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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Ft. Monmouth LRA to Auction Kitchen Sinks, All Other Buildings’ Contents

  • October 6, 2014
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The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority began a series of auctions last week to sell furniture, machinery and other equipment inside or attached to buildings slated to be demolished at the former installation located close to the New Jersey coast. The authority hired an auctioneer to a two-year contract, with a one-year extension, as the Army continues to turn over facilities to the LRA. The money collected, minus the portion going to the auction company, will be reinvested in the redevelopment, reported NJ.com. “As the state takes title to different areas of redevelopment, if there are any items to be sold, we’ll sell them …

Air Force Pays City to Find New Water Source due to Contamination at Former Pease AFB

  • October 6, 2014
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The Air Force has agreed to pay the city of Portsmouth, N.H., $154,000 for the initial costs of finding a new water supply due to the contamination of a city well at Pease International Tradeport, the former Pease Air Force Base. The agreement follows the discovery in May of elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which the EPA classifies as a “contaminant of emerging concern,” reports Seacoastonline.com. “This is our number one priority at Pease,” Peter Forbes, the Air Force’s environmental coordinator for the former base, said of the investigation and tests officials have conducted since the contaminant’s discovery. Stephen TerMaath, BRAC division chief, said the Air Force has been working closely with the EPA and the state Department of Environmental Services “to develop a long-term plan for addressing PFCs at Pease.”

Employers Need to Focus on Retaining Veterans, Survey Finds

  • October 6, 2014
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Nearly half of veterans stayed in their first job after leaving the military for 12 months or less, while almost two-thirds left their first job within two years, according to a new survey by Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and VetAdvisor. Veterans cited a lack of job satisfaction and opportunities for advancement as primary factors for leaving those jobs, reported Military Times. Nine out of 10 respondents to the survey of 1,400 veterans identified the opportunity to use their skills and abilities as the most important aspect of civilian employment. Veterans also identified several aspects of career development, benefits, work environment and employee relationship with management as important retention considerations …

State Role to Help Ft. Campbell Solar Array Shine

  • October 6, 2014
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The four-way partnership that came together to develop a 5-megawatt solar array at Fort Campbell includes a significant contribution from the commonwealth of Kentucky, the first time the Army has collaborated with a local energy provider and the state on an on-post solar project. The partnership among the Army, the Department of Energy (DOE), Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet amassed more than $10 million for the project, which will be built on 20 acres at an abandoned landfill on the post. The cooperative is financing about 500 kilowatts of the array, with Fort Campbell entering into a power purchase agreement for the remainder …

Army Secretary Praises Energy Group’s Achievements

  • October 6, 2014
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The Army last week formally announced the creation of the Office of Energy Initiatives, an enduring organization within the office of the assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment that will leverage and expand on the momentum and early success of the Energy Initiatives Task Force. The office will serve as the Army’s central management office for the development, implementation and oversight of all privately financed, large-scale renewable and alternative energy projects, greater than or equal to 10 megawatts. “Over the past three years, the EITF has guided more than 175 megawatts of privately financed renewable energy projects through procurement at multiple installations …

BRAC is Coming, Principi Says

  • October 6, 2014
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Anthony Principi, chairman of the 2005 BRAC Commission, is convinced a new base closure round will be held in the next five years. “At some point, Congress is going to have to authorize a BRAC” commission, Principi told Seacoastonline last week. “I’ve seen the trepidation [of base closures] first-hand, and I know [a BRAC round] can create an anxious time for communities. But the bottom line is that there’s a lot of excess military infrastructure, and it’s costly,” he said. The paper interviewed Principi ahead of his visit today, along with Maine gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud (D), to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. Principi last visited the shipyard during the 2005 BRAC round. The commission later voted to take it off the closure list. At the time, he said it was “the premiere public shipyard. It should be the gold standard by which we should measure other shipyards.” Principi told the paper he is confident Portsmouth will survive a future BRAC.

New Commissary to Support Pittsburgh-Area Service Members, Veterans

  • October 6, 2014
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The nine-year odyssey to replace the commissary and post exchange at an Army facility closing as a result of BRAC 2005 is almost complete, with the grand opening for new stores set for later this month. After the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility, located outside of Pittsburgh in Collier, was designated for closure in 2005, local veterans and military support groups lobbied lawmakers and the Pentagon to retain a post exchange and commissary in the region, reported the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Even with the closure of the Kelly Support Facility, the area still is home to several units — the Army Reserve’s 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, the Air Force Reserve’s 911th Airlift Wing and Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing …

Region Can Still Benefit from Ft. Bragg Support Group, Director Says

  • October 6, 2014
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Eight years after its predecessor organization was formed to help accommodate growth at Fort Bragg stemming from the 2005 BRAC round, the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance finds itself needing to demonstrate its value to member counties. By the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year in July, only four of the 11 original participating counties surrounding Fayetteville, N.C., were still members. And as state and federal grants have evaporated, the organization is relying solely on local funding, reports the Fayetteville Observer. “We’re a lean, mean organization right now,” said Alliance CEO Greg Taylor. Its two staff members recently accepted furloughs …

War Spending Account Solves DOD Budget Problems for Now

  • October 6, 2014
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The OCO account is exempt from the Budget Control Act caps on defense spending and with the estimated cost of operations in Iraq and Syria ranging from $2.4 billion to $18 billion annually, it’s the easiest solution to the Pentagon’s budget crunch, analysts say. “There is currently no limit on OCO, so there is as much room as they need,” Todd Harrison, a defense budget senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told Stars and Stripes. Relying on the OCO has the obvious benefit of avoiding the need to shoehorn the cost of the war into the department’s base budget …

Pursuit of Net Zero Goal Prompts Ft. Carson to Expand Water Reclamation

  • October 2, 2014
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Fort Carson, Colo., is embarking on a reclaimed water system expansion to help it meet its goal of becoming a net zero water installation by 2020. The post’s Cheyenne Shadows Golf Club has used reclaimed water from an onsite sewage treatment plant for irrigation since the 1970s, the Army reports. The expansion will irrigate Iron Horse Park, a sports complex and other areas with reclaimed water by next summer. The project involves upgrading 5 miles of existing pipe and installing more than 2 miles of new lines to the system, adding new pumps at the sewage treatment plant, a new booster pump station …

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