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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

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.

Asset Management Helps AFCEC Prioritize Funding Requirements

  • August 11, 2014
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The Air Force’s reliance on a strategic approach to asset management is helping the service plan construction and related requirements two years in advance and, as a result, providing contractors interested in bidding on work extra time to get ready. Officials believe use of its new model will translate into smoother contract execution and higher quality work at a lower cost, reports Air Force Civil Engineer Center Public Affairs. The center’s two-year integrated priorities list (IPL) is helping officials prioritize funding of sustainment, restoration, modernization, environmental and demolition projects across the Air Force. The first IPL released in June forecasts funding requirements for fiscal 2015 and 2016 …

Oklahoma City Diversion Program Offers Veterans Second Chance

  • August 11, 2014
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Three years since its inception, a program in the Oklahoma City metro area allowing veterans to avoid prosecution for certain offenses related to their military service has helped dozens of participants turn their lives around. A typical participant is in trouble for crimes such as DUI, substance abuse and domestic violence stemming from post-traumatic stress disorder, reports KOCO. “We are awash in guys with issues with PTSD,” said Tim Wilson with the veteran diversion program run by the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office …

CR Likely to Extend into December

  • August 11, 2014
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A continuing resolution (CR) needed to keep the federal open starting Oct. 1 likely would provide funding until the middle of December. Extending a stopgap spending bill through the second week of December would allow lawmakers to put off any difficult votes until after the midterm elections while giving House and Senate appropriators time to reach a deal on a fiscal 2015 omnibus, reports CQ. “This could be a lot like last year, it looks like,” House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said last month ,,,

State Approves Measure to Overhaul Redevelopment of NAS South Weymouth

  • August 11, 2014
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Eleven days after the Massachusetts Legislature closed its formal session without approving legislation intended to jump start the redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth, a vote Monday by the state senate during its informal session cleared the measure to go to Gov. Deval Patrick (D). The House passed the bill last week during its informal session, during which any lawmaker can block legislation. “A lot of time, effort, and resources were dedicated to getting this legislation enacted today,” said state Sen. Robert Hedlund (R) of Weymouth …

Groundbreaking Marks Effort to Ready Altus AFB for KC-46A Training Mission

  • August 10, 2014
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Officials last week broke ground on the first of multiple construction projects at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., needed to prepare for the arrival of the service’s next generation refueling aircraft, the KC-46A Pegasus. The new construction is estimated at $56 million and will include a flight training center, a fuselage training facility, new aircraft hangars and renovations for a combined squadron operations and aircraft maintenance unit facility, reported 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs. In April the Air Force announced that Altus, located in southwestern Oklahoma, would be the formal training unit for the new tanker …

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