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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

State-of-the Art Street Lighting at Brunswick Landing to Generate Hefty Energy Savings

  • January 8, 2015
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New street lighting installed at the former Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, features dimming controls that are expected to trim the LRA’s energy and maintenance costs by 80 percent. The project — which upgraded 650 street and area lights with new LED fixtures and radio frequency-enabled control and monitoring systems at Brunswick Landing — was developed and financed by Pemco Holdings LLC. The effort did not require any upfront capital from the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority; it will be paid for from savings generated by the program over a 10-year period …

White House to Release FY’16 Budget Request on Time

  • January 7, 2015
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For the first time in five years, the Obama administration will release its budget proposal for the upcoming year by the statutory deadline, the first Monday in February. “We look forward to working with Congress on returning to regular order in the annual budget process,” Emily Cain, a spokeswoman for the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement on Wednesday. The administration’s pledge to meet this year’s Feb. 2 deadline would allow appropriators more time to review the FY 2016 budget request and hold hearings ahead of Congress’ April 15 deadline for completing a joint budget resolution, reported CQ. The move also would allow lawmakers to begin crafting individual spending measures sooner and help Republicans fulfill their promise to pass the 12 spending bills through regular order …

Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing Earns Temporary Reprieve in Policy Bill

  • January 7, 2015
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The Air Force will not be able deactivate the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field, as soon it had planned as a result of language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill sponsored last year by then-Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). An amendment halting all C-130H and C-130J aircraft transfers until 60 days after the Air Force issues a report outlining a justification of its decision that was added to the Senate version of the measure was included in the compromise legislation enacted last month. The language also calls for the Government Accountability Office to review the Air Force report …

Texas County Supports Measure Alerting Homebuyers about Impacts of Neighboring Installations

  • January 7, 2015
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County commissioners of Guadalupe County, Texas, located on the eastern side of Randolph Air Force Base, last week adopted a resolution supporting legislation requiring homebuyers to be informed about the possible impacts of living near a military installation. The vote followed a presentation by officials from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph about the air base’s economic and operational impacts on Guadalupe County, which lies outside of San Antonio, reported the Seguin Gazette. Randolph features a twin-runway, twin-control tower configuration and records a total of 212,000 takeoffs and landings each year …

State Laws Don’t Increase Pot Use, Army Finds

  • January 7, 2015
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The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has not contributed to an increase in the drug’s use at two of the Army’s largest installations, officials have concluded. In fact, the rate of positive drug tests for marijuana among soldiers at Fort Carson and Joint Base Lewis-McChord dropped since the two states legalized recreational marijuana, reported the Colorado Springs Gazette. “With one minor exception, the data is trending downwards, though it remains relatively flat and the changes are statistically insignificant …

Great Falls Approves Partnership Charter with Air Force

  • January 7, 2015
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The Great Falls (Mont.) City Commission on Tuesday approved the charter for the Air Force Community Partnership program, an effort under way over the last year to identify possible functions for which the city or Cascade County and Malmstrom Air Force Base could share services. A task force has been considering partnership opportunities for training, public works, radio communication for emergency responders, economic development and other options, reported the Great Falls Tribune. The Cascade County Commission approved the charter on Dec. 23; leadership at Malmstrom and the 120th Airlift Wing leadership previously approved it. The charter formalizes the process for establishing partnerships between Malmstrom, Great Falls and Cascade County …

Officials Hopeful New Year Will Mark New Direction for South Weymouth Reuse

  • January 6, 2015
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With new legislation enacted last year to overhaul the redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth, local officials are guardedly optimistic the reuse project will make significant strides in 2015. The legislation, signed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), replaced the long-standing LRA with a new authority and shifted responsibility for public services and property tax revenue to the surrounding communities of Weymouth, Abington and Rockland. It also gave the project’s master developer, Starwood Land Ventures, more flexibility regarding the pace of the project. By the end of 2014, the prospects for a turnaround seemed hopeful as Pulte Homes neared the first major land deal under the new framework governing SouthField …

Navy Projects Slight Uptick in End Strength by 2020

  • January 6, 2015
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The number of Navy personnel will increase by 3,000 sailors over the next five years to 328,000, according to the service’s current plans. The service now is planning the composition of the fleet of sailors it projects it will need in 2025, reports Military.com. “We kind of have a sense of what the fleet looks like, now we can have conversations about what the sailors of 2025 will look like. It is a matter of attracting and keeping the sailors to man that fleet,” said Cmdr. Chris Servello, spokesman for the chief of Navy Personnel …

Senate Postpones Hearing on Carter Nomination

  • January 6, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee is delaying Ashton B. Carter’s confirmation hearing to be the next defense secretary to allow him time to recover from long-planned back surgery, incoming Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday. The hearing likely will be pushed back until early February, reported CQ. “We were ready to go immediately, but Ash Carter had to have an operation,” McCain said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said he will stay at the Pentagon until his replacement is confirmed …

Stakeholders Meet to Streamline Air Force’s Utilities Privatization Process

  • January 6, 2015
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Stakeholders from across the Air Force and DOD met at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) to streamline the process for turning over utility systems to the private sector. Officials from headquarters Air Force, AFCEC’s Installations and Energy directorates, and the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, along with Air Force legal counsel, major command utilities privatization representatives and installation contracting officer representatives, focused on eliminating redundancies from the existing process for privatizing water, wastewater, electric and natural gas utilities …

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