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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Solar Firms Learn Details about Redstone Arsenal Project

  • August 26, 2014
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An industry day held last week for the development of a solar energy facility capable of generating up to 18,000 megawatt hours annually at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., attracted 23 of the 49 firms pre-qualified under the Army’s $7 billion multiple-award, task order contract. The project — developed by the arsenal’s Directorate of Public Works, the Energy Initiatives Task Force and the Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville — represents the first power purchase agreement developed under the MATOC …

Local Leaders Press Their Case to Protect Installations from Further Army Downsizing

  • August 25, 2014
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Officials continued to make the case to shield local installations from the Army’s second round of personnel cuts in the last days before the Aug. 25 deadline for the public to comment on the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) now underway. The supplemental PEA measures the environmental and economic impacts from potential reductions in personnel at a total of 30 installations needed to shrink the Army’s active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000 by 2020. The environmental review is a precursor to a military value analysis needed to determine how actual cuts will be allocated …

House Republicans Likely to Push for Longer CR

  • August 25, 2014
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While both parties agree on the need to pass a stopgap spending bill in September, a dispute may break out over how long it should last. With the potential for Republicans to gain control of the Senate next year, some House Republicans may push for a fiscal 2015 continuing resolution (CR) to extend until sometime in 2015. Democrats, however, want the stopgap to end in December so lawmakers can hash out a deal on an omnibus after the midterm elections. “This could lead to a real standoff,” a senior House Republican leadership aide told Government Executive …

Prospective Senate Chairman Looks to Raise His Profile

  • August 24, 2014
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Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed (D) appears to be trying to boost his image, primarily through appearances on Sunday morning talk shows, to get ready for the possibility that he will become the next chairman of the Armed Services Committee. For that to happen, the Democrats would have to retain control of the Senate in the next Congress, an iffy prospect at this point. “If the Senate doesn’t flip [to Republicans], he assuredly gets the gavel,” Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Hill. The former Army Ranger is expected to be elected easily in November to his fourth term in the Senate. If Democrats succeed in retaining the majority, Reed will find himself contending with Republican committee members with much higher profiles, including Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), according to the story. Current Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is retiring at the end of the year.

State, Local Funds to Upgrade Rail Line Serving Letterkenny Army Depot

  • August 24, 2014
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A nearly $1 million project approved earlier this month by Pennsylvania’s Transportation Commission will realign the rail line serving Letterkenny Army Depot and the Cumberland Valley Business Park, a project aimed at streamlining the transport of rail cars to the two facilities in south central Pennsylvania. The state is contributing $656,320 to the effort, with the Franklin County General Authority (FGCA) and its rail contractor splitting the remaining $281,280 cost …

APG, Constellation Form R&D Partnership to Explore Geothermal, Other Energy Options

  • August 24, 2014
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Army Test and Evaluation Command and energy supplier Constellation Retail signed a three-year cooperative research and development agreement earlier this month to pursue geothermal energy and other sustainable solutions to reduce energy consumption at Aberdeen Proving Ground in northeastern Maryland. So far the cooperative program is in the early stages of R&D, according to ATEC spokeswoman Andricka Thomas. “It’s the beginning of something we hope will show us another way to conserve energy, but right now we’re learning …

Campaign to Support Ft. Benning Gains Foothold in Face of New Round of Cuts

  • August 24, 2014
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With the deadline fast approaching for the Chattahoochee Valley to demonstrate its support for Fort Benning, Ga., while the Army considers eliminating up to 70,000 soldiers by 2020, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce redoubled its effort to boost the number of public comments submitted to the Army. The initiative seems to be working as support for the post has grown ahead of the Aug. 25 deadline established by Army Environmental Command to accept public comments to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment now under way …

Shift to Renewables Addresses Emerging Issues, Hammack Says

  • August 24, 2014
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The Army’s push toward renewable energy sources is helping it cope with a number of pressing challenges, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, said during a recent interview. “That’s going to increase the resiliency of the installation; that’s going to go toward climate change mitigation and it’s going to help levelize the cost,” she said. “We’ve seen volatile utility costs that are dependent upon the costs of fossil fuels …

Note from the Editor

  • August 14, 2014
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360 will be taking a break next week. Stay cool and look for the next issue on Aug. 25.

VA Awards $300M to Communities to End Veteran Homelessness

  • August 14, 2014
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The Department of Veterans Affairs is awarding $300 million in grants to 301 community agencies across the nation to help tens of thousands of struggling veterans stay off the street, Secretary Robert McDonald announced this week. The awards under the Supportive Services for Veterans Families program represent a significant jump from previous years. In 2012, the department awarded $60 million to 85 community groups; last year, it awarded $100 million to 151 groups …

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