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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

BRAC Analysis Will Give State a Leg Up, Colorado Lawmaker Says

  • May 23, 2014
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A study of Colorado’s installations to help it prepare for the next BRAC round mandated under a new state law will mark the first time Colorado has conducted an independent analysis of its military facilities. The analysis should provide the state with a competitive advantage, according to Colorado Senate President Morgan Carroll (D). “We are trying to mirror criteria we know they’re going to have to use to evaluate in next round of BRAC …

Murray Fights to Put Returning Veterans Back to Work

  • May 22, 2014
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Patty Murray has been a tireless advocate for veterans since joining the Senate, championing improved job training, expanded employment assistance and education benefits, increased funding for veterans health care and other benefits, housing assistance and accountability from the Veterans Affairs Department. The Washington senator’s efforts to address veteran unemployment culminated three years ago when legislation she authored, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, was cleared by Congress. The landmark, bipartisan legislation was designed to help put veterans back to work by providing job skills training as they leave the military and by easing the training and certification process they face …

House Approves Authorization Bill despite Veto Threat

  • May 22, 2014
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The House easily passed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill 325-98 on Thursday, despite the looming threat of a presidential veto over its rejection of a host of cost-cutting proposals as well as language restricting the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. In an effort to build momentum to reverse the measure’s failure to include authorization for a BRAC round, compensation reforms and many of the Pentagon’s proposed force structure reductions, the White House lobbied Democrats prior to the final vote. By encouraging Democrats to vote against it, the White House hoped to strengthen its case for revisiting many of the proposals in the Senate version or in conference …

Senate Committee Reverses Pentagon Cost-Cutting Plans

  • May 22, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to reverse many of the cutbacks the Pentagon proposed in its budget request, including plans to retire an aircraft carrier and the Air Force’s A-10 fleet, as it marked up the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel, which approved the legislation 25-1, also voted to reject the Obama administration’s request to hold a new BRAC round in 2017 and to block much of an Army plan to shift the National Guard’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to its active component …

States Extends Effort to Purchase Homes next to Robins AFB

  • May 21, 2014
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A local effort to purchase homes outside of Robins Air Force Base is receiving a helping hand from the state to limit encroachment outside of the Middle Georgia base. To date the local effort, which includes contributions from three counties and is being led by the Central Georgia Joint Development Authority, has closed on 179 properties, with the number expected to rise to 200 by the end of the year. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which only received approval to buy properties in April, has received requests from 100 property owners. Total funding for the initiative, including contributions from Georgia and DOD is $29.8 million, reported macon.com. The local effort is focusing on properties closest to the airfield, with the state addressing other areas subject to aircraft noise.

Ft. Rucker Steps Up to Meet Energy Conservation Goals

  • May 21, 2014
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Fort Rucker has met the federal mandate to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015 head on, forming a partnership with Alabama Power that is slated to install more than $18 million in conservation measures and placing the post on a path to surpass the government’s original goal. Those cost-saving measures will save the southeastern Alabama installation almost $2 million a year, and include a variety of initiatives. The partnership installed a 51-kilowatt photovoltaic array at Fort Rucker that was paid for by the sale of three natural gas generators that were no longer operating …

Senate Panel Passes on Pentagon Proposal to Reduce Commissary Subsidies

  • May 21, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on Wednesday rejected some, but not all, of DOD’s proposed reforms to military benefits, as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel ignored the administration’s plan to slash subsidies for military grocery stores by $200 million in FY 2015, but included the proposal to limit housing allowances below the rate of inflation …

Smith Denied Opportunity to Offer BRAC Amendment

  • May 21, 2014
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The House Rules Committee on Tuesday failed to accept an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill from Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) that would have approved a new BRAC round as well as reformed the base closure process. Smith, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, brought up the provision for discussion when the full committee marked up the annual policy measure earlier this month, but withdrew the amendment before receiving a vote with the intention of offering it during floor debate for the bill …

House to Complete Work on Defense Policy Bill Today

  • May 21, 2014
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After debating dozens of amendments to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill late into Wednesday night, the House is expected to complete votes on them and move to final passage of the underlying measure Thursday. One amendment that passed Wednesday evening would hamper efforts by DOD — or Congress — to use its wartime funding account as an escape hatch for items that it can’t fit under the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps …

OEA Offering Support for Communities Dealing with Reductions in Defense Spending

  • May 20, 2014
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Communities responding to the cancellation of a defense contract or a major reduction in DOD spending that results in a significant economic impact can apply to the Office of Economic Adjustment for planning assistance, according to a May 20 Federal Register notice. To be eligible, state or local governments, or regional entities need to have experienced one of the following circumstances: a publicly announced planned major reduction in DOD spending; the closure or significantly reduced operation of a defense facility resulting from the merger, acquisition or consolidation of the operating contractor …

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