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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

‘Home Base Iowa’ Legislation Intended to Attract Veterans

  • May 15, 2014
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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on Memorial Day is expected to sign legislation designed to bring more veterans to Iowa, particularly newly discharged service members and their families. The bill’s provisions include a requirement for colleges and universities to report their policies on awarding academic credit for military experience; a requirement for occupational licensing boards to offer credit to veterans with appropriate military training and experience …

Planning, Innovation Pave Way for Riverbank to Turn Ammo Plant into ‘Green’ Business Park

  • May 15, 2014
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Suffering from one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates at the time the Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant closed in 2010, the city of Riverbank, Calif., could not afford any further economic setbacks as it began to carry out the redevelopment plan which called for retaining the site’s light industrial focus with a “green” twist. Four short years later, the mixed-use business park located in the heart of California’s Central Valley has quadrupled its number of tenants, and now is home to 36 companies employing 300 people with an additional 75 workers anticipated to be hired later this year. The Riverbank Industrial Complex generates a $31 million local economic impact, almost four times its annual economic contribution prior to closure …

Colorado Adds Military Promotion to Economic Development Mission

  • May 15, 2014
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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed two bills Wednesday intended to better position the state’s military installations in a future base closure round. House Bill 1351 adds the mission of supporting and promoting the military, primarily through lobbying the federal government, to the role of the Colorado Office of Economic Development. About $120,000 was included in the state budget for a new staff position which could be used to carry out the new function …

Air Force to Impose Headquarters Cuts Quickly

  • May 15, 2014
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The Air Force intends to trim its headquarters staff at a much quicker pace than the five-year timeline Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for, with offices responsible for installation support services one of the targets for consolidation, according to Air Force officials. Hagel directed the services to reduce their headquarters staff by 20 percent within five years, but the Air Force is aiming to complete much of its cuts by the end of fiscal 2015 …

Report Calls for Creation of Veterans Alliance in Cincinnati Region

  • May 15, 2014
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The local Easter Seals affiliate serving the Cincinnati metro area plans to help establish a regional veterans alliance to improve community support for veterans and military families, following the release of a new report recommending the move. An alliance would improve coordination of services for veterans in southwestern Ohio, according to the report from the Easter Seals Tristate’s Operation Vets Thrive. The group will consider joining up with a host organization or creating an independent non-profit …

Committee Asks whether DOD Is Using Property Efficiently

  • May 15, 2014
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Due to concern as to whether the Defense Department is managing its real estate holdings efficiently, the House Armed Services Committee asks the Air Force to provide a report on its need to retain a housing area formerly used by Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “In an era of declining resources, the committee is concerned by decisions made by the Department of Defense to retain underutilized real property …

Ft. Polk Prospers under Landrieu’s Leadership

  • May 14, 2014
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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has been a fierce advocate for Fort Polk, helping it obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in military construction projects, fighting for it to assume a larger role for the Army, and ensuring its facilities support the needs of military families. Since 2005, Landrieu has helped invest $1 billion in Polk, located in west central Louisiana. Over the last two years, the three-term senator has secured nearly $100 million for construction projects at the post …

Senate Appropriators to Mark up Milcon Bill Next Week

  • May 14, 2014
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The Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its spending bill for fiscal 2015 on May 20, with the full committee scheduled to take it up May 22. The milcon spending measure likely will go to the Senate floor in late June or early July, reported CQ Roll Call. The House approved its milcon spending bill April 30. Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said his panel’s bill would be marked up by the first week of July. Senate appropriators are planning to complete their work on the annual measures by the August recess. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) has said he wants to have all the chamber’s spending bills approved by the committee by July 4 and through the House by the August recess.

BRAC Decisions Need to Consider Climate Change Impacts, Report Says

  • May 14, 2014
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Climate change impacts such as sea-level rise and drought will threaten military infrastructure and their host communities, pointing to the need to take into account environmental changes in future basing decisions, according to a new report from a government-funded military research organization. “The challenge for the U.S. military is not simple: reduce force size, increase capabilities and readiness, fix our bases so climate change will not undermine our training and deployment activities — all in the context of a constrained budget …

Colorado Springs Clearinghouse Connects Veterans to Services

  • May 13, 2014
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A clearinghouse of service providers supporting military personnel, veterans and their families in Colorado Springs, Colo., has begun a new partnership with Pikes Peak United Way to offer an information and referral line for residents seeking assistance. “It’s a ‘no wrong door’ approach,” said Kate Hatten, executive director of the Peak Military Care Network. One week after the referral line’s launch, the network has received about six calls for help per day, a number Hatten expects to climb …

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