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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Tester Helps Preserve Flying Mission at Great Falls ANG Base

  • June 1, 2014
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Since entering office seven years ago, Montana Sen. Jon Tester has been a champion of his state’s defense facilities and a valuable ally of the Montana Defense Alliance. When the Montana Air National Guard faced the prospect of losing its F-15 fighter mission, Tester led the state’s campaign to overturn the plan. While the fight was unsuccessful, the senator then focused the state’s effort on identifying a replacement mission to preserve the jobs that otherwise would be eliminated …

Legislative Solution to Save Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing Remains Alive

  • June 1, 2014
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Supporters of the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field, received some positive news after language to suspend the unit’s deactivation was added to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee. North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D) introduced the amendment last month in response to the Air Force’s FY 2015 budget request, which calls for retiring the 440th’s 12 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. Hagan’s amendment would halt all C-130H and C-130J aircraft transfers until 60 days after the Air Force issues a report outlining a justification of its decision …

Eglin EUL Enhances Mission while Supporting Upgrades for Base Facilities

  • June 1, 2014
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Air Force officials had plenty of reasons to be happy during last month’s ribbon-cutting for a resort hotel at Fort Walton Beach built on property owned by Eglin AFB. The 152-room Holiday Inn Destin West Resort on the Florida Panhandle, developed by Emerald Breeze Resort Group through an enhanced use lease (EUL), will provide the installation with an added revenue stream to fund infrastructure upgrades and repairs. The EUL program has helped make up for a significant shortfall in Eglin’s budget for facility repairs and upgrades, providing almost $30 million through in-kind payments from existing projects …

Housing Construction at Treasure Island Could Begin in 2016

  • May 29, 2014
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Despite concerns about radiation contamination on parts of Treasure Island, the master developer is proceeding with plans to begin housing construction on the former naval station located in San Francisco Bay. The Navy may transfer the eastern end of the island along with all of adjacent Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco by the end of the year. At that point, the property would be turned over the development team of Lennar and Wilson Meany, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Housing construction could begin on Yerba Buena by the middle of 2016, with 500 units completed by 2018, Lennar Urban President Kofi Bonner told the paper. Meanwhile, the Navy is planning to conduct radiological surveys of all occupied housing units on Treasure Island. The western end of the island, where the testing will occur, would be conveyed to the city between 2016 and 2021.

Kansas Rep. Fights for Defense Communities through House Caucus, Support for Ammo Plant Reuse

  • May 29, 2014
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Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who helped establish the House Defense Communities Caucus and end a long-running dispute delaying the transfer of Kansas Army Ammunition Plant to the community, has been selected to receive ADC’s Congressional Leadership Award. Jenkins helped launched the Defense Communities Caucus in the House in March 2011 with Rep. Sam Farr (Calif.) to advance issues facing communities with active or closed installations …

Out-of-Pocket Costs Likely to Rise for Military Families

  • May 29, 2014
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The belt-tightening measures proposed by the Pentagon were hardly embraced in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bills crafted by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee over the past several weeks, but service members and their families likely will face reduced compensation levels after the annual defense policy bill is enacted. The federal subsidy for military commissaries is largely protected, with the Senate ignoring DOD’s request to trim the direct subsidy by $200 million in FY 2015. The House, however, called for reducing the federal contribution by $100 million …

House Spending Bill Rejects Many DOD Cost-Cutting Proposals

  • May 29, 2014
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The $491 billion fiscal 2015 defense spending bill unveiled Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee ignores many of the Pentagon’s plans for cutting back programs aimed at keeping its budget under next year’s statutory spending cap. The draft measure includes $789 million to refuel the USS George Washington in a reversal of DOD’s budget request, which assumes the carrier would be retired to save money. The bill also includes language barring the Army from shifting the Army National Guard’s fleet of Apache attack helicopters to active-duty forces …

House Passes Amendment to Extend Environmental Protections to Non-BRAC Sites

  • May 29, 2014
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Land not yet transferred at former ammunition plants and other military installations closed outside of the BRAC process would receive the same liability protections as BRAC sites when unknown contamination is discovered, under an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed by the House last week. The amendment, sponsored by Indiana Rep. Todd Young (R), would extend the indemnity now provided by Section 330 of the 1993 defense authorization bill to property not yet transferred at bases closed outside of the BRAC process …

House Bill Would Ease Veterans’ Transition

  • May 28, 2014
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The House on Wednesday passed legislation aimed at increasing the number of service members who find jobs after leaving the military. H.R. 2942 would reauthorize the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee, which managed licensing and certification for job training programs for veterans separating from the armed forces, reported the Hill. It is designed to help veterans who have the appropriate military training and experience for civilian occupations but lack required licenses or certification for those jobs …

Planning Group Tackles Regional Growth Concerns outside Aberdeen Proving Ground

  • May 28, 2014
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Since 2005, the Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor (CSSC) has helped coordinate a variety of planning needs stemming from the growth experienced at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., following the 2005 round of base closures, including transportation, workforce and infrastructure. The regional growth management organization for eight jurisdictions in three states outside Aberdeen Proving Ground has spearheaded multiple initiatives aimed at sustaining the post’s R&D missions and boosting economic development outside its boundaries, relying on partnerships and a commitment to the soldiers and civilian personnel working for the 90-plus tenant organizations located there …

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