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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Senior Army Official Named to Top DOD Readiness Post

  • April 6, 2015
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Brad Carson, currently undersecretary of the Army and the Army’s chief management officer, was appointed by President Obama as the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, the department’s senior official responsible for issues related to military and civilian personnel, including quality of life. Carson replaces Jessica Wright, who said in December she would step down. Carson assumes the post at a time of renewed debate about the future of military compensation and personnel policies …

Presidio Solicits Input from San Francisco Residents on New Park

  • April 6, 2015
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The Presidio Trust last month began gathering public input about alternative designs for transforming the former San Francisco installation by creating an unbroken landscape from the main post of the historic Army installation to Crissy Field and San Francisco Bay. The “New Presidio Parklands,” a 13-acre tract, is being made possible by the construction of a bluff to cover the rebuilt Doyle Drive which runs through the Presidio connecting San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge. The trust views the project as a starting point for visiting the Presidio and the larger Golden Gate National Recreation Area, reported the San Francisco Chronicle …

OEA to Support Communities Facing Encroachment from Commercial Energy Development

  • April 5, 2015
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Communities interested in intervening when a commercial energy project could interfere with military activities now can apply for planning assistance from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to limit potential conflicts with installations, ranges, training routes or special use airspace. States, counties, municipalities and other public entities, along with tribal nations, are eligible for community adjustment planning assistance under the program to ensure an energy project does not jeopardize DOD’s test, training and military operations. Examples of conflicts with military activity include low-level flight obstructions caused by wind turbines or solar power towers, electromagnetic interference from high-voltage electrical transmission lines, and glint and glare from photovoltaic arrays and solar power towers near military airfields …

Developer Suspends Maryland Wind Project that Posed Risk to Pax River

  • April 5, 2015
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The developer of a proposed wind farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore said it was placing the project in “indefinite suspension” after it could not overcome concerns by the state’s congressional delegation that the project would interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The Great Bay Wind project, located across the Chesapeake Bay from the air station, had survived a move last year by Maryland lawmakers to delay its construction until MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory could evaluate ways to mitigate the turbines’ impact on the radar system after then- Gov. Martin O’Malley vetoed the bill. In response, however, Sen. Barbara Mikulski — who was chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee — added language to the committee report of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill barring the Navy from reaching a deal with Pioneer Green Energy to turn off the turbines during radar testing at Pax River until MIT completes its study …

DOD Intervention Needed to Fully Leverage Partnership Authorities, Paper Says

  • April 5, 2015
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The military services are increasingly relying on public-private and public-public partnerships (P4s) to enhance the military value of bases and deliver many support services more efficiently, but the Defense Department will need to clarify its authorities and establish implementation procedures to fully promote P4s, according to a new paper published by the National Defense University.
“While P4 is not a new concept, it has never received as much attention as it does today as a tool or technique to accomplish DOD missions,” writes author Samuel Bendett. “More practitioners are now being exposed to P4s, and it is expected they will consider them equal to or in lieu of traditional procurement …

Bison to Roam Site of Former Joliet Arsenal

  • April 5, 2015
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The former site of a munitions manufacturing plant located 40 miles southwest of Chicago soon will be the home of a herd of bison following a decision by the U.S. Forest Service to reintroduce the animals to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. The 19,000-acre prairie will start with a mix of 26 young and mature bison — possibly as soon as this fall — but the 1,200-acre tract set aside for the effort eventually could support a herd of about 100, reported the Chicago Tribune. “It’s a national treasure landscape we have here, and this is just another way we can further our mission of restoring a tallgrass prairie, using bison which roamed the prairies in the past in the state of Illinois,” said Wade Spang, prairie supervisor …

House Panels to Mark up Authorization Bill in Two Weeks

  • April 5, 2015
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Six subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee will mark up their portions of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill from April 22-23, with the full committee markup scheduled for April 29. The Readiness Subcommittee, which is responsible for installation policy including BRAC, will mark up its portion of the annual policy bill on April 22 at 4 p.m. All of the markups will be streamed live on the committee’s YouTube Channel, according to the committee’s announcement. The committee will post draft bills for each subcommittee and the full committee on its website prior to the markups. Last month, Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said the legislation is scheduled to go to the House floor in mid-May.

Navy League Spearheads Campaign to Shore up Military Funding

  • April 1, 2015
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The Navy League is launching a grassroots campaign to generate public support for bolstering the budget of the Navy and the Marine Corps. The initiative comes as the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps are slated to be fully imposed for the first time since the legislation was enacted and the military is grappling with a variety of global threats even as it no longer is engaged in combat operations in Iraq and is in the midst of drawing down from Afghanistan. “Since 2001, the pace of Navy and Marine Corps operations has not slowed down,” said Sheila McNeill, who is chairing the national campaign and is a former Navy League president …

Medical Training Mission at JB San Antonio Should Shield Post from Worst Cuts

  • April 1, 2015
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At the last of 30 listening sessions held in defense communities across the nation, Army officials acknowledged that cuts of up to 70,000 soldiers from the service’s active-duty end strength now under consideration would greatly diminish its capabilities. “As we’re getting ready to make cuts, we’re going to have to cut straight into muscle and bone,” Col. Tom O’Donoghue told a crowd of 1,200 people who turned up Tuesday to support Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Over the next several months, the Army will determine how to apportion personnel cuts as its force shrinks from 490,000 to 450,000 and, possibly, to 420,000 …

N.C. Delegation Requests Language to Grant Reprieve to Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing

  • April 1, 2015
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In the latest move to save Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing, five members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are trying to add language to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill to block the Air Force from dismantling or relocating the Reserve unit based at Pope Field. Last week, the lawmakers wrote the leaders of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to include a provision stating that no funds can be “used to inactivate, relocate or otherwise disrupt the mission, personnel or aircraft” of the unit, which flies C-130H cargo airplanes. The delegation argues that disbanding the wing would hurt the training of Army airborne and special operations forces, and cost more money by forcing the Army to rely on out-of-state units to carry out routine missions and training exercises …

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