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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Effort to Ease HUBZone Eligibility Requirements at Closed Bases Gains Momentum

  • May 20, 2015
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A long-standing effort to make it easier for tenants at closed installations to qualify for the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program may finally bear fruit this year after language to relax the program’s eligibility requirements was included in the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The provision, which would loosen the requirement for 35 percent of a HUBZone participant’s employees to live within a HUBZone, also was included in the House version of the annual policy bill. As a result, the prospect that the changes make it into the final version of the authorization bill is very favorable. The effort to amend the HUBZone program — an initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — has been led by Maine’s congressional delegation to support the reuse project at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station …

Senate Milcon Bill Surpasses House Panel’s Spending Recommendation

  • May 20, 2015
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Spending on military construction and family housing programs in fiscal 2016 would rise $1.3 billion over current year funding to $8.1 billion, under the spending bill marked up Tuesday by a Senate Appropriations subcommittee. The milcon spending level recommended by the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee would be $400 million higher than the amount included in the appropriations bill passed by the House on April 30. Both versions, though, take a significant step toward restoring milcon funding to levels allocated as recently as FY 2014. Spending on military construction programs dropped about one-third in the current year as the department opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

ADC Membership to Vote on Five New Board Candidates

  • May 19, 2015
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ADC members will have an opportunity to vote on five new candidates to the association’s board of directors during the annual business meeting at next month’s National Summit in Washington. The board elections also will usher in the expansion of the board from 12 to 13 directors. That change was approved during a special vote of the membership held in March during the Installation Innovation Forum 2015. In 2016, the board will expand to 14 directors as a result of the bylaw change. Here are the five new candidates for the board …

House Defense Spending Bill Employs Extra Funds

  • May 19, 2015
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DOD would receive $579 billion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2016, an increase of $24.4 billion above the current level and $800 million above the president’s request, under the draft defense spending bill unveiled Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee. The spending bill takes advantage of $88 billion included in DOD’s overseas contingency operations account under the budget resolution adopted by the House and Senate. That represents the department’s share of the $96 billion in funds allocated to the OCO account to elude the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending. The administration had requested only $58 billion for the war account …

Community Attempts to Raise Profile of Ohio Manufacturing Facility

  • May 19, 2015
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After the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in northwestern Ohio was ignored in a report from a state commission outlining ways to boost federal and military jobs in Ohio, officials in Lima are looking at ways to get the attention of state leaders. The strategic plan released in April by the Ohio Federal and Military Jobs Commission primarily focused on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other installations in the state, reported limaohio.com. “The JSMC didn’t figure prominently into that,” Lima Mayor David Berger said at a meeting Monday of Task Force LIMA, the local support organization for the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, a government-owned, contractor-operated tank and military vehicle production facility. It’s not clear how the group should connect with state leaders, he said. “How we got ignored in this initial report is not very explainable at this point. We just have to continue to pursue this relationship,” Berger said.

Senate Bill Calls for Privatization Pilot for Commissaries

  • May 19, 2015
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At least five military commissaries would be privatized under a two-year pilot program, according to the version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. In addition to the pilot program, the bill calls for the Governmental Accountability Office to assess the potential costs and benefits of privatizing the entire network of military grocery stores, reported Stars and Stripes. The committee has not yet released the bill text or committee report. Veterans of Foreign Wars issued a statement opposing the Senate plan because it would cut into the discounts enjoyed by military families and veterans …

Senate Plans to Take up Authorization Bill Next Month

  • May 19, 2015
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The Senate is planning to debate this year’s defense authorization bill on the chamber floor, which would represent a huge accomplishment after two consecutive years when the Senate did not have that opportunity. A Senate Armed Services Committee aide told the Hill Monday that the committee is preparing to bring up the measure it passed last week to the floor in June. In each of the past two years, the annual defense policy bill did not follow the normal path to passage after the Senate failed to let lawmakers debate the committee-passed version …

Army, Georgia Utility Break Ground on Arrays at Forts Gordon, Stewart

  • May 18, 2015
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Officials from the Army and Georgia Power last week held groundbreaking ceremonies for 30-megawatt solar farms at Forts Gordon and Stewart, the last two legs of the Army’s Georgia 3×30 project. In April, Fort Benning hosted a groundbreaking for a third 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic array. All three arrays will provide energy to Georgia Power’s main grid, with the installations continuing to purchase power through an existing General Services Administration area-wide public utility contract. The projects will, however, provide the posts a means to generate power during an emergency. The solar plants — which will be financed, installed, owned and operated by the utility — should be operational in spring 2016 …

House Bill Would Relax Restrictions on Funding Public Infrastructure Projects on Guam

  • May 18, 2015
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The draft fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill passed by the House last week would amend existing restrictions on the development of civilian infrastructure on Guam by allowing funding for projects identified in a report from the federal Economic Adjustment Committee. The FY 2014 defense authorization bill had restricted the expenditure of any funds on public infrastructure on Guam that had not been specifically authorized by law. That statute also called for EAC to consider assistance — including assistance to support public infrastructure requirements — needed to accommodate the realignment of Marine Corps forces from Okinawa …

Developer Snaps up Block across from Walter Reed Hospital Site

  • May 18, 2015
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McLean, Va.-based Elm Street Development has purchased seven adjacent parcels across the street from the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in northwest Washington to build housing. Elm Street paid $7.0 million for the lots, representing a significant amount of appreciation due to the District of Columbia’s selection of a master developer to convert 67 acres of the medical campus into a mixed-used development calling for retail, housing, a hotel and conference center, and “innovation core.” The previous owners acquired the parcels several years earlier for only $2.1 million, reported the Washington Business Journal. “That was the main driver, Walter Reed,” said Karen McJunkin, a regional partner at Elm Street …

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