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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

EPA Removes Much of MCAS El Toro from Superfund List

  • January 28, 2014
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed more than 1,900 acres at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro from the federal Superfund list, a move that should provide a boost to efforts by the city of Irvine and FivePoint Communities to transform the Southern California base into the Orange County Great Park and thousands of homes. The decision comes after the Navy and local water agencies spent $165 million on soil removal and groundwater treatment to clean up contamination left over from aircraft maintenance and repair, reported the Los Angeles Times. As a consequence, only 600 acres at the 4,700-acre air base remain on the list of the nation’s most hazardous sites …

Appropriations Panels May Hash Out Spending Allocations at Outset

  • January 28, 2014
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The leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees are considering reaching agreement on the spending levels for the 12 annual spending measures prior to drafting and marking up the bills, a step that likely would speed up the appropriations process. A decision to “pre-conference” the spending levels for each appropriations bill would be relatively simple since the topline discretionary spending figure for fiscal 2015 was established in last month’s bipartisan budget deal …

No Plans to Close Commissaries, Dempsey Says

  • January 28, 2014
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The Pentagon has not decided to close military grocery stores, but officials are looking for savings anywhere possible to mitigate the impact of budget constraints, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday. Officials asked the Defense Commissary Agency to assess the impact of reducing or eliminating taxpayer subsidies for the system, Dempsey said. Military exchanges do not receive a federal subsidy, and the same potential exists with commissaries, he noted …

City to Purchase Tract near Shaw AFB

  • January 28, 2014
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The city of Sumter, S.C., plans to purchase a 694-acre tract near Shaw Air Force Base as part of an effort to protect the installation from encroachment and preserve its ability to carry out its missions far into the future. Much of the acquisition, estimated to cost $2 million, will be paid for by the Conservation Fund. The city plans to pay only about $25,000 toward the cost, reported WISTV. The property likely would become an urban forest …

Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority Issues RFQ for Master Developer

  • January 27, 2014
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The Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a master developer for 862 acres at the former Naval Air Station – Joint Reserve Base (NAS-JRB) Willow Grove located in Horsham, Pa. The NAS-JRB Willow Grove redevelopment plan is focused on the creation of job generating uses through a variety of mixed uses …

Law School Clinic to Help Veterans Obtain Disability Benefits

  • January 27, 2014
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The University of Missouri School of Law has opened a clinic to provide legal assistance to veterans who cannot afford a lawyer. The program is part of a clinical course for third-year law students who work in partnership with experienced attorneys to assist veterans who are appealing disability benefits decisions made by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The clinic has six active cases, and gets calls every day from veterans who need legal assistance, Angela Drake, law professor and clinic adviser, told the Columbia Daily Tribune. Due to limited resources, though, the clinic is forced to refer cases it can’t handle to other organizations or attorneys. The clinic is funded by a $250,000 donation from an anonymous source.

Ayotte Warns Air Force against Making Preparations to Retire A-10s

  • January 27, 2014
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Efforts by the Air Force to prepare to retire its A-10 fleet would violate the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) wrote Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James last week. “It has come to my attention that the Air Force may be taking steps to prepare to retire the A-10 in violation of current law,” Ayotte wrote in a letter Friday, reported the Hill. The FY 2014 defense policy bill states that the service “may not retire, prepare to retire or place in storage” any additional A-10 Warthogs during the fiscal year …

Connecticut to Study Impact of Defense Cuts on Industry Supply Chain through OEA Grant

  • January 27, 2014
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DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has awarded the state of Connecticut and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) a $1.3 million planning grant to better understand how cuts in federal spending on defense contracts will affect New England’s defense supply chain and industry-related work performed in the state and region. “We are talking about an industry that employs tens of thousands of workers and generates billions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue — it is simply too important not to prepare ourselves for possible cuts to defense spending,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy …

Forest City Drops out of Ft. McPherson Reuse Project

  • January 27, 2014
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Forest City Enterprises severed ties with the effort to convert the former Fort McPherson in southwestern Atlanta into a mixed-use, walkable community, the company said last week. The departure of Cleveland-based Forest City still leaves two local firms involved with the redevelopment of the 486-acre site — Cousins Properties and Integral Group. “We’re local. We’re not going anywhere,” said Larry Gellerstedt, chief executive of Cousins Properties …

Revamped Transition Program Provides Ingredients to Launch Post-Military Careers

  • January 26, 2014
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Soldiers’ success in benefiting from the Army’s retooled transition program relies on several principles, including earlier career planning and improved support from their commanders. Officials spent several years surveying and interviewing soldiers before revamping the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) for helping soldiers transition to civilian life. The Army’s analysis revealed three activities needed to ensure successful transitions, ACAP Director Walter Herd told the Army News Service …

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