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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Conger Looks to Congress for Input on BRAC Process

  • March 3, 2015
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The Pentagon’s installations chief tackled head-on the latest criticism from lawmakers toward the administration’s request for a new BRAC round at Tuesday’s House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing. John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, acknowledged that even though defense officials have pledged to conduct a new BRAC with a different emphasis than the last one, unless the department updates the legislation authorizing a new round, lawmakers may continue to be wary. “Let me be clear,” Conger said. “We’re open to a discussion on this point. I would like to solicit your suggestions as to specific changes in the BRAC legislation that would make it more acceptable …

Reed Joins Carter in Supporting BRAC Request

  • March 3, 2015
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Jack Reed, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, indicated at a hearing Tuesday that he may support another round of base closures. “I do believe that we need to consider efforts to allow the Defense Department to shed what may be as much as 25 percent in excess infrastructure it does not necessarily need, and use these resources for the best and higher priorities,” Reed said in his opening statement. The hearing on President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request featured Ashton Carter’s first opportunity to testify on Capitol Hill as defense secretary …

Missouri Leaders Tout Ft. Leonard Wood’s Assets

  • March 3, 2015
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Dozens of state and local officials — part of a crowd estimated at nearly 2,000 — showed up at a listening session Monday to support Fort Leonard Wood and highlight its strengths as the Army considers how to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000 by fiscal 2020. Sen. Claire McCaskill said the post, located in the Missouri Ozarks, has the lowest direct cost of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command installations. “If we’re talking about saving money, we would want to be utilizing this facility not cutting this facility …

Lifting Defense Spending Cap to Wait, Graham Says

  • March 3, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget resolution passed by the Senate most likely will not adjust spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act, despite a push by defense hawks to lift the ceiling on national security spending, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who sits on the Budget and Armed Services committees. Graham said he favors sticking with the caps in the budget resolution, and then attempting to strike a bipartisan deal to lift the defense cap later in the session …

Republican Support to Exceed Defense Budget Cap Extends beyond Armed Services Panel

  • March 3, 2015
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The aim of House Republicans to provide the Pentagon relief from the stringent Budget Control Act spending cap for fiscal 2016 goes beyond Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee, and signals a sharp split between defense hawks and fiscal conservatives. This week it was learned that 70 House Republicans wrote Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Feb. 26 to recommend allocating at least $561 billion for national security next year, a level equivalent to the president’s budget request. The letter echoes the sentiment of defense hawks that adhering to the statutory cap for defense spending threatens national security …

Community of Stakeholders Needed to Support Installations’ Net Zero Initiative

  • March 2, 2015
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To ensure its success, the Army’s Net Zero Initiative — an effort to reduce the consumption of energy, water and waste resources to an effective rate of zero — requires the support of a variety of stakeholders, including contractors, utility providers, municipalities, residents and regulatory agencies, according to the latest article published in the Journal of Defense Communities. Since the 17 pilot installations participating in the initiative were selected four years ago, these stakeholders have been collaborating with installation officials to realize the Army’s goals of slashing energy use and producing energy onsite from renewable sources, trimming water use while sustaining the local aquifer, and reducing solid waste streams. Carrying out Net Zero waste programs, for instance, requires greater interaction between the installation and local municipalities as the post may not have sufficient quantities of materials to make a recycling initiative viable …

McCain, Reed Back Infrastructure Consolidation

  • March 2, 2015
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In a letter urging the Senate Budget Committee to break the statutory spending cap in its fiscal 2016 budget resolution, the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee endorses management reforms “that could reduce or consolidate military headquarters, commands and infrastructure.” The letter from Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and ranking member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) lists multiple initiatives needed to ensure DOD uses its funding more efficiently — including acquisition reform and slowing the rate of growth of military compensation — but it does not mention approving the department’s request for a new BRAC round. Savings from such cost-cutting reforms should be reinvested to provide more funding for the warfighter, they say …

Goodfellow AFB Finds a Willing Partner in San Angelo Community

  • March 2, 2015
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After agreeing to eight partnerships designed to enhance the efficiency of Goodfellow Air Force Base and its central Texas neighbors, the San Angelo community is considering a batch of new initiatives that should benefit the installation’s mission. Goodfellow leaders and community officials so far have signed memorandums of understanding to improve a variety of services and missions — tactical training, emergency and medical response capability and education opportunities. “The San Angelo community and Goodfellow have accomplished more MOUs than any partnership in the nation and lead the way as one of the most productive and well-run programs across the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Greg Scougall, deputy commander of the 17th Mission Support Group …

Air Force Picks Schneider Electric for Energy Savings Contract at Robins AFB

  • March 2, 2015
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The Air Force has selected Schneider Electric Buildings Americas to implement an energy savings performance contract at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The scope of the ESPC includes optimizing or decentralizing a central steam heating plant; installing industrial control systems to coordinate all heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and hot water systems for each facility; creating a net zero energy complex within the dormitory area; and retro-commissioning up to 40 other facilities across the base …

President’s FY’16 Request Falls Short of DOD’s Needs, HASC Republicans Say

  • March 1, 2015
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Funding for national security should be set at $577 billion in fiscal 2016, a level that is $16 billion higher than President Obama’s budget request and $54 billion higher than next year’s mandated spending cap, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) on Friday urged the chairman of the chamber’s Budget Committee. In a “views and estimates” letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), Thornberry points to “a wide array of serious, complex threats” facing the nation, including terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, “sophisticated competitors” such as Russia and China, and the new domain of cyber warfare. “If this is not feasible in the first year, the committee recommends, at a minimum, last year’s House-passed budget resolution level of $566 billion for national defense in the base budget for FY16 with restoration to pre-sequestration-level funding in FY17 and out …

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