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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

House Votes to Authorize $25M in Defense Bill for Transportation Upgrades at Growth Bases

  • May 21, 2015
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Defense communities still coping with mission growth stemming from the 2005 round of base closures could apply for a total of $25 million for transportation infrastructure improvements, as the result of an amendment added on the House floor last week to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The provision, sponsored by Reps. Denny Heck (Wash.) and Don Beyer (Va.), would authorize the funds to be allocated to the Office of Economic Adjustment, which would award grants through a competitive process. The amendment states that the money should be used for transportation upgrades “associated with congestion mitigation in urban areas” related to the last BRAC round …

Senate Committee Advances Milcon Funding Bill

  • May 21, 2015
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The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a fiscal 2016 spending bill that would provide $8.1 billion for military construction and family housing programs, representing a $1.3 billion boost over current year funding and a significant step toward restoring milcon funding to levels allocated as recently as FY 2014. Spending on military construction programs dropped about one-third in the current year as DOD opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness. The House also voted to increase milcon spending, but only to $7.7 billion. Both chambers’ spending bills fall short of the president’s request for $8.4 billion in FY 2016 …

Rise in Land Use Conflicts Worries Randolph AFB Officials

  • May 21, 2015
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Planned development around Randolph Air Force Base, located on San Antonio’s Northeast Side, poses a threat to the training missions conducted at one of the service’s busiest airfields, base officials told Bexar County lawmakers this week. While safety is the Air Force’s overriding concern in trying to minimize land use conflicts with surrounding housing developments, aircraft noise and bird strikes are significant issues as well. Pilot training “is inherently dangerous. Even though we have an extremely safe record, incidents do occur,” said Lt. Col. Robin Baldwin, the encroachment public outreach officer at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph …

Host Communities Renew Partnering Efforts with Scott AFB

  • May 21, 2015
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The village of Shiloh, Ill., has renewed its agreement to work with Scott Air Force Base and other neighboring communities to identify opportunities to save money or enhance mission effectiveness at the installation located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The memorandum of understanding formalizes Shiloh’s participation in the Air Force Community Partnership Program, the service’s effort to take advantage of the new authority allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with their host community to share base support services. “I think all of you are aware that we’ve been attending meetings with other communities, as well as with Scott Air Force Base, in partnering to figure out ways that the village and other cities around the base can partner together to perhaps save them money and us [as well] in the process,” said Mayor Jim Vernier …

President Highlights National Security Risks Posed by Climate Change

  • May 21, 2015
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President Obama on Wednesday underscored the dangers of rising sea levels and other impacts of extreme weather posed by climate change during a commencement speech to the graduating class of cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. “Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and make no mistake: It will impact how our military defends our country,” the president said. “We need to act, and we need to act now …

Air Force Introduces Programs to Increase End Strength

  • May 20, 2015
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The Air Force is reversing course and introducing several force management programs to increase its active-duty end strength following several years of personnel reductions. The course correction was prompted by a host of new missions, including the air campaign against the Islamic State and the effort to support NATO allies anxious over Russian aggression in Ukraine. The size of the Air Force began to shrink in fiscal 2014, when its end strength stood at 330,700 airmen. Now it has 312,980 service members, reported Air Force Times. The service’s FY 2016 budget calls for its end strength to rise 1.3 percent to 317,000 …

ADC Salutes the 2015 Defense Community Award Winners

  • May 20, 2015
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ADC is proud to announce the 2015 recipients of the Defense Community Awards, the association’s effort to recognize the achievements of communities and the leaders who support them. The winners will be recognized during the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit, June 22-24 in Washington. Here is a rundown of the 2015 winners by category: Community Leadership Award — Steven Levesque, Executive Director, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, Brunswick, Maine. Military Leadership Award — Col. Chuck Hodges, Installation Commander, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Base Redevelopment Excellence Award — March Joint Powers Authority, Riverside, Calif. Community Excellence Award — Dayton Development Coalition/State of Ohio; and Fort Polk Progress, Leesville, La. Installation Excellence Award — Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Congressional Leadership Award — Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.); Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.); Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.); Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ark.); and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) …

Florida County Considers Acquiring Airport Property from Eglin AFB

  • May 20, 2015
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In a bid to save money and help shield Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., during a future round of base closures, Okaloosa County officials are considering purchasing the property of the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport that it now leases from the installation. County commissioners on Tuesday voted to ask county airport officials to research the issue, reported Northwest Florida Daily News. The county currently leases the 131-acre airport property for about $400,000 a year. The airport had been called Northwest Florida Regional Airport until its name was changed earlier this year …

Budget Proposal includes Limited Funds for North Carolina Bases

  • May 20, 2015
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North Carolina defense communities would receive $345,100 to get ready for a future BRAC round under the new biennial budget moving through the state House. The budget — which covers the period from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2017 — also would create a new Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, as Gov. Pat McCrory (R) called for in his State of the State address in February, reported the Fayetteville Observer. The budget was approved by the House Finance Committee on Monday and may receive a floor vote before the end of the week, before moving to the Senate …

Effort to Ease HUBZone Eligibility Requirements at Closed Bases Gains Momentum

  • May 20, 2015
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A long-standing effort to make it easier for tenants at closed installations to qualify for the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program may finally bear fruit this year after language to relax the program’s eligibility requirements was included in the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The provision, which would loosen the requirement for 35 percent of a HUBZone participant’s employees to live within a HUBZone, also was included in the House version of the annual policy bill. As a result, the prospect that the changes make it into the final version of the authorization bill is very favorable. The effort to amend the HUBZone program — an initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — has been led by Maine’s congressional delegation to support the reuse project at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station …

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