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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Veterans Return to Civilian Life Unprepared, Survey Shows

  • October 1, 2014
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A majority of service members leave the military facing a variety of unmet needs resulting in a difficult transition to civilian life, according to a new University of Southern California study of veterans living in Los Angeles County. “The State of the American Veteran: The Los Angeles County Veterans Study,” by the USC School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families, found that more than two-thirds of more than 1,350 veterans surveyed reported difficulties adjusting to civilian life, with 69 percent of post-9/11 veterans indicating they needed time to figure out what they would do after the military. One overarching finding is that veterans’ needs cannot be met by a single organization …

Air Force Engineering Center Moved to New Installation Support Organization

  • October 1, 2014
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Six organizations, including the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, were moved under Air Force Materiel Command on Oct. 1 to help form the foundation of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center when it is formally activated in 2015. The newly created AFIMSC will consolidate installation management functions currently being performed at 10 major commands, two direct reporting units and multiple field operating agencies. The center’s support capabilities will include security forces, civil engineering, base communications, logistics readiness, installation ministry programs, services and operational contracting …

Work Upbraids Congress over Opposition to Cost-Saving Reforms

  • October 1, 2014
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The almost universal rejection by lawmakers of a series of belt-tightening reforms to military compensation and weapons systems retirements proposed by the Pentagon will create an estimated $70 billion hole in its five-year budget, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the Council on Foreign Relations this week. The department’s fiscal 2015 budget called for slashing the subsidy for commissaries and slowing increases in the basic allowance for housing, along with retiring its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft and other weapons. “These were what we considered to be pretty reasonable approaches, but Congress said ‘No …

Chicago, Wichita Join National Effort to End Veteran Homelessness

  • September 30, 2014
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The mayors of Chicago and Wichita, Kan., last month announced plans to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, joining more than 200 local, county and state officials who have made the same pledge as part of a White House initiative. On Sept. 16, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel committed $800,000 to a $5 billion federal plan and said he wants to make sure “any veteran, having fought for the homeland, is not homeless when they come home,” reported the Huffington Post. The effort calls for opening new housing facilities on four acres of city property as well as bolstering social services programs. The mayor also said he plans to open a facility to accommodate both veterans and their families …

Aberdeen PG Faces Loss of Chemical Battalion

  • September 30, 2014
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The 22nd Chemical Battalion, a 270-soldier unit responsible for assessing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats, may be relocated from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2016 or later, the post’s garrison commander said at a public meeting last month. While the number of personnel is relatively small compared to a workforce of 22,000, such a move would represent a significant portion of Aberdeen’s military component. Service members make up only 3 percent of the workers at the installation …

Colorado Springs Leaders Work Together to Defend Military Bases

  • September 30, 2014
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Despite political differences, a delegation of 13 business and community leaders from the Pikes Peak region presented a united front this week as they visited with Pentagon officials and Capitol Hill staff in an attempt to stave off deep spending cuts to the region’s five installations. Even before the Army decides what posts will lose personnel as it figures how to shrink its active-duty end strength by 70,000 soldiers, Fort Carson and other installations in the Colorado Springs region already are coping with recent cuts. Fort Carson will lose 1,500 soldiers in the coming weeks as one of its brigade combat teams is disestablished …

Navy Seeks Partners for Renewable Energy Development in California

  • September 30, 2014
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The Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration, in partnership with the Navy, has issued a request for proposals to meet the renewable energy needs of 14 Navy installations in California. The solicitation represents the largest single purchase of renewable energy by a DOD entity, according to a Navy press release. It also marks the first significant milestone by the Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office, which Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stood up in May. The office was created to identify cost-effective renewable energy projects for Navy installations. The Navy plans to purchase power from a new renewable energy generation project for up to 25 years …

Ryan Sets Sights on ‘Medium’ Budget Deal

  • September 30, 2014
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A “grand bargain” budget agreement replacing the existing Budget Control Act spending caps with alternate deficit reduction measures most likely is off the table for the remainder of the Obama presidency, but a smaller-scale deal may be possible, says Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee. Ryan blames Obama’s unwillingness to consider wholesale reform of entitlement programs for the failure of Congress and the administration in recent years to reach a deal to get the nation’s debt under control. As a result, he is abandoning his pursuit of a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement …

DOD Releases Annual Facilities Inventory

  • September 29, 2014
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A database of DOD’s worldwide inventory of more than 4,000 sites, with figures detailing the number of buildings, acres and the plant replacement value, for fiscal 2014 was released earlier this month. A separate section of the Base Structure Report includes personnel data for every U.S. installation. That section includes the number of military personnel — broken down by service — and civilian workers by installation. One chart in the 199-page report — a snapshot of data from the military departments as of Sept. 30, 2013 — shows the total number of active installations by service: Army — 105; Navy — 108; and Air Force — 87 …

Washington State Receives $4.3M DOD Grant to Prepare for Downsizing

  • September 29, 2014
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Washington state will received a $4.3 million grant from DOD to support local efforts to address the impact of potential downsizing of the military and the state’s defense industry, Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week. The grant, from the Office of Economic Adjustment, will help carry out a statewide strategy to minimize the impacts of military downsizing on regional businesses and communities. The plan, developed in collaboration with the Washington Military Alliance and the Department of Commerce, will: assess the extent of the military and defense contracting footprint in the state; create a strategy and support system to reduce the exposure of regional businesses that are overly reliant on defense spending …

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