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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Confirmation Process Should Not Be Difficult for Carter

  • December 7, 2014
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Praising Ashton Carter for knowing the Pentagon “inside and out,” President Obama on Friday officially tapped the technocrat and recent deputy defense secretary to be the next civilian leader of the Defense Department. “On day one, he’s going to hit the ground running,” Obama said at the White House. The president called Carter “one of our nation’s foremost national security leaders” who has the strategic and technical background to be his fourth defense secretary. “He’s a reformer who’s never been afraid to cancel old or inefficient weapons programs …

Changes in Defense Bill Should Spur Community-Installation Partnerships

  • December 5, 2014
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Language in the compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill should overcome military services’ concerns about taking advantage of the authority first enacted two years ago allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. Since section 331 was enacted as part of the FY 2013 defense authorization bill, the services had expressed concerns that the new authority conflicts with existing acquisition rules and regulations. The new language transfers section 331 from a chapter of the U.S. Code that deals with procurement to a chapter focused on real estate …

Authorization Bill Heads to Senate

  • December 5, 2014
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House lawmakers on Thursday easily passed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, sending it to the Senate for a vote next week. The compromise measure was not the product of a formal conference, but rather was hashed out over the past two months by leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees. The committees resorted to an informal conference for the second year in a row because of the difficulty in bringing legislation to the Senate floor …

Appropriators on Track to Complete Omnibus in Time for Votes Next Week

  • December 4, 2014
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Negotiations over a fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill should be finished in time for Congress to vote on it by Dec. 11 when the current continuing resolution runs out, the top appropriators in the House and Senate said Thursday. Appropriators plan to finish talks over the substance of the 11 spending bills slated to be included in the “CRomnibus” by Friday evening. Staff then would draft a final version over the weekend so that the legislation can be posted by Monday, Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, told reporters …

Lawmakers Forego Changes to HUBZone Program Benefitting BRAC Sites

  • December 4, 2014
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The final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill does not include a provision intended to make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the HUBZone program, a Small Business Administration initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas. Language in the version passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee in May, added by Maine Sen. Angus King (I), would have expanded the geographic boundaries of HUBZones at BRAC sites to include the town or county where the installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation …

BRAC Offers Growth Opportunity for Ft. Rucker, Local Advocacy Group Says

  • December 4, 2014
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The quality of life and other economic factors in southeastern Alabama make Fort Rucker a prime candidate for mission growth in a future base closure round, according to a leader of the installation’s local support group. Rodney Wolfe, chairman of Friends of Fort Rucker, cited the low cost of living, outstanding schools and highly trained workforce in Alabama’s Wiregrass region as examples of community assets that play a role in base closure decisions made by the Pentagon. “With the proper planning and preparation that is in place, BRAC could bring about the opportunity for growth at Fort Rucker …

Justification Study for New BRAC Stripped out of Compromise Measure

  • December 3, 2014
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Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees struck language calling for DOD to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures from the compromise versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill unveiled this week. The provision, part of the House version of the annual policy bill, was viewed by analysts as the first step toward future congressional approval for a new BRAC round. At the same time, though, the two committees acknowledged the need for the Pentagon to update the analysis of excess capacity it performed prior to the 2005 round and stated that DOD already has the authority to prepare such a study …

Defense Bill Not Guaranteed Smooth Path to Passage

  • December 3, 2014
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The House is scheduled to take up the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill today, after the House Rules Committee on Wednesday passed a rule to expedite its passage. While the House is expected to approve the compromise legislation unveiled earlier this week, its path in the Senate has been complicated by a decision by congressional leaders to append a package of almost 100 public lands provisions to the defense bill. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) has vowed to block the Senate’s attempt to pass the legislation next week over the land swaps …

House Spending Plan May Need Democratic Support

  • December 3, 2014
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With House conservatives critical of their leaders’ plan to wrap up fiscal 2015 appropriations bills, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may need to rely on Democrats to advance the package. House leaders want to move an omnibus made up of individual spending bills for 11 appropriations panels along with a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security that lasts for only several months. By including only short-term funding for immigration-related agencies, Republican leaders say their approach will buy the party time to come up with a viable way to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration …

Great Falls, Malmstrom AFB Consider Water Testing Collaboration

  • December 3, 2014
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Leaders from Great Falls, Mont., and neighboring Malmstrom AFB met this week to discuss shared services partnerships that could improve efficiency for both entities, including joint water testing. The meeting was a follow-up to an initial discussion in March that was held as part of the Air Force Community Partnership Program. Malmstrom is at the end of the city’s water supply line, but the two are operated as separate systems, reported the Great Falls Tribune. The two groups have identified redundant steps that could be eliminated, and now are crafting an agreement to combine the systems so they could be treated as a joint entity under state and federal regulations …

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