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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

MacDill AFB Job Center Helps Transitioning Airmen Stay in Tampa

  • August 14, 2014
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A new career center at MacDill Air Force Base is offering separating service members assistance with their job search needs as they transition into post-military careers. Its services — including job search assistance, resume review, employer information sessions and recruitment events — also are expected to make it easier for more Air Force veterans to stay in the Tampa area. “Right now, we know that about six out of every 10 who transition out of the military at MacDill end up somewhere else than Tampa,” said Scott DeThomas, the outgoing base commander …

Security Emerging as Critical Issue in Defining ‘Base of the Future’

  • August 14, 2014
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Next month’s Defense Policy Forum is expected to broach a number of pressing issues that will influence changes in how DoD manages its installations in the coming decades, including access, utilization of excess capacity and community-military partnering. One issue that will drive the look of the “Base of the Future” is security. DoD will need to find more flexible models for access so that installations housing intelligence and cyber missions aren’t required to have the same security posture as a facility focused on training new recruits, said Lucian Niemeyer, a former staff member for the Senate Armed Services Committee who will be speaking at the Sept. 15 event in downtown Washington …

Ft. McPherson Sale to Filmmaker Still Has Federal Hurdles to Overcome

  • August 14, 2014
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The LRA for the former Fort McPherson will need to satisfy several concerns from the Army and the Department of Housing and Urban Development before its sale of about two-thirds of the post to filmmaker Tyler Perry for a movie and television production campus can be realized. Before the Army approves the sale of 330 acres of the site located on the southwest edge of Atlanta, the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority will need to demonstrate in its application for an economic development conveyance how Perry’s studio satisfies requirements that the installation will be converted to a use that creates jobs …

El Paso Leaders Paint Dire Economic Picture under Potential Army Troop Cuts

  • August 14, 2014
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The potential loss of 16,000 soldiers and civilians at Fort Bliss as the Army contemplate a second round of personnel cuts would have a devastating impact on El Paso’s economy, a group of local leaders testified Wednesday during a hearing of the Texas House Committee on Defense and Veterans Affairs. The worst case scenario the Army is considering for Bliss could lead to a near 40 percent vacancy in apartment rentals, far worse than what occurred when the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment relocated to Fort Carson in the mid-1990s, testified Rick Soto, executive director of the El Paso Apartment Association. “The numbers are pretty staggering, and would create a domino effect,” said Soto, who estimated a loss of half a billion dollars to the local economy …

Energy Developer Eyes Growth in Military, Commercial Markets

  • August 12, 2014
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The CEO of a Chattanooga, Tenn., energy developer anticipates continued growth in both its wind and solar projects at military installations as all three services are each seeking to obtain 1 gigawatt of energy from renewable sources by 2025. The Tennessee Valley Infrastructure Group’s primary markets have been utilities, power cooperatives and others, but because it — along with its sister firm, American Helios Contractors — qualifies for federal small business, veteran and disabled-owned contractor preferences, the developer is looking for more success with DOD …

Army Redirecting Cleanup Funds to Pueblo Depot

  • August 12, 2014
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The Army has shifted $54.5 million in environmental cleanup funds to Pueblo Chemical Depot over the next two years, a move expected to provide a boon to reuse efforts at the portions of the central Colorado facility that have been decommissioned. The funds will push the cleanup budget at the depot to $65.7 million in the coming fiscal year, reported the Pueblo Chieftain. The administration had proposed spending $11.2 million on the cleanup. “This is huge,” said Russell DeSalvo, executive director of Puebloplex …

Focus on Environmental Stewardship Sustains Air Force Installations over the Long-Term

  • August 12, 2014
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Cleaning up contaminated sites and protecting the habitat of threatened and endangered species isn’t just good for the environment, it’s the only way to ensure installations can continue operating for decades to come, according to the Air Force’s installations chief. “The Air Force must have land, air, water and built infrastructure to train and operate today and into the future,” said Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary for installations, environment and logistics. “Work we’re doing now in stewardship and remediation, combined with other aspects of installation sustainability, prepare us for emerging ‘over the horizon’ operations that will lead America’s Air Force into the second half of the century …

Cleanup, Monitoring Efforts Continue to Protect Albuquerque from Kirtland Fuel Spill

  • August 12, 2014
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Remediation and monitoring efforts continue on separate tracks to ensure an underground fuel leak at Kirtland Air Force Base does not contaminate the drinking water supply of Albuquerque, N.M. Last week, U.S. Geological Survey scientists began drilling sentinel wells at three locations in in Albuquerque to provide early alerts for groundwater contamination. The wells will provide early warning as the jet fuel plume moves northeastward, and would provide the local water authority and Air Force officials lead time to implement plans to protect nearby drinking water supply wells …

Question over Reach of Language Urging States to Offer In-State Tuition to Veterans

  • August 12, 2014
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Language in the recent VA health care reform legislation encouraging public universities to charge recently separated veterans in-state tuition rates may not be as forceful as lawmakers intended. The bill, signed into law by President Obama last week, does not force states to charge veterans in-state tuition at public universities, but schools that charge higher rates would not be eligible to receive veterans’ Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill education benefits. Lawmakers believed the provision would prevent a school from receiving GI Bill benefits from any veterans, including those paying in-state tuition, if even one eligible veteran was charged more than the in-state rates …

Lt. Governor Talks BRAC with Reserve Airlift Wing Commanders

  • August 11, 2014
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Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and commanders of the Air Force Reserve’s 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base discussed the unit’s strengths and the threat posed by a looming BRAC round during a visit last week.
“The strategy is here’s your strength and weaknesses. Let’s get these tended to before BRAC is called by the Congress,” said Ivey, who chairs the state’s Military Stability Commission and has helped put together the state’s strategic plan to strengthen and secure its military installations, reported WSFA. “When that call comes, the strategy has to be to effectively communicate with our congressional team, the Department of Defense, with the same consistent message that Alabama is prepared and we can well handle some more additions to our military bases and their missions,” she said. Ivey added that officials can’t rest on their laurels. “We have to be fully prepared,” she said.

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