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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Jacksonville Grant Program Supports Veterans, Transitioning Personnel

  • March 4, 2014
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The city of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise are partnering to support local organizations serving veterans and active-duty service members transitioning to civilian life. As part of a five-year partnership launched last November, the Jacksonville Military Veterans Community Partnership Grants program will focus on services that support the transition to civilian life, provide emergency financial assistance, support local career assistance, provide military spouse and family support, and encourage wraparound social services …

Niagara Falls Support Group Promotes New Missions for Air Reserve Station

  • March 4, 2014
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Last week’s trip to Washington by the local support group for Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station to meet with the congressional delegation for western New York advanced the organization’s effort to promote new missions for the base. The Niagara Military Affairs Council pushed for the return of eight C-130 cargo aircraft to Niagara Falls from a base in Minnesota, where they were sent from New York several years ago, reported the Buffalo News. Drone-control units are scheduled to be installed at the air reserve station next year, but the council wants drones to be based at Niagara Falls. “That’s how you get the manning,” Jeffrey Glatz, Niagara County manager, told the paper. This spring construction is set to begin on a C-130 flight simulator. When it is completed next year, about 400 service members will visit annually for training …

Headquarters Restructuring at Air Force to Tackle Installation Support

  • March 4, 2014
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The Air Force’s effort to streamline its headquarters organization through a 20 percent budget cut likely will involve organizational changes affecting oversight of installation support, Secretary Deborah Lee James said last week. “We need to centralize policy and oversight of installation support in such areas as engineering, security forces and contracting, among others,” James said at the Bloomberg Government Defense conference in Washington. The organizational realignment is intended to eliminate areas of administrative overlap …

Senate Readiness Chair Maintains Resistance to BRAC Request

  • March 4, 2014
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New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), chairman of the Armed Services’ subcommittee responsible for installations policy, last week reiterated her opposition to the Pentagon’s request to conduct a new round of base closures. Last week, during his preview of the fiscal 2015 budget request — which is scheduled to be formally unveiled today — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said DOD will ask Congress for permission to hold a BRAC round in 2017, the third consecutive year the Obama administration has requested additional base closures. “Another BRAC round would have serious consequences for our shipyard, our workers, and our economy in New Hampshire …

DOD Spending Plan Faces High Hurdles on the Way to Congressional Acceptance

  • March 4, 2014
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Based on the reaction of both Republicans and Democrats to last week’s preview of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget request, the administration’s spending plan almost certainly will not be approved without significant changes to its recommendations, particularly those calling for cuts to the Army’s active-duty and reserve forces, adjustments to service members’ benefits and retirement of the A-10 aircraft fleet. “There’s a clear sentiment on both sides, both Republicans and Democrats, on the Armed Services Committee that these cuts are too draconian,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ….

DOD Soliciting Input for New List of Military Family Issues States Should Address

  • March 2, 2014
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The Pentagon is preparing its annual list of issues affecting service members and their families in which “state governments are the primary agents for making positive change,” and is gathering input for its fiscal 2015 list. “Each year, DOD selects issues for states to consider that represent barriers resulting from the transience and uncertainty of military life,” according to the Feb. 28 Federal Register notice. In the past, the department has asked states to ease the hurdles children in active-duty military families face when they transfer school districts, including problems involving records transfer, class and course placement, qualifying for extracurricular activities and fulfilling graduation requirements. Suggestions should address whether the issue can be corrected through a change in state procedure or policy. Responses are due April 14.

Service Members Will Miss Commissary Benefit, Senior Enlisted Advisers Say

  • March 2, 2014
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Trimming the commissary benefit as part of an effort to lower defense spending would harm service members, the military’s top enlisted members told lawmakers last week. “I personally think it’s ridiculous that we’re going after something that saves a young lance corporal $4,500 a year,” Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett told the House Appropriations’ Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee …

Air Force Renewable Energy Projects Advance toward One Gigawatt Goal

  • March 2, 2014
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Air Force officials are envisioning one of the military’s largest energy ventures to take shape at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a project expected to generate at least 50 to 60 megawatts of renewable energy. Last November, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center selected the team of Starwood Siemens, with lead developer Energy Management, to develop energy projects on four separate parcels at the central New Jersey installation through an enhanced use lease …

50 Governors Sign Letter Protesting Planned Cuts to Army National Guard

  • March 2, 2014
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The nation’s 50 governors on Friday sent a letter to President Obama opposing planned cuts to the Army National Guard included in the Army’s soon-to-be-released fiscal 2015 budget request. “We respectfully request that you reconsider proposed cuts to the Army National Guard and changes to the Guard’s combat aviation capabilities and that you work with us to fashion solutions that provide a scalable, cost-effective force that best serves the interests of our nation …

Sequestration Is Here to Stay, HASC Minority Leader Says

  • March 2, 2014
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Automatic spending cuts slated to be imposed on the defense budget through fiscal 2021 most likely will remain in place, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in an interview aired Sunday. “If you had to bet, you’d bet that sequestration is going to stick around,” Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, told “Defense News with Vago Muradian.” The congressman’s remarks, which echo comments made by Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), come as many lawmakers last week decried the cuts in force structure and military benefits included in the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan …

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