leadership, Base Redevelopment Project of the Year, Defense Community or State of the Year, and DOD Installation of the Year …

Army Demands $23.1M from Virginia for Ft. Monroe Parcels

  • March 10, 2015
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The Army is asking the Fort Monroe Authority to pay $23.1 million for a portion of the post that did not automatically revert to the commonwealth of Virginia after it closed. Since negotiations began, the Army has insisted the state pay for parts of the installation, located on the Virginia shore of the Chesapeake Bay, built up after the two signed the reversion clause in the 1830s, including the marina and land Army engineers constructed along Mill Creek. The state would compensate the Army by funding infrastructure projects close to Army facilities designed to improve both the installation and the surrounding community, according to a “deal points” document released by the Fort Monroe Authority …

Labor’s VETS Director to Step Down

  • March 10, 2015
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Keith Kelly, who has served as the Labor Department’s top official for veterans employment for the past two years, announced last week that he would leave his post at the end of May. Kelly has served as assistant secretary of the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) since January 2013. Previously he had been commissioner of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. “When I leave VETS, I will be 69½, and that is enough,” he said in a statement. “I am leaving a good organization with every confidence it will keep moving forward. I am going back home to Montana to see how a saddle feels again …

Air Force Rejects Commission’s Call to Eliminate Reserve Command

  • March 10, 2015
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The Air Force has no plans to carry out the recommendation made last year by a congressionally established panel to disestablish Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). That proposal was the only one of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force’s 42 recommendations that the Air Force disagreed with, officials said last week. “Elimination of the AFRC would not result in substantial savings, as nine different major commands would have to assume the roles and responsibilities currently accomplished by the Headquarters AFRC. Additionally, the current structure allows the chief of the Air Force Reserve to manage authorized and appropriated Reserve resources as required by key statutory obligations,” according to a written statement from Air Force Public Affairs …

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