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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Government to Close Military Base Housing for Child Migrants

  • August 5, 2014
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Within the next two months, the government will close the three emergency shelters it set up at military installations to house unaccompanied children who have crossed the nation’s southern border illegally. The move comes as the Department of Health of Human Services has expanded its capacity to accommodate the children in standard shelters which are less costly, an agency spokesman told Military Times. The rate at which children are being caught crossing into the United States also has dropped …

Leaders Urge Residents to Stay Engaged as Army Considers Potential Cuts at Aberdeen

  • August 5, 2014
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At a public forum on Monday, officials in northeastern Maryland underscored the need for area residents to both understand how the personnel cuts contemplated for Aberdeen Proving Ground could harm the surrounding community and demonstrate their support for the installation as the Army considers how to eliminate up to 70,000 soldiers for a second time this decade. “We need you to sign this declaration [of support], we need you to submit your comments, and we need you to become an informed defense community,” said Harford County Executive David Craig …

East Georgia Awaits Growth at Ft. Gordon following Standup of Army Cyber Command

  • August 5, 2014
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The Army’s decision to consolidate its Cyber Command at Fort Gordon is expected to bring a wealth of activity to East Georgia, with up to 4,000 military and civilian personnel moving to the Augusta region by 2019 and $225 million in planned construction scheduled. “Fort Gordon is in a unique position where it’s one of the few good news stories within the Department of Defense,” Thom Tuckey, executive director of the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon, told Georgia Trend. With the arrival of a new workforce, the region’s total population could jump by 10,000 …

Language in DOD Spending Bill Intended to Postpone Maryland Wind Project

  • August 5, 2014
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Language added last month to the committee report of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, possibly could derail a proposed wind farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that many lawmakers believe would interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The provision directs the Navy to refrain from reaching an agreement with the wind farm developer to turn off the turbines during radar testing at Pax River until MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory completes a $2 million study on the effects of the turbines and options to mitigate those impacts …

Cannon AFB Growth Committee to Revamp

  • August 4, 2014
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Officials in eastern New Mexico are considering revamping the mission of the Local Growth Management Committee, the organization created to help identify a new mission for Cannon Air Force Base following the last BRAC round. “We need to redefine the purpose of this committee,” Sharon King, the committee chair and Portales mayor, said at Friday’s committee meeting, reported the Clovis News Journal. As part of the strategic planning effort contemplated by the group, it might come up with a new name. King stressed, though, that there are no plans to disband the committee.

Louisiana Defense Communities Honored for Supporting Military Children

  • August 4, 2014
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Local school districts and community groups supporting Fort Polk and Barksdale Air Force Base received Partnership of Excellence Awards from the Military Child Education Coalition last week for collaborations with neighboring installations that address transition and educational issues affecting military children. In Central Louisiana, Fort Polk Progress, the Vernon Parish School District and Fort Polk, along with other local and state partners, received the Outstanding Partnership award for their recent initiative to assess the performance of the district’s schools and craft a plan to plug significant gaps …

Huachuca, Pax River Capture DOD Awards to Protect Testing, Training Lands

  • August 4, 2014
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Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., last week were named as winners of the 2014 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Challenge, an initiative designed to promote innovative land conservation efforts that benefit military readiness, neighboring communities and the environment. Fort Huachuca’s award of $4 million will leverage $9 million in partner contributions to permanently restrict development on 5,900 acres of ranchland. The project’s partners include the Arizona Land and Water Trust, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation …

Transitioning Veterans Could More Easily Link to Local Services under Heitkamp Bill

  • August 4, 2014
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Legislation introduced by North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) would make it much easier for communities to reach out to newly separated service members and help them overcome challenges in gaining access to services and benefits such as health care and housing, employment and education assistance as they transition back to civilian life. The Connect with Veterans Act would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a voluntary national directory of veterans that would be available to communities and state veterans affairs departments …

Members Optimistic Senate Will Debate Policy Bill Next Month

  • August 4, 2014
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Despite a general breakdown in cooperation between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate that has prevented most significant legislation from advancing, a growing number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle believe the chamber will take up the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill after they return to Capitol Hill following their five-week August recess. The measure last year was prevented from going to the floor because the two sides could not agree on a process for handling amendments, and the potential remains that a similar issue could hold up the National Defense Authorization Act again …

Feds Ask Judge to Dismiss Developer’s Suit over Contamination at Ft. Detrick

  • August 3, 2014
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A U.S. attorney on Thursday asked a judge to dismiss a developer’s lawsuit seeking damages for the loss in value of property adjacent to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., stemming from groundwater contamination at an Army chemical waste site. Waverley View filed the $37 million lawsuit against the Army in May for neglecting to clean up chemical, radiological and biological contamination, reported the Frederick News-Post. But the federal government said concerns about the contamination led state regulators to bar the use of groundwater beneath the 93-acre parcel before Waverley acquired it in 2012 …

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