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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Arizona Website Supports Military Children in Transition

  • July 1, 2014
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Arizona has launched a website to help students of military families and school personnel navigate the challenges associated with frequent relocations. The website’s development follows a 2012 executive order from Gov. Jan Brewer (R) establishing a council to coordinate the state’s participation in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children with local school districts and military installations, reported Sonoran News. The council and the interstate compact are designed to address issues such as enrollment, class placement, records transfer, immunization requirements, graduation requirements, attendance, exit testing and extracurricular opportunities. “This new website provides Arizona schools and military families with support to ensure all students have access to critical information when moving to a new school,” Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal said in a written statement.

Navy Offers Tours to Highlight Massive Hunters Point Cleanup

  • July 1, 2014
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The Navy has been offering the public behind-the-scenes tours of the cleanup and redevelopment at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard as part of an outreach effort to residents in surrounding neighborhoods and throughout San Francisco. During the two-hour bus tour held on Saturday, a group of 45 individuals learned about the Navy’s $1.1 billion effort to remove contaminants from the shipyard, including radium, arsenic, nickel, manganese, dioxins and PCBs, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. “They call this the billion-dollar base,” said Keith Forman, the Navy’s environmental coordinator for the shipyard …

Park Service Unveils Draft Plan for Ft. Monroe

  • July 1, 2014
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The National Park Service last week sketched its goals for sharing Fort Monroe National Monument with the public. The park service’s release of the site’s draft foundation document comes more than two-and-a-half years after President Obama designated 325 acres of the former Fort Monroe a national monument. Since then, the park service, the Army, the commonwealth of Virginia and the city of Hampton have been working to make Fort Monroe, located on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay, a seamless park …

Local Initiative to Highlight Strengths at Fort Benning ahead of Army Downsizing

  • July 1, 2014
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Faced with the prospect of losing thousands of soldiers as the Army considers a new round of personnel reductions, leaders from Columbus, Ga., have launched a “Fort Benning Partnership” initiative to let Army officials and federal lawmakers know the value of the post’s missions, personnel and assets. “Our citizens need to know how serious of a threat this is to our community, and it’s really the broader Chattahoochee Valley community,” said Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson …

Pentagon Needs to Bolster Climate Change Planning Efforts, GAO Finds

  • July 1, 2014
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In the past several years, the Defense Department has identified the impacts of climate change, such as rising temperatures and sea levels, as potential threats to its infrastructure, prompting the department to begin assessing installations’ vulnerability to climate change and to incorporate the phenomenon into installation planning efforts. Due to a number of limitations in its planning efforts, though, DOD needs to better prepare for the impacts of climate change, according to a new study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) …

City, State to Protect Landing Field Used by NAS Oceana from Encroachment

  • June 29, 2014
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The Chesapeake (Va.) City Council last week approved a program to use city funds to protect Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, used by pilots based at nearby Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach to practice carrier landings, from encroachment. The initiative calls for Chesapeake to spend $1 million, an amount that would be matched by the commonwealth of Virginia, to either purchase land or the development rights around Fentress. The city already has spent about $4.3 million since 2008 purchasing hundreds of acres along the flight path from Fentress to Oceana …

N.C. House Passes Bill to Keep BRAC Deliberations Secret

  • June 29, 2014
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The North Carolina House last week approved legislation allowing state officials, including the state Military Affairs Commission, to withhold information from the public about deliberations conducted to protect the state’s military installations during a BRAC round. Meetings to discuss such matters could be closed under the bill, which received no advance notice before emerging in committee June 25, reported the Fayetteville Observer. It passed unanimously on the House floor that afternoon. It now heads to the state Senate for a vote …

Senate Appropriations to Mark up Defense Bill Shortly

  • June 29, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill on July 17, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said last week. Mikulski said she delayed scheduling the markup until Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the defense panel’s ranking member, could return to Capitol Hill following his primary runoff, reported CQ. Cochran, who is line to replace Mikulski as committee chair if the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the midterm elections, defeated a tea party challenger last Tuesday in a very heated race. Postponing the markup also provides the committee time to consider the Pentagon’s request for the overseas contingency operations account, which it released Thursday.

Southeastern Arizona Officials Attempt to Head Off Prospective Cuts at Ft. Huachuca

  • June 29, 2014
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Prompted by earlier indications that the Army was contemplating eliminating almost 50 percent of the personnel at Fort Huachuca as part of a looming round of force reductions that could shrink the service to an active-duty end strength of 420,000, officials representing Sierra Vista, Ariz., and the surrounding region have been scrambling to stave off the cuts. “We’re trying to get ahead of whatever curve you can get ahead of with something like this, and we are working to try and diversify our economy,” said Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation …

Army Expands Scope of Basing Analysis beyond Operational Forces

  • June 29, 2014
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The Army assessment released last week of the impacts associated with trimming its active-duty end strength to 420,000 evaluates nine installations without significant operational forces that were not included in the analysis it completed last year before determining how it would shrink the service to 490,000 personnel. The 2013 analysis primarily focused on deactivating brigade combat teams at 21 candidate posts, but with the need to consider eliminating an additional 70,000 troops, officials expanded the latest assessment to its “generating force,” according to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) released Thursday by Army Environmental Command …

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