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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Fort Chaffee LRA, National Guard Land Swap on Hold over Valuations

  • September 11, 2014
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A proposed property exchange between the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority and the Arkansas Army National Guard has been held up over a large disparity in property appraisals between the two parcels. Appraisals obtained by the LRA concluded that the tract it is offering the Guard for a new training center is worth $2 million more than the land it would receive in return, said Ivy Owen, the authority’s executive director. Owen sent the appraisals three months ago to the Army Corps of Engineers to review …

Officials Dedicate Intrepid Center at Ft. Campbell

  • September 11, 2014
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Military leaders and members of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund formally dedicated the new Intrepid Spirit Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Monday to treat returning service members with traumatic brain injuries and other conditions. The Fort Campbell facility is the third of nine planned Intrepid Spirit Centers nationwide. The first two centers — dedicated last fall at Fort Belvoir, Va., and at Camp Lejeune, N.C. — already have provided care for 2,000 service members, reported the Army News Service. Centers are currently under construction at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Hood, Texas. The Fort Campbell center anticipates treating 1,300 to 1,500 patients annually …

Air Base Can Learn from Losing Competition for KC-46, Support Group Official Says

  • September 11, 2014
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Although the Air Force did not select Robins Air Force Base as one of the first installations to host the new KC-46A tanker, Middle Georgia can learn from that decision, according to the new head of the base’s local support group. “Because there will be other decisions to be made, what can we do to make sure, we first of all understand the process, and second, how do we cultivate the right atmosphere or fix what might need to be fixed, to ensure we have the right numbers,” said Charles Stenner, CEO of the 21st Century Partnership …

Many Military Families Seek Food Aid, Survey Finds

  • September 11, 2014
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An estimated 25 percent of households with a member currently serving in the military receive food assistance from the Feeding America network, the nation’s largest provider of charitable food assistance to low-income Americans, according to a recent survey conducted by the nonprofit. The survey estimated that 620,000 households that seek food assistance from a Feeding America network agency include at least one member serving in the military. Jennifer Gilmore, executive director of the Feeding America San Diego food bank, said she was shocked recently to see 300 people lined up at a military housing development to collect bags of produce …

House to Take up CR Next Week

  • September 11, 2014
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The House is expected to vote by next Wednesday on a continuing resolution (CR) needed to keep the federal government running after Sept. 30, even as Republican leaders have not yet decided whether to include language requested by President Obama authorizing the training and arming of Syrian rebels who are fighting the Islamic State. Regardless of the House leadership’s decision, the rest of the fiscal 2015 stopgap spending bill, which would fund the government through Dec. 11, will remain unchanged from the version introduced Tuesday, reported CQ. At the same time, other issues that could endanger support for the CR, including a short-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, seem to have diminished with the discussion over how to respond to the Islamic State now the primary focus …

Military Remains Economic Engine for San Antonio despite Cutbacks

  • September 11, 2014
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Despite a shrinking military — and the loss of two Air Force bases since 2001 — DOD’s presence in San Antonio has continued to grow through new military health care, training and cybersecurity missions. Earlier this summer, a Joint Base San Antonio briefing said the three installations that make it up — Lackland and Randolph Air Force bases, and Fort Sam Houston — had an $8.1 billion payroll and are responsible for 292,456 direct and indirect jobs, reported the San Antonio Express-News. A 2011 study by the city found that almost 190,000 people were employed as a result of the joint base, generating a $27.7 billion annual economic impact. Following BRAC 2005, DOD spent $3.3 billion on construction at Joint Base San Antonio. The region’s veteran population also has a significant footprint. The 55,000 military retirees in Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio, produce a $2.2 billion annual economic impact, according to the story.

D.C. Hospital Looks to Obtain Piece of Walter Reed

  • September 10, 2014
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A Washington, D.C.–based pediatric hospital is hoping to obtain a parcel on the campus of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center for an institute devoted to biomedical research. A deal, however, has not yet been reached between the Children’s National Health System and the federal government. Language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill authorizes — but does not require — the Army to convey 13.2 acres to the Children’s system at no cost …

Ft. Drum Supporters Optimistic amid Army Downsizing

  • September 10, 2014
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The prospect of devastating cuts in personnel at Fort Drum, N.Y., is troubling as the Army considers shrinking its active-duty end strength by 70,000 troops, but community leaders are confident the strengths of the post and the 10th Mountain Division, along with the support of the North Country region, will allow it to sidestep the deepest reductions. Fort Drum has multiple assets that will remain valuable to the Army even following significant cuts, said Carl McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization …

Chances Dim for September Vote on Policy Bill, Levin Says

  • September 10, 2014
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The Senate likely will not act on the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill before lawmakers leave Washington later this month, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday. Levin is not giving up, though, and continues to work with James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the panel’s ranking member, to put together a list of relevant amendments which could be considered in a limited amount of floor time. His goal is to reach a compromise with Inhofe over a unanimous consent agreement, reported the Hill. About 140 amendments have been attached to the annual policy bill. The Senate could finish debating the measure in one or two days, Levin said. The path, however, has become more complicated as a result of the debate over whether Congress should vote to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

White House Request Delays CR Vote

  • September 10, 2014
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House Republicans have pushed back the chamber’s vote on the fiscal 2015 continuing resolution after the White House asked to add language authorizing the government to take action in Syria against the Islamic State. The president’s request to include Title X authorization language for the United States to train and arm Syrian rebels who are fighting the Islamic State came at the eleventh hour, reported CQ. The House now is expected to take up the stopgap spending measure, which would fund the government through Dec. 11, next week …

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