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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Army Installations Fight Uphill Battle against Sequestration

  • March 15, 2015
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Mandatory spending caps in the past three years have taken a toll on Army readiness as reductions in installation support have hurt spending on training facilities and soldier and family readiness programs, Lt. Gen. David Halverson, commander of Installation Management Command, said Tuesday at an Association of the U.S. Army forum. “A near-term threat to our effectiveness is sequestration. … It can’t be ignored,” said Halverson, who also serves as assistant chief of staff for installation management. “The Army has been on a tight budget for a few years … fiscal year 2015 doesn’t look any better …

Community-Military Partnerships under Discussion at Robins AFB

  • March 15, 2015
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Officials in Middle Georgia are working on a plan that would allow commercial use of airside facilities at Robins Air Force Base. The 21st Century Partnership and the Houston County Development Authority are developing the plan, and so far Air Force officials are encouraging the groups to move forward, reported the Telegraph. The plan likely would provide lease revenue to the installation and support development of the region’s aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul industry, said Charles Stenner, CEO of the 21st Century Partnership. “We think we’ve got a start [on getting] a handle on all the things that will be required, and now we’ve got to get on down the road …

N.M. Lawmakers Advance Bill to Streamline Base Planning Panel

  • March 15, 2015
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The New Mexico Senate last week approved a measure trimming the size of the state Military Base Planning Commission from 17 to 12 members. The measure also would require that members of the commission, which is responsible for promoting and supporting the state’s military bases, represent counties that are adjacent to installations. The change is intended to make the panel more nimble as it strives to protect New Mexico’s military assets, said state Sen. Bill Burt (R), reported the Albuquerque Journal. Burt represents Alamogordo, home of Holloman Air Force Base. The move is needed as a new round of base closures could be held in the coming years, Burt said. The state has four major installations — Holloman AFB, Kirtland AFB, Cannon AFB and White Sands Missile Range.

Army Moving Ahead with Community-Military Partnerships under New Rules

  • March 13, 2015
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Language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill is spurring the Army to fully embrace an authority first enacted two years ago allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. When section 331 was first introduced two years ago, Army efforts to take advantage of it were slowed over concerns that newly reached partnerships with host communities would need to adhere to the federal rules governing competitive acquisitions. The new language, however, transfers section 331 from a chapter of the U.S. Code dealing with procurement to one focused on real estate to make clear that the shared services authority can sidestep the Federal Acquisition Regulation …

North Carolina Crafts Plan to Support Military Installations

  • March 13, 2015
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The state of North Carolina is developing a strategic plan to shore up its installations ahead of looming budget cuts, troop drawdowns and a possible BRAC round. Most of the issues the states plans to focus on involve host communities, including the quality of public schools, transportation infrastructure and encroachment, Cornell Wilson, the governor’s military adviser, told state lawmakers on Thursday. Another concern is the condition of training ranges …

For Installations, Affordable Energy Storage Remains Holy Grail of Resiliency

  • March 12, 2015
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An efficient means to store renewable energy is the missing ingredient that would allow military installations to keep running in the event the commercial grid goes down, Army officials said Tuesday at an Association of the U.S. Army forum. “Right now we have solar panels that when the sun goes down, the power goes down,” said Robert Sperberg, chief of the facilities policy division in the office of the assistant chief of staff for installation management. “We’re 98 percent dependent on the grid,” Sperberg said. “What happens to the grid, happens to the installation, happens to our ability to serve …

Maryland Bill Would Aid Defense Communities on Highway Projects

  • March 12, 2015
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A bill introduced in the Maryland General Assembly would require the State Highway Administration to cover the cost of highway projects aimed at improving access to a federal facility. Del. Mary Ann Lisanti introduced the measure, House Bill 920, after the city of Aberdeen learned it was responsible for moving utility lines associated with a state project to add lanes to Route 22, which provides access to Aberdeen Proving Ground. The city also would have needed to do utility work on another road providing access to the proving ground …

Monterey Extends Deadline to Respond to RFP for SWOT Analysis

  • March 12, 2015
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The city of Monterey, Calif., is requesting proposals from qualified firms to conduct a comprehensive strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis for Monterey County installations and associated facilities and missions. The installations included in the analysis are: Presidio of Monterey (home to the Defense Language Institute); Naval Support Activity Monterey (home to the Naval Postgraduate School); Fort Hunter Liggett; Camp Roberts; and Ord Military Community. The city has extended the deadline for submitting proposals until March 27 at 5:00 p.m. The RFP is available on the city website.

Closer Coordination with Community Would Benefit Virginia Base, JLUS Says

  • March 12, 2015
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Naval Support Facility Dahlgren and King George County, Va., should take steps to reach out to the other as a way to avoid potential conflicts that could interfere with the installation’s weapons research and development mission, according to the recommendations of a two-year-long joint land use study. The county, for example, should integrate the facility into the review process for proposed developments planned around impact areas. In the past, projects in areas experiencing increased noise levels from Navy operations have been approved without base officials being aware of the plans …

Senate Panel Fails to Embrace Pentagon’s BRAC Request

  • March 12, 2015
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Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, reiterated her staunch opposition to a new BRAC round at her panel’s hearing Wednesday, a sentiment that was generally shared by the handful of members in attendance. “Even after acknowledging the shortcomings of the 2005 round, the department continues to request the same legislative framework,” Ayotte said at the outset of the hearing. “I remain opposed to BRAC and do not want to give the department the open-ended authority to pursue another BRAC round …

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