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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Net Zero Energy Installations Poised to Reach Sustainability Goals

  • September 3, 2014
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All nine of the pilot installations participating in the Army’s Net Zero Energy initiative have already made substantial progress in identifying, developing, and executing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the first several years of the program, according to the fiscal 2013 Net Zero Energy Roadmap and Program Summary. The summary also concludes that each of the nine pilot installations has great potential for energy efficiency. The 55-page document includes data on each site’s energy baseline and efficiency, energy audit, completed and planned renewable energy projects and Net Zero Energy roadmap. “I am amazed at the progress Army installations have already made to reduce energy and water consumption, as well as waste generation …

Governor Resurrects Group to Protect Washington Bases

  • September 3, 2014
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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Wednesday renewed a coalition of groups to help shield the state’s installations from further downsizing stemming from Pentagon budget cuts. The Washington Military Alliance — which will have members from economic development offices, chambers of commerce and the military — will help protect defense jobs, contracts and infrastructure in the state. The group will meet quarterly and will serve as a policy adviser to state officials, reported the Spokesman-Review. “It’s really all about protecting the military assets we have,” said Rich Hadley, who was named to lead the alliance …

All 50 States on Board Interstate Schools Compact after New York Enacts Measure

  • September 2, 2014
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A long-standing goal of the Pentagon was reached last month after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation adopting an interstate agreement designed to ease the transition for military children transferring to a new school district, making it the 50th state to embrace the compact. The goal of the interstate compact is to make transition easier so that military children — who typically attend from six to nine different school systems from K-12 — are afforded the same opportunities as other children. States that sign the compact agree to follow common guidelines in handling issues such as enrollment, class placement, records transfer, immunization requirements, graduation requirements, attendance, exit testing and extracurricular opportunities …

Business Activity Lags Residential Program at Fort Monroe

  • September 2, 2014
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Former Army residences at Fort Monroe have proved popular as 95 percent of homes and apartments at the property are leased, but the LRA’s fortunes have been less successful at filling the historic post’s office and commercial space. About 1.1 million square feet of commercial space exists at the installation located on the Virginia shore of the Chesapeake Bay, but only 22 companies and organizations are tenants, reported the Daily Press. The primary difficulty the authority faces is the need for major renovations on many of the buildings at Fort Monroe …

Master Developer Competition for Willow Grove Narrows to Four Teams

  • September 2, 2014
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One of five teams vying vie to become the master developer for the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove withdrew its bid and, instead, has joined forces with one of the four remaining competitors. Toll Brothers, which is headquartered in the same town as the installation — Horsham, Pa. — now is part of the team led by Miami-based Lennar Corp., reported the Philadelphia Business Journal. The teams submitted their proposals to spearhead redevelopment of the 862-acre site located north of Philadelphia to the Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority last month …

Minnesota National Guard, Local Utility Reach Agreement to Build 10MW Solar Array

  • September 2, 2014
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Minnesota Power will build a $25 million, 10-megawatt solar farm for the Minnesota National Guard at Camp Ripley in central Minnesota under a memorandum of understanding signed last week. The solar photovoltaic project, which would cover 100 acres, would be the largest solar farm on any National Guard base and the largest contiguous solar farm in the state. In addition to helping the Guard increase its reliance on renewable sources, the project also will help Minnesota Power meet its state-mandated requirement to produce 1.5 percent of its electricity via solar energy by 2020 …

Global Unrest Creates Possible Opening to Relax Spending Caps

  • September 2, 2014
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The rise of the Islamic State along with other emerging threats could provide an opening for lawmakers to reverse defense cuts, or at least offer the Pentagon additional flexibility to respond to the threats, but it’s not yet clear that such an effort could succeed at this point, budget experts say. As the number of hotspots expands across the globe, talk about various options Congress could pursue to pay for a military response — including ongoing airstrikes in Iraq and possible ones in Syria — has been on the upswing …

Kroger Groundbreaking Marks Start of New Life for Ft. Gillem

  • September 1, 2014
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State and local officials are pointing to last month’s groundbreaking ceremony at the former Fort Gillem for a 1 million-square-foot distribution center for Kroger as the first step in converting the Atlanta-area post into a major logistics hub for the region. “It is good to see this property being able to be used for other purposes, and I know that many of you have waited for this first breakthrough event, and I believe it is just that,” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said at the Aug. 19 event, reported WABE. “It is the beginning of what hopefully are many other opportunities for development will follow …

Pentagon Embarks on New Streamlining Campaign

  • September 1, 2014
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The Defense Department is preparing to launch a new initiative to reduce overhead and administrative costs in the office of the secretary of defense and the 16 defense agencies, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work. The effort, which will bypass the military services and combatant commands, will partially rely on outside experts from the Defense Business Board and Business Executives for National Security …

Criteria Needed to Help GSA Better Target Property Exchanges, GAO Finds

  • September 1, 2014
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Developing criteria to determine when it should pursue a real property exchange would help the General Services Administration better target promising opportunities for taking advantage of the authority, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office concludes. Real property exchanges, which the report calls “swap-construct” exchanges, allow the government to trade property to developers for construction services or existing facilities. The authority can help GSA deal with the challenge of disposing of unneeded property and modernizing or replacing federal buildings, but multiple factors can affect the success of such an approach …

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