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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force BRAC Program Is ‘Audit Ready’

  • July 30, 2014
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The environmental liability of $1.3 billion recorded on the books of the Air Force’s BRAC program is “complete and accurate,” the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) said this week. The announcement comes after AFCEC verified that internal processes are in place and information systems are properly tracking information for more than 5,200 sites for which it is responsible to clean up. The BRAC program achieved “audit readiness” three years ahead of the defense secretary’s mandated deadline …

Signs of Progress in Federal Effort to Pare List of Excess Properties

  • July 30, 2014
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At a House hearing on Tuesday, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said the federal government’s ownership of 7,000 unneeded properties worth $350 billion is “unacceptable.” “The Congress and public will be astounded to learn of the unbelievable inventory of properties uncovered in documents provided to the committee after waiting nearly three years,” said Mica, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Government Operations Subcommittee. Nearly 1,500 of the unneeded properties are valued in the multi-million-dollar range …

Mikulski Attempt to Move Milcon Spending Bill Rebuffed

  • July 30, 2014
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An effort by Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski to move the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill to the floor without allowing for amendments was rejected, but the Maryland Democrat says she hasn’t yet given up. Senate Republicans wanted the measure considered with amendments and to set aside the supplemental spending bill needed to address the child migration crisis, demands Mikulski could not agree to …

Lexington Joins Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

  • July 29, 2014
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Lexington, Ky., Mayor Jim Gray last week pledged to end veteran homelessness in his city in response to a recent White House initiative. “Everyone deserves a safe, clean place they can call home, especially men and women who have served our country,” Gray said. “Accepting this challenge is the right thing to do, and Lexington’s strong network of partners who serve veterans and other citizens who are homeless will be an important part of this commitment …

Army Adds to List of Solar Firms Participating in Massive Energy Contract

  • July 29, 2014
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Eleven new small businesses will be added to the pool of qualified contractors eligible to compete for solar projects under the Army’s $7 billion, multiple-award, task order contract (MATOC), officials said last week. The announcement represents the final round of solar technology contracts under the procurement and brings the total number of participating solar firms to 49. The MATOC also includes 15 firms competing for biomass technologies, 6 for geothermal technologies and 20 for wind technologies …

Walter Reed out of Running for FBI Headquarters

  • July 29, 2014
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The former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., will not become the new home of the FBI, after the General Services Administration (GSA) on Tuesday announced three candidate locations in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs to house the federal law enforcement agency. Walter Reed was never under official consideration by GSA for the headquarters, but strict security requirements recently prompted officials to look at additional locations that could accommodate a 350-foot setback, the Washington Post reported earlier this month …

Ft. Sill under Scrutiny as Army Considers Second Round of Personnel Cuts

  • July 29, 2014
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Fort Sill was largely unscathed following the Army’s first round of cuts which were designed to shrink the service’s active-duty end strength from 562,000 to 490,000 by fiscal year 2015. The restructuring announced in June 2013, which resulted in the elimination of brigade combat teams at 10 U.S. installations, only called for a reduction of 546 soldiers at the Lawton, Okla., post. A second round of cuts needed to bring the Army down to a force as small as 420,000 soldiers, evaluated in a supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (SPEA) released last month, analyzes a maximum reduction at the installation of 6,022 soldiers and 820 civilians …

House, Senate Staff to Discuss Compromise Policy Bill during Recess

  • July 29, 2014
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House and Senate staff from the Armed Services committees will attempt to work out a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill as a backup measure in the event the Senate once again fails to approve its own version of the annual defense policy legislation. The chairmen of both Armed Services committees recently met to discuss the need to hash out a conference report for the authorization bill that could quickly pass the House and Senate …

North Carolina City to Gain ‘Coast Guard City USA’ Designation

  • July 29, 2014
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Elizabeth City, home of several Coast Guard centers and a small boat station, is set to officially be recognized as a Coast Guard City. The city is located on the Pasquotank River just off of the coast of northern North Carolina. Coast Guard Commandant Paul Zukunft has signed off on the city’s application for the “Coast Guard City USA” designation. The application got his approval, Zukunft said, because of the “support our Coast Guard men and women receive from the community is recognized and applauded.” Elizabeth City will need to wait 90 days before the designation becomes official. Officials had been trying to gain the designation for at least the past 10 years, reported WVEC.

Agencies Need to Balance Owning, Leasing, White Paper Argues

  • July 28, 2014
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A new white paper is urging the federal government to rely on a diverse real estate portfolio that includes both owned and leased assets. Recently, the government has been favoring ownership over leasing as a way to save money, a strategy which in many cases is appropriate, write Kevin Wayer and Barry Scribner, co-presidents of JLL Public Institutions Group, in Government Executive. But the most efficient approach, they say, is for real estate officials at agencies to evaluate each acquisition decision based on its individual circumstances …

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