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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

House Panel Advances Milcon Spending Bill

  • April 15, 2015
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The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday approved a fiscal 2016 spending measure recommending a $900 million increase to $7.7 billion for military construction and family housing programs over the current year. The legislation passed despite criticism from Democrats that the measure is not fully funded, reported CQ Roll Call. The $76.6 billion spending bill, including the VA component, comes in $4.6 billion higher than the FY 2015 enacted level even though next year’s spending cap for all federal discretionary spending rises only $2 billion …

Eielson AFB to Keep F-16 Squadron

  • April 15, 2015
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Eielson Air Force Base will retain its F-16 squadron even if the installation located outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, becomes the home of two new squadrons of F-35A fighters, officials announced Tuesday. The Air Force had considered moving the base’s 18th Aggressor Squadron late last year after it named Eielson as the preferred alternative for 48 F-35s slated for the Pacific region. But the service determined that Eielson was “the most operationally sound option, as well as the most cost effective,” said Mark Pohlmeier, acting deputy assistant secretary for installations …

Utility’s Guilty Plea to Environmental Violations Could Jeopardize Power Supply to N.C. Bases

  • April 15, 2015
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Duke Energy, the only major electricity supplier in North Carolina, is negotiating with the Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver from a federal statute barring defendants that commit criminal violations from engaging in business with federal entities. If an agreement can’t be worked out, the nation’s largest electric utility would be barred from serving military installations and other federal facilities in North Carolina, Duke said in federal court on Tuesday …

McCain to Let Panel Decide on Opening up Authorization Bill Markup

  • April 15, 2015
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John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he would let his committee vote whether to hold its markup of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill in open session. The committee’s markup of the annual defense policy measure traditionally has been closed to the public due to the preference of former Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.). Levin had said it was unworkable to shift between open and closed sessions while deliberating over the authorization bill …

Lennar, Catellus Move on in Master Developer Competition for Concord Redevelopment

  • April 15, 2015
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The Concord City Council on Tuesday selected Lennar Urban and Catellus Development Corp. as finalists to redevelop the former Concord Naval Weapons Station into more than 12,000 units of housing and more than 6 million square feet of commercial property. The council is expected to select a master developer for the East Bay site in northern California this summer. Its decision matched an advisory board’s recommendation that Lennar and Catellus had more extensive experience converting closed bases into large-scale, mixed use projects than a third candidate, SunCal …

Authorization Bill Would Allow Pentagon to Use Extra War Funds, Defense Chairs Say

  • April 14, 2015
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The heads of the House and Senate Armed Services committees plan to include language in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would allow defense officials to use funds in the department’s war funding account for base budget operations. The remarks of John McCain (R-Ariz.), Senate Armed Services chairman, and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), House Armed Services chairman, address the question of whether congressional Republicans’ plan to sidestep the statutory cap on defense spending by adding funds to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO) will achieve the desired result. The FY 2016 budget resolutions advanced in both chambers would allocate $38 billion more than the $58 billion requested for the OCO account by the administration …

Milcon Spending in House Proposal Falls Short of DOD Request

  • April 14, 2015
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Fiscal 2016 funding for military construction and family housing would take a significant step toward levels allocated as recently as FY 2014 under the draft spending bill released Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee. Overall, spending on military construction and family housing would rise $900 million over current year funding to $7.7 billion. The House’s proposal, however, still falls short of the Obama administration’s request for $8.4 billion in FY 2016. Milcon funding dropped about one-third in the current year as the department opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

Rural Utility Agrees to $7.6M Settlement for Overbilling Ft. Knox

  • April 14, 2015
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Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative agreed to pay $7.6 million to the federal government over charges that it billed the Army for energy-saving projects at Fort Knox, Ky., that should never have been authorized, federal prosecutors said Monday. Prosecutors said the Kentucky utility received $8 million for 20 projects that were touted as saving more than $7 million over a decade but actually were estimated to lose more than $15 million over that period, reported the Lexington Herald-Leader. Prosecutors also cited several incidents in which Nolin charged the Army for projects that had not been approved by listing the costs under unrelated, but authorized, projects …

GAO Highlights Need for DOD to Improve Tracking of Underutilized Facilities

  • April 14, 2015
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In a report presenting 66 actions the federal government could take to improve efficiency, the Government Accountability Office reiterates the need for the Defense Department to improve its processes for identifying underutilized facilities as a prerequisite for consolidating or disposing of unneeded facilities. The congressional watchdog agency cited its earlier recommendations calling for DOD to modify its procedures for updating and verifying data on the utilization of facilities, and to establish a strategic plan to manage its real property. The plan should include long-term goals, strategies and use of metrics to help the department identify potential consolidation or disposal opportunities …

Air Force Names Four Candidates to Host New Tanker Reserve Unit

  • April 14, 2015
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The Air Force is considering four locations to host the first Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus unit — Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C.; Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.; and Grissom ARB, Ind. Officials on Tuesday said the service’s next generation aerial tanker KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal 2019. Air Mobility Command and Air Force Reserve Command now will conduct site surveys of each candidate. Officials will grade each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower …

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