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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Spouse Employment Ranks High among Military Families’ Concerns

  • September 23, 2014
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Concerns about military pay and benefits, along with changes in the retirement system, ranked as the top two issues cited by service members, military spouses and veterans in a wide-ranging survey conducted by Blue Star Families. Military spouses and active-duty members also cited spouse employment as one of their top five lifestyle concerns, reported Government Executive. Military spouses frequently experience challenges finding jobs, primarily due to a lack of child care, frequent moves or employer bias. “Within open-ended responses, many spouses described encounters with potential employers who reportedly held preconceived notions that military spouse job seekers lacked adequate education, skills or experience, or who were concerned that frequent moves would ultimately mean short periods of employment …

Air Force to Transfer Last Parcels at Chanute AFB to Community

  • September 23, 2014
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The Air Force has approved transferring 394 acres at the former Chanute AFB, Ill., to the village of Rantoul via an economic development conveyance in a move that will complete the property’s transfer and allow the community to advance its development plans. The village can now approach developers interested in the site “so we can [realize] the economic growth in Rantoul that’s been on hold for such a long time,” Mayor Chuck Smith told the News-Gazette. Smith said there are three firms looking at properties at Chanute, which was shuttered in September 1993 after being recommended for closure in the 1988 BRAC round …

Challenges Hinder Success of Joint Basing Implementation, GAO Finds

  • September 22, 2014
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DOD’s 12 joint bases have been fully operational since 2010, yet joint base officials reported variations in the degree to which they have consolidated 42 common installation support functions, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. None of the joint bases reported they had consolidated all support functions. Still, the 12 locations in aggregate had partially consolidated about 80 percent of the functional areas joint base commanders are responsible for, with the level of consolidation varying from 52 percent of the functions at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., to 90 percent or more at three joint bases, the agency found …

Comments to Downsizing Analysis Surge Past 100,000, Army Says

  • September 22, 2014
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Defense communities have submitted more than 108,000 comments to Army Environmental Command in response to the service’s assessment of the environmental and economic impacts expected from shrinking its active-duty end strength by 70,000 troops by 2020. By the time officials finish counting all of the comments sent in response to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA), the total likely will surpass 110,000 comments, spokeswoman Cathy Kropp told Defense Communities 360. Of the 108,411 comments the command has processed, 105,119 were either form letters or petition signatures …

Mapping Tool Helps Navy Monitor Facility Energy Use

  • September 21, 2014
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An interactive mapping tool that allows personnel to visualize the energy consumption at facilities is helping Navy officials improve energy efficiency at their installations. The Navy shore geospatial energy module (NSGEM) provides building-level transparency of energy use data throughout every Navy installation, reports the public affairs office for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). The tool will lead to changes in behavior as it allows personnel to identify areas for improvement while monitoring their progress toward reduction goals, said Sandrine Schultz, creator of NSGEM and the energy program manager for CNIC. “While the primary function of the NSGEM is heightened energy awareness and easier accessibility of energy consumption information, the end goal is to increase data credibility while identifying potential savings on energy consumption,” Schultz said. “Geospatial capabilities are changing the way that we all do business,” she said.

Tech Entrepreneurs Tackle Veteran Unemployment

  • September 21, 2014
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A group of tech entrepreneurs and companies are mashing together data on the skills of veterans trying to enter the civilian job market with the job requirements of employers in an attempt to use big data to narrow the veteran unemployment gap. The group also has pulled government data on veteran unemployment claims to map the misalignment between veterans and the job market geographically. So far, Veterans Talent is primarily a proof-of-concept of what can be developed when private companies and government agencies collaborate …

City Selects Finalists to Develop Two Parcels at Alameda Point

  • September 21, 2014
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The city of Alameda last week picked Catellus Development Corp. and Mission Bay Development Group as finalists for redeveloping an 82-acre parcel at Alameda Point, the former Naval Station Alameda, with retail and commercial projects. The announcement follows the city’s Sept. 2 selection of Brookfield Residential and Alameda Point Partners as finalists to develop an adjacent 68-acre parcel at Alameda Point. The city council is expected to choose a single developer for each parcel by the end of the year …

Joint Basing Savings Remain Unclear, GAO Finds

  • September 21, 2014
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DOD’s joint basing initiative — a recommendation proposed by the department to the 2005 BRAC Commission to consolidate installation support functions at 26 locations sharing a boundary or located in close proximity to form 12 joint bases — was intended to generate cost savings through economies of scale, and by optimizing service contracts and paring unnecessary management personnel. To date, though, DOD has not demonstrated that the initiative has fulfilled its goals of reducing duplication of efforts and producing efficiencies, concludes a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Officials at the 12 joint bases, through responses to survey questions and during interviews, did not report “significant achievements in reaching these goals,” the congressional watchdog agency found …

Budget Caps, Global Demands Jeopardize Army Response

  • September 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2016 budget Pentagon officials currently are working on could represent a “breaking point” if Congress fails to extend relief to the budget caps at the same time global threats continue to surface, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters Friday. The active Army, which now stands at 510,000 soldiers, is slated to drop to 490,000 by the end of FY 2015, 470,000 by FY 2016 and 420,000 by FY 2019. Earlier this year, Odierno testified that a reduction to 450,000 would pose a significant security risk, while an end strength of 420,000 would prevent the Army from carrying out its current strategy …

New Bridge under Way to Improve Security at W.Va. Guard Base

  • September 18, 2014
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Workers have begun constructing a new bridge and road to Charleston Air National Guard Base, W.Va., that local official believe will help secure the future of the Air National Guard’s 130th Airlift Wing. The bridge over the Elk River will provide a new access route to the base, allowing closure of the current public road serving the facility. The existing route passes right by the Guard base and poses a security risk, a factor local officials believe could jeopardize the installation in a future BRAC round. Former Sen. Robert Byrd (D) had secured federal funding for the bridge, but the money was redirected after Byrd died. Following lengthy discussions between the state government and the National Guard, officials decided to split the project’s cost between state taxpayers, the National Guard, Yeager Airport and the Kanawha County Commission, reported the West Virginia Gazette. Construction of the bridge is expected to be finished in the fall of 2015.

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