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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Michigan, Indiana and Ohio Receive Grant to Help Offset Reduction in Defense Expenditures

  • June 5, 2014
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The University of Michigan, in partnership with the Ohio State University and Purdue, was awarded a $2.4 million grant to provide on-call technical assistance to communities impacted by current defense procurement drawdowns, the DOD announced June 4…

SunPower, NV Energy Team on Second Project at Nellis AFB

  • June 5, 2014
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State utility NV Energy has selected SunPower Corp. to build a 19-megawatt solar photovoltaic power system at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the firm announced Wednesday. The system is expected to be constructed next year, contingent on contract approval by Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission. The project will be the second major solar installation that the utility and energy provider have built at Nellis. SunPower completed a 14-megawatt solar system there in 2007 …

BRAC Not out of the Question in Future, Wittman Says

  • June 5, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee’s rejection over the past three years of the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures may not be permanent, according to the chair of the panel’s readiness subcommittee. “We’re not saying never do a BRAC,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) said Wednesday during the keynote lunch at the Defense Communities National Summit. But DOD should wait to conduct a new round until it first has taken a look at its long-term strategic and force structure needs. “I believe we have to take this in the proper sequence,” Wittman said …

Need for Federal Strategy to Address Excess Defense Infrastructure Is Urgent, ADC Says

  • June 4, 2014
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Congress needs to grant the Defense Department sufficient authority to deal with its surplus of infrastructure, otherwise DOD will be forced to hollow out many of its installations and the economies of affected defense communities will suffer, according to a policy statement approved by ADC’s board of directors this week. ADC issued the policy statement as the Pentagon and Congress remain in a years-long stalemate over the need for a series of cost-saving reforms even as the defense budget is subject to stringent spending caps and the military draws down from 12-plus years of war. “In an environment of declining support for installations, the only solution is to confront head-on the nation’s excess military infrastructure,” Bob Murdock, ADC’s outgoing president, told the audience Wednesday at the Defense Communities National Summit …

BRAC ‘Conversation Has Begun,’ Conger Tells Summit

  • June 4, 2014
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Despite painting a bleak future for military construction and facilities sustainment funding, the Pentagon’s top installations official on Wednesday expressed some optimism regarding the timeline for a new base closure round. Congress is on a course to dismiss the Obama administration’s BRAC request for a third straight year, but some indications have emerged that lawmakers’ rejection can eventually be overcome. One hopeful sign is a provision in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures and realignments …

Ft. Chaffee LRA Hopes to Expand Historic District

  • June 3, 2014
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The LRA for the former Fort Chaffee in western Arkansas is planning to double the size of its 20-acre historic district as part of a long-term marketing effort. The district, built in the 1940s, represents “the heart’ of Chaffee Crossing, according to Joseph Chasteen, director of museums and the historic district for the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority. “It shows the importance and impact Fort Chaffee had in Fort Smith,” Chasteen told the Times Record. The district’s most famous building is the barbershop where Elvis Presley received his first military haircut. The LRA restored the shop to its condition in 1958, and now is waiting on a grant to renovate the barracks were Presley stayed. Long-term plans call for turning the historic area into a walkable urban district and developing a “trail of tourism” from the post to downtown Fort Smith, Lorie Robertson, the authority’s director of marketing, told the paper.

Isakson Helped Form Defense Communities Caucus, Ease Veterans’ Transition

  • June 3, 2014
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Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, who helped establish the Senate Defense Communities Caucus and has fought to expand employment opportunities for the nation’s military veterans, has been selected to receive ADC’s Congressional Leadership Award. Isakson launched the Senate Defense Communities Caucus along with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp one year ago. The aim of the caucus, a counterpart to a similar one established in the House in 2011, is to help communities better integrate service members into the community, support returning service members …

Spending Bill includes Extra Funds to Speed BRAC Cleanups

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee boosted the Pentagon’s budget request for past BRAC rounds by $110 million in an effort to expedite the cleanup of closed and realigned installations. The committee recommended $380 million for the base closure account in the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill it approved last month. Congress allocated $451 million for the account in the current year …

European Basing Review Nearing Completion

  • June 3, 2014
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DOD officials are expected to complete their review of European infrastructure and submit their recommendations for consolidating facilities to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel within two months, and possibly much sooner. The list of 21 minor, non-operational facilities the Pentagon said it would close last month were just the start of a planned set of closures of actual installations stemming from the European Infrastructure Consolidation review launched more than a year ago, reports Stars and Stripes. The final stages of the infrastructure review come at an awkward time, however, with the emergence of a new flashpoint in Eastern Europe following Russia’s intervention in Ukraine …

Senate Panel Bolsters DOD’s Milcon Request with Funds for Quality-of-Life Needs

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee added $465 million in quality-of-life construction projects to the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill due to concerns that needs such as troop housing, child care centers and fitness centers were overlooked in DOD’s budget request. The department’s $2.1 billion military construction request for FY 2015 represents a 40 percent decline from current year funding, a decision the committee said it understood given the need to provide additional money for readiness accounts. Still, “military construction is the foundation of military readiness, but it is too often the go-to bill payer in constrained budget environments, resulting in the sometimes indefinite deferral of many meritorious construction projects …

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