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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Louisiana Defense Communities Honored for Supporting Military Children

  • August 4, 2014
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Local school districts and community groups supporting Fort Polk and Barksdale Air Force Base received Partnership of Excellence Awards from the Military Child Education Coalition last week for collaborations with neighboring installations that address transition and educational issues affecting military children. In Central Louisiana, Fort Polk Progress, the Vernon Parish School District and Fort Polk, along with other local and state partners, received the Outstanding Partnership award for their recent initiative to assess the performance of the district’s schools and craft a plan to plug significant gaps …

Huachuca, Pax River Capture DOD Awards to Protect Testing, Training Lands

  • August 4, 2014
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Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., last week were named as winners of the 2014 Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Challenge, an initiative designed to promote innovative land conservation efforts that benefit military readiness, neighboring communities and the environment. Fort Huachuca’s award of $4 million will leverage $9 million in partner contributions to permanently restrict development on 5,900 acres of ranchland. The project’s partners include the Arizona Land and Water Trust, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation …

Transitioning Veterans Could More Easily Link to Local Services under Heitkamp Bill

  • August 4, 2014
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Legislation introduced by North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) would make it much easier for communities to reach out to newly separated service members and help them overcome challenges in gaining access to services and benefits such as health care and housing, employment and education assistance as they transition back to civilian life. The Connect with Veterans Act would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a voluntary national directory of veterans that would be available to communities and state veterans affairs departments …

Members Optimistic Senate Will Debate Policy Bill Next Month

  • August 4, 2014
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Despite a general breakdown in cooperation between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate that has prevented most significant legislation from advancing, a growing number of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle believe the chamber will take up the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill after they return to Capitol Hill following their five-week August recess. The measure last year was prevented from going to the floor because the two sides could not agree on a process for handling amendments, and the potential remains that a similar issue could hold up the National Defense Authorization Act again …

Feds Ask Judge to Dismiss Developer’s Suit over Contamination at Ft. Detrick

  • August 3, 2014
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A U.S. attorney on Thursday asked a judge to dismiss a developer’s lawsuit seeking damages for the loss in value of property adjacent to Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., stemming from groundwater contamination at an Army chemical waste site. Waverley View filed the $37 million lawsuit against the Army in May for neglecting to clean up chemical, radiological and biological contamination, reported the Frederick News-Post. But the federal government said concerns about the contamination led state regulators to bar the use of groundwater beneath the 93-acre parcel before Waverley acquired it in 2012 …

Support Group Highlights Ft. Leonard Wood’s Strengths

  • August 3, 2014
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Fort Leonard Wood faces a loss of up to 5,400 soldiers and civilians in the Army’s next round of personnel cuts, but officials in central Missouri are confident the post’s tradition of military training and the surrounding region’s resources will work in the installation’s favor. “We know cuts are coming, but we are also continuing to advocate for new missions and to find ways to show the Army that Fort Leonard Wood is the best place to continue to train the warfighter and to do business,” said Joe Driskill, executive director of Sustainable Ozarks Partnership …

Deadline Missed, But Bill to Overhaul South Weymouth Redevelopment Not Dead

  • August 3, 2014
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Massachusetts lawmakers failed to pass a sweeping proposal to revive the redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth by the July 31 close of its formal session, but the measure still could gain approval during the Legislature’s informal session, according to a top lawmaker. Master developer Starwood Land Ventures has said it would abandon the project, located 20 miles outside of Boston, if the state fails to approve the legislation by the end of its formal session …

Army’s Renewable Spending Not Cutting into Readiness, Energy Official Says

  • August 3, 2014
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At a Capitol Hill forum last week, the Army’s senior energy official rejected the perception that the service’s investments in renewable energy are coming at the expense of training and readiness for its combat forces. “We have a utility bill of $35 billion over the next 25 years. The way we’re paying for our renewable projects is to take a portion of that bill, bringing some of that bill forward today to pay for some capital investments and paying it back over time,” said Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary for energy and sustainability …

Stratford Engine Plant Closing Not Imminent

  • July 31, 2014
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The closing of the deal to sell the 77-acre Stratford Army Engine Plant to a team of Connecticut developers most likely will not occur until the Army and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reach an agreement over a plan to clean up the tidal flats of the Housatonic River. At this point, it is not clear how long it will take for the Army and state regulators to settle on a remediation plan, reports the Stratford Star. From the Army’s standpoint, Point Stratford Renewal can close on the transaction as soon it is willing to …

Customer Service Operation to Bring 600 Jobs to Ft. Monroe

  • July 31, 2014
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Liberty-Source PBC, a business process outsourcer, will invest $1.6 million to locate a customer service facility at the former Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., that will create 596 jobs, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced last month. The company, which will provide finance, accounting, human resources, customer care and additional support services for its clients, employs a business model that uniquely relies on military spouses …

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