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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Deal over UAS Park at Grand Forks AFB Expected in June

  • April 13, 2014
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The Air Force expects to reach final agreement over an enhanced use lease (EUL) at Grand Forks Air Force Base for a business and technology park focused on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in June, Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary for installations, environment and logistics, said last week. Grand Forks County is the Air Force’s local partner for the EUL, which will cover 217 acres at the installation. Northrop Grumman will be the Grand Sky project’s anchor tenant. “The agreement we’re forging in North Dakota between Grand Forks County, the Air Force and Northrop Grumman will help create one of the premier hubs in this country for developing unmanned aerial system technologies,” said North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven …

Are Military Housing Needs in Conflict with Training Lands, House Panel Asks

  • April 13, 2014
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An urgent need to expand military housing for personnel and their families at some installations potentially could force officials to convert property designated for training, the House Appropriations Committee states in its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. To alleviate the demand for additional housing at affected installations, the committee urges DOD to work with state and local governments, along with nongovernmental entities, when development is supported by the community …

Budget Cuts, Looming BRAC Round Worry Supporters of Maryland Proving Ground

  • April 13, 2014
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Advocates for Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., already anxious about the impact of recent budget cuts, are bracing for the prospect of a new base closure round. The installation gained new missions and thousands of jobs following the last BRAC round, and officials are working to ensure the proving ground is well-positioned to benefit from the next one. One selling point is the amount of land available on the post, located northeast of Baltimore, to expand …

Database Confirms Concentration of Veterans with PTSD in Defense Communities

  • April 13, 2014
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Defense communities have always considered themselves a popular choice for separating service members looking for a place to settle down, or at least jump start their civilian lives. A new analysis of Veterans Affairs data shows that military communities also have the highest number of veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a conclusion that, while hardly surprising, should alert local officials to the importance of ensuring there is a sufficient amount of mental health services available in their communities …

Following Growth Spurt, Army Pacific Forces to Remain Steady

  • April 13, 2014
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After growing by 16,000 active-duty soldiers recently to an end strength of 106,000, Army forces in the Pacific are expected to be shielded from severe cuts the service is planning to carry out over the coming years to cope with statutory spending caps. “How we have forces based in the Pacific we see remaining about the same for the next several years,” Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter in Honolulu, said last week …

Task Force Reconvenes to Support Northeast Pennsylvania Depot

  • April 10, 2014
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Northeast Pennsylvania leaders have reactivated the Blue Ribbon Task Force to craft a plan to defend Tobyhanna Army Depot against budgets cuts or a looming BRAC round. The depot was spared during the previous two base closure rounds, although the workforce of DOD’s largest full-service electronics maintenance facility has shrunk by one-third over the past two years, reports the Times Leader. The depot now employs 3,500 employees. About 150 additional workers plan to leave through early retirement incentives by the end of the month …

Ft. Hood Tragedy Points toward New Mission for Military, Obama Says

  • April 10, 2014
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As President Obama on Wednesday eulogized the three soldiers killed in last week’s shooting at Fort Hood, his remarks signaled a change in focus for the military from a decade-plus of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to a battle to cope with its lasting consequences for those who fought there, reported the Washington Post. “We must honor these men by doing more to care for our fellow Americans living with mental illness, civilian and military …

Senate to Take up Milcon Spending Next Month

  • April 10, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to mark up the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill before the end of May, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said Thursday. Mikulski said the milcon measure “definitely will be the first” spending bill her committee marks up as the House and Senate Appropriations committees attempt to coordinate their schedules, reported CQ. But the schedules won’t be identical …

Appropriators Highlight Deficiencies at DOD Facilities

  • April 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee cited a variety of shortcomings in DOD’s military construction program, including a lack of priority placed on projects that affect safety and health, and antiquated dining facilities at several joint bases, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee believes that the Department of Defense should consider more than the mission requirements and training objectives of installations when prioritizing MILCON projects …

Battle over A-10 Heats up on Capitol Hill

  • April 10, 2014
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Republican lawmakers and local officials on Thursday pledged to save the A-10 attack aircraft from an Air Force proposal to retire the fleet in the face of strict spending caps originally mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The challenge for the lawmakers, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), is finding an offset to make up for the $3.5 billion the Air Force intends to save by eliminating the aircraft that specializes in close air support, reported Defense News. “I am working this issue with my colleagues,” Ayotte told reporters …

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