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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

HASC Ranking Member Stands up for BRAC

  • February 23, 2014
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The Pentagon could be forced to realign unneeded installations outside of the normal BRAC process if Congress continues to bar it from conducting a new round of base closures, according to written comments the office of Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted to Breaking Defense last week. “Mr. Smith thinks that given the changing size and shape of our military force, the Department of Defense needs to be able to adjust its infrastructure to accommodate and reflect the shape of the force,” according to Smith’s office. “It is his hope that Congress acts and these changes are made through the normal BRAC process …

State Grant to Protect Central Florida Bombing Range from Encroachment

  • February 21, 2014
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Polk County will use a $200,000 state grant to buffer Avon Park Air Force Range in central Florida from future development. The county will use the grant, awarded through Enterprise Florida, to provide a local match for $800,000 it received from DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program, reported the Ledger. The funds will be used to acquire a portion of two tracts totaling 4,480 acres located a mile north of the bombing range, or to purchase a conservation easement …

Ceremony Highlights Cooperation between Local Officials, Coast Guard to Build Museum

  • February 20, 2014
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City and state officials signed a memorandum of agreement Wednesday with the commandant of the Coast Guard outlining the responsibilities of each party in building an $80 million National Coast Guard Museum in downtown New London, Conn., marking a key step in moving the project forward. Under the agreement, New London will donate land along the Thames River to the Coast Guard for the museum, as well as spend $20 million for a pedestrian bridge leading to the museum and provide land for a new ferry terminal …

Former President Launches Initiative to Support Transitioning Veterans

  • February 20, 2014
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Former President George W. Bush called for a greater understanding of former service members at the Military Service Initiative Summit on Feb. 19, an event sponsored by the Bush Institute to focus attention on the issues facing post-9/11 veterans. “What most veterans want is to have their service understood and appreciated for what it is: a formative experience in their lives and a source of skills and values that prepare them to succeed in civilian life …

Army Corps Looks to Remake Itself, Chief Engineer Says

  • February 20, 2014
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The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will need to refashion itself as the surge in spending on military construction since 2001 comes to end and headquarters’ staffs are required to be streamlined, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, the Corps’ commander, said this week.

The Corps “executed an extraordinarily large military program” in the last decade, worth nearly $30 billion at its peak in 2008, Bostick told the Army News Service. The work supported the 2005 round of BRAC, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other efforts …

Wish List Could Encourage Lawmakers to Tinker with DOD’s Budget Request

  • February 20, 2014
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The Defense Department’s intent to attach a $26 billion list of unfunded requirements to its fiscal 2015 budget request could have unintended consequences, as appropriators swap out programs included in the administration’s proposal for favored programs that failed to make the cut. Including a list of second-tier priorities with the budget request also could embolden service chiefs to push Congress to fund programs that were left out of DOD’s baseline spending plan …

McCain to Helm Armed Services Committee?

  • February 20, 2014
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told a reporter that if the Republicans win back the Senate in the mid-term elections, he would want to chair the Armed Services Committee. “I would be so happy to be chairman of the Armed Services Committee,” he told Phoenix radio station KFYI on Tuesday. Since the beginning of last year, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has served as the ranking member of the panel, a slot McCain was forced to give up due to term limits …

Planning Commission Seeks Consultants for Diversification Project after Oshkosh Layoffs

  • February 19, 2014
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The Oshkosh Region Defense Industry Diversification Initiative is a regional effort to respond to recent defense layoffs announced by the Oshkosh Corp. (OC) affecting a five-county region in East Central Wisconsin. Two project components are being released as separate RFPs: The Defense Industry Supply Chain component seeks to create a web-based directory of Oshkosh region defense contractors, businesses and suppliers that is based on substantial research and information compiled during an initial supply chain mapping activity. The Supply Chain Direct Assistance component will provide direct assistance services to expand the capabilities of the manufacturers and small businesses (supply chain) impacted by reduced OC production and procurement …

VA to Open Residential Facility Dedicated to Recent Veterans

  • February 19, 2014
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A new Department of Veterans Affairs residential treatment facility in San Diego will be devoted to helping veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan avoid homelessness. The 40-bed, 30,000-square-foot residential rehabilitation facility, set to open Monday, will serve as a test of whether there is an advantage to delivering care to younger veterans as a group. The VA will track the number of homeless veterans in San Diego as the program continues and monitor the residents’ progress after they leave the facility …

Ft. Drum to Be Powered Completely by Biomass Plant

  • February 19, 2014
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A top Army energy official on Wednesday said the service plans to purchase up to 28 megawatts of electricity from the owner and operator of a biomass power plant located at Fort Drum, N.Y. ReEnergy Holdings LLC acquired the facility in December 2011 and invested more than $34 million to convert it from a plant that burned coal to one that relied on biomass as its primary fuel to produce electricity. The company started operating the plant last June …

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