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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force Offers Incentives to Trim Civilian Staffing at Headquarters

  • June 17, 2015
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The Air Force this week began offering buyouts and early retirement incentives to civilian workers to help it achieve a DOD initiative to reduce headquarters costs and staff levels by 20 percent. The incentives mark the third round of the service’s current workforce reduction effort, which is designed to eliminate redundant activities and improve efficiencies. “The Air Force is committed to using voluntary separation programs as much as possible before pursuing involuntary options,” said Debra Warner, the service’s director of civilian force policy. “The Air Force is committed to sustaining excellence, meeting fiscal requirements and minimizing negative impacts on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families …

Amendment Would Require OEA Report on Support for Army Communities

  • June 16, 2015
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The Office of Economic Adjustment would be required to submit a report to Congress on funding that could be made available to communities affected by the Army’s latest restructuring, under an amendment added to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill last week by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Army shortly is expected to announce how it will realign its forces to shrink its end strength by up to 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. Officials announced a similar restructuring in June 2013. At the time, the Army said it would deactivate 10 brigade combat teams to eliminate 80,000 personnel and cut its end strength to 490,000. This latest reduction could trim active-duty forces to 420,000 …

Pilot to Privatize Commissaries Should Be Postponed, Inhofe Says

  • June 16, 2015
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A proposal to privatize five commissaries under a two-year pilot program should be stripped from the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, according to a commentary by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) published in Military Times. Congress should complete an evaluation of the feasibility of privatizing military grocery stores before launching a pilot program, writes Inhofe, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. “Privatizing military commissaries before conducting an assessment of the costs and benefits of such significant reform is irresponsible,” he states. “I want to know the cost and savings as well as the risks and benefits associated with privatization before any action is taken,” Inhofe says …

Google Considers Moving into Hunters Point

  • June 16, 2015
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Google is in the early stages of talks with Lennar Urban about leasing or acquiring space at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco. So far, the redevelopment’s plans for up to 10,500 residential units have received the lion’s share of attention about the project, but the Shipyard campus is slated to accommodate 800,000 square feet of office space by 2018 and an additional 2 million square feet by 2021, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The Shipyard’s timeline for delivering office space could be favorable for Google as its subsidiary YouTube is facing the end of its current lease in 2018 …

Town Rejects Devens Rezoning Plan

  • June 16, 2015
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Voters in the town of Harvard, Mass., last week turned down a proposal by MassDevelopment to rezone a portion of Devens to lure a biotech company to the site 35 miles west of downtown Boston. Zoning changes at the former Fort Devens require approval from Harvard and the installation’s other two host communities, Ayer and Shirley. Only Harvard voters rejected the state development agency’s proposal to rezone a residential area on the western side of Devens to allow industrial and commercial uses. Harvard residents were concerned about the potential for a factory to create noise problems after a nearby manufacturing facility built by Evergreen Solar prompted similar complaints …

South Georgia Support Group Fights to Retain Moody AFB

  • June 16, 2015
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The South Georgia Military Affairs Council met last week to continue its ongoing effort to support Moody Air Force Base and protect it from a future BRAC round. “The SGMAC does a lot of detail things, such as working with local governments to protect Moody AFB from encroachment, to interface with local school systems to enhance a friendly military-dependent environment and many other details,” said the group’s Nick Lacey. The council, which was formed three years ago, includes representatives from the chambers of commerce of four counties — Lowndes, Berrien, Cook and Lanier, reported the Valdosta Daily Times. The group made its annual visit to Washington D.C., from April 29-May 1 to reinforce the community’s support for Moody …

Limited Debate to Resume in Senate on Authorization Bill

  • June 14, 2015
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Senate debate on the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill is expected to continue Tuesday after little movement last week and votes on only a handful of amendments. On Thursday, Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters the bill was now “unstuck” and he hoped the Senate would debate a number of amendments before moving to final passage. Lawmakers eventually agreed to hold votes on two amendments tomorrow. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed a procedural motion Thursday to allow him to cut off debate on the annual defense policy measure, S. 1376; that vote is expected Tuesday, reported the Hill. Democrats earlier blocked a move by McConnell to attach a cybersecurity bill to the underlying measure.

Budget Impasse Fast Approaching in Senate

  • June 14, 2015
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Progress on fiscal 2016 appropriations bills could come to a screeching halt in the Senate this week, with Democrats vowing to block the chamber from beginning debate on all 12 spending bills, including the defense measure which the Senate is expected to turn to shortly. A deadlock in the Senate could slow work on appropriations on the other side of the Capitol as well, reported CQ. Democrats and the White House oppose GOP’s budget framework, which sticks to the stringent budget cap for non-defense spending but offers relief to the Pentagon by stashing $38 billion in extra funding in DOD’s overseas contingency operations account …

Biloxi Looks to Raise Millions for New Gate at Keesler AFB

  • June 14, 2015
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The mayor of Biloxi, Miss., has launched an initiative to finance a new gate at Keesler Air Force Base, an attempt to boost community development as well as shield the installation from a future BRAC round. A new entrance on Division Street would improve access to Keesler, and provide a more secure and attractive gateway, Mayor FoFo Gilich told WLOX. A recent meeting of the committee Gilich formed to advance the initiative was attended by 22 individuals, including state lawmakers and officials. “So we’ve covered all the grounds that we think identify what are the obstacles and each person was truly excited about this thing coming back alive …

Ft. Campbell Breaks Ground on Solar Array

  • June 14, 2015
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Officials from Fort Campbell and an electric cooperative last month held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a capped landfill for a solar array slated to produce 5 megawatts of energy. The Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. will construct the first phase of the project which will provide about 1.9 megawatts of energy capable of “plugging in” directly into the Kentucky post’s power grid, reported the Army. The cooperative is using a $3.1 million grant from the state to supplement the cost of building its portion of the ground-mounted solar panel system. This phase should be completed in September …

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