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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force Refines Encroachment Program

  • January 25, 2015
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Recent moves by the Air Force are helping to bolster its encroachment management program, including issuing new guidance for a comprehensive initiative to limit incompatible development outsides its installations and establishing the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) as the program office for the service-wide effort. In October, officials assigned the center’s planning and integration directorate the task of providing reach-back support to installations, major commands and direct reporting units on all aspects of encroachment, AFCEC reported. “The overall purpose of the AFEM [Air Force encroachment management] program is to reach across the entire installation community to solve problems and preserve the Air Force mission capability,” said Charles Cyr, chief of the directorate’s regional development planning branch …

South Sound Stands up for JB Lewis-McChord

  • January 25, 2015
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More than 500 residents from many of the 15 communities that surround Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., made the case for shielding the installation from further cuts during a listening session the Army held last week to gather public input before it decides how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. The installation located at the south end of Puget Sound already suffered the loss of about 5,000 soldiers during a previous round of Army downsizing. Now officials are considering eliminating up to 11,000 additional personnel during a second round of restructuring intended to cut the service’s end strength to 420,000. More than 60 people offered comments during the three-hour session. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) highlighted the support the state provides military personnel and their families as well as veterans …

Ohio Air Station Sees Community Partnerships as Key to Sustainment

  • January 25, 2015
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In an attempt to leverage limited federal funding, officials at Youngstown Air Reserve Station in northeast Ohio are considering forming partnerships with a variety of local entities, including Kent State University at Trumbull, Mercy Health System and neighboring municipalities. “It’s about taxpayer dollars in this day of dwindling budgets, we have to make sure we’re the most economically capable, viable and integrated small base out there,” said Col. James Dignan, 910th Airlift Wing commander …

Further Cuts to Follow Loss of Brigade at Ft. Carson

  • January 25, 2015
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The inactivation of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Carson earlier this month is slated to be followed by the loss of another unit later this year and potentially further cuts in the coming years after the Army figures out how to trim its end strength to 420,000. Many of the brigade combat team’s personnel will remain at the Colorado post, with 1,500 troops assigned to other units there and 2,700 soldiers relocated or separated, reported the Colorado Springs Independent. Later this year, an Apache helicopter unit is scheduled to move to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Also looming is the second round of Army restructuring needed to eliminate up to 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. Fort Carson could lose a maximum of 16,000 soldiers and civilian personnel over the two rounds …

Duke Energy to Build 13MW Solar Farm at Camp Lejeune

  • January 25, 2015
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Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electric power holding company, is working with the Navy to build a 13-megawatt solar facility at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in eastern North Carolina, the company’s first solar project at a military installation. The photovoltaic plant would cover 80 acres and connect to the electric grid at a Duke Energy Progress substation on the base. Power generated by the project will be available to the utility’s customers, with Camp Lejeune continuing to purchase energy from Duke. The solar farm, which will be owned and operated by Duke, is expected online in 2015 …

Carter to Defend FY’16 Budget before Congress

  • January 22, 2015
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Ashton Carter, who is almost certain to become the next Pentagon chief, will present the department’s fiscal 2016 budget request to Congress instead of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, according to the House and Senate Armed Services committees. “It’s going to be Carter, so we’re going to delay it some,” Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters Thursday. He said Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would present the budget request to his committee during the first week of March, one month after President Obama is scheduled to release the new spending proposal …

Hagel Offers Warning on Spending Caps

  • January 22, 2015
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During what he called one of his last official news conferences, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters Thursday that many of the gains achieved by the military will be lost if lawmakers fail to provide DOD relief from the statutory spending cap for fiscal 2016. “The progress we have made will quickly evaporate if sequestration returns in 2016,” Hagel said. “We need long-term budget predictability and we need the flexibility to prioritize and make the difficult decisions … more effectively …

Monterey Paved the Way for Communities, Installations to Share Municipal Services

  • January 22, 2015
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NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday featured the pioneering partnership between the city of Monterey, Calif., and the Presidio of Monterey that delivers many base operating services to the installation at a lower cost than it had been paying. The initiative, which began more than two decades ago as a pilot project, helped convince lawmakers to include language in the FY 2013 defense authorization bill permitting all installations to form partnerships with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. In the two years since the legislation was enacted, Air Force and Army installations have been trying to take advantage of the new authority by collaborating with their host communities to enter into intergovernmental support agreements …

Utility Plans to Build Solar Plants at Three Florida Airfields

  • January 22, 2015
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Gulf Power, a subsidiary of Georgia-based Southern Co., is planning to build a total of 120 megawatts of solar power at three military facilities on the tip of the Florida Panhandle — Eglin Air Force Base and the Navy’s Holley and Saufley fields. If the solar farms are approved by the Florida Public Service Commission, the project’s developer, HelioSage, would begin construction in February 2016. The three plants would be expected to come online beginning in December 2016. The planned capacity for each of the solar farms is as follows: Eglin AFB in Fort Walton Beach (30 megawatts); Holley Field in Navarre (40 megawatts); and Saufley Field in Pensacola (50 megawatts) …

Willow Grove LRA Taps Catellus as Master Developer

  • January 22, 2015
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The Horsham LRA on Wednesday selected Catellus Development Corp. to act as master developer for the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove located north of Philadelphia. The Oakland, Calif.-based firm beat out three other finalists — a team composed of Lennar Corp., Fla., and Toll Brothers, Pa.; the Hankin Group, Pa.; and Keystone Properties, Pa. The reuse plan for the 862-acre base calls for a town center; 1,486 residential units of various types; 1.8 million square feet of commercial uses, including a hotel/conference center; 452,000 square feet of other uses including a regional recreation center, new school and aviation museum; and parks and open space …

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