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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

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 …

Panel Interested in Feasibility of Privatized Housing Venture on Guam

  • May 13, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is directing DOD to conduct a feasibility study for relying on a public-private venture to provide military housing on Guam following the arrival of about 4,000 Marines from Okinawa beginning in the mid-2020s, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The report should address any factors that could inhibit establishment of such a venture, and assess the current backlog and projected backlogs in family housing under the department’s five-year spending plan …

Hill AFB Reaches out to Communities, Schools, State under Commander’s Leadership

  • May 13, 2014
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Since becoming the installation commander of Hill Air Force Base, Col. Kathryn Kolbe has strived to fully integrate the installation, its missions, and its men and women into the fabric of the surrounding community in northern Utah. Under Kolbe, Hill has been an early adopter of DOD’s section 331 authority allowing installations and communities to share base support services, and partnered with the state and local school districts to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Kolbe, who also commands the 75th Air Base Wing, has actively participated in the leadership of a host of local civic groups …

Massachusetts Officials Tout Efforts to Protect Guard Base

  • May 13, 2014
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Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., should reap long-term benefits from several state initiatives, including $9 million in funding for the base’s runway and an aviation program at a vocational high school, officials said Monday at a community forum hosted by the state Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force. The runway funding for Barnes, a joint use airport, was made possible by the landmark $177 million bond bill Gov. Deval Patrick (D) signed into law earlier this year …

Senate Committee Will Try to Preserve A-10 Fleet, Levin Says

  • May 13, 2014
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Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that he and other senior members of the panel will try to find an offset to pay for the cost of operating the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The committee, however, won’t follow the lead of its counterpart in the House, which last week voted to preserve the aircraft through fiscal 2015 by allocating $635 million from DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to cover the cost. “We’re going to try to save it …

GAO Reviews Feasibility Study behind Closing Power Plant at Clear AFS

  • May 12, 2014
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The Air Force’s decision to close the power plant at Clear Air Force Station, located in the interior of Alaska, primarily was based on a feasibility study of alternative power sources, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The agency was asked to review the study before the Air Force closes the plant. Officials considered leasing the plant to a private-sector entity or to a public utility, but none were interested. The Air Force then decided to close the plant after determining the estimated costs to shut it down were significantly lower than the cost of continuing to operate it …

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