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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Pentagon Needs to Bolster Climate Change Planning Efforts, GAO Finds

  • July 1, 2014
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In the past several years, the Defense Department has identified the impacts of climate change, such as rising temperatures and sea levels, as potential threats to its infrastructure, prompting the department to begin assessing installations’ vulnerability to climate change and to incorporate the phenomenon into installation planning efforts. Due to a number of limitations in its planning efforts, though, DOD needs to better prepare for the impacts of climate change, according to a new study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) …

City, State to Protect Landing Field Used by NAS Oceana from Encroachment

  • June 29, 2014
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The Chesapeake (Va.) City Council last week approved a program to use city funds to protect Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, used by pilots based at nearby Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach to practice carrier landings, from encroachment. The initiative calls for Chesapeake to spend $1 million, an amount that would be matched by the commonwealth of Virginia, to either purchase land or the development rights around Fentress. The city already has spent about $4.3 million since 2008 purchasing hundreds of acres along the flight path from Fentress to Oceana …

N.C. House Passes Bill to Keep BRAC Deliberations Secret

  • June 29, 2014
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The North Carolina House last week approved legislation allowing state officials, including the state Military Affairs Commission, to withhold information from the public about deliberations conducted to protect the state’s military installations during a BRAC round. Meetings to discuss such matters could be closed under the bill, which received no advance notice before emerging in committee June 25, reported the Fayetteville Observer. It passed unanimously on the House floor that afternoon. It now heads to the state Senate for a vote …

Senate Appropriations to Mark up Defense Bill Shortly

  • June 29, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill on July 17, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said last week. Mikulski said she delayed scheduling the markup until Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the defense panel’s ranking member, could return to Capitol Hill following his primary runoff, reported CQ. Cochran, who is line to replace Mikulski as committee chair if the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the midterm elections, defeated a tea party challenger last Tuesday in a very heated race. Postponing the markup also provides the committee time to consider the Pentagon’s request for the overseas contingency operations account, which it released Thursday.

Southeastern Arizona Officials Attempt to Head Off Prospective Cuts at Ft. Huachuca

  • June 29, 2014
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Prompted by earlier indications that the Army was contemplating eliminating almost 50 percent of the personnel at Fort Huachuca as part of a looming round of force reductions that could shrink the service to an active-duty end strength of 420,000, officials representing Sierra Vista, Ariz., and the surrounding region have been scrambling to stave off the cuts. “We’re trying to get ahead of whatever curve you can get ahead of with something like this, and we are working to try and diversify our economy,” said Mignonne Hollis, executive director of the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation …

Army Expands Scope of Basing Analysis beyond Operational Forces

  • June 29, 2014
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The Army assessment released last week of the impacts associated with trimming its active-duty end strength to 420,000 evaluates nine installations without significant operational forces that were not included in the analysis it completed last year before determining how it would shrink the service to 490,000 personnel. The 2013 analysis primarily focused on deactivating brigade combat teams at 21 candidate posts, but with the need to consider eliminating an additional 70,000 troops, officials expanded the latest assessment to its “generating force,” according to the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) released Thursday by Army Environmental Command …

Moody AFB Most Likely to Host Afghan Training Mission, Officials Say

  • June 26, 2014
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The Air Force has selected Moody AFB, Ga., as its preferred stateside location to host a mission to train the Afghan Air Force to fly and maintain a fleet of A-29 aircraft. Officials tapped Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, and Shaw AFB, S.C., as reasonable alternatives for the mission proposed to last from 2014 through 2018. The Air Force would purchase 20 A-29s — on behalf of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, using DOD’s Afghanistan Security Forces Fund appropriation — to train the Afghan Air Force …

Air Force Installations Nominee Advances Past Committee

  • June 26, 2014
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The nomination of Miranda Ballentine to be the next assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and energy has advanced to the full Senate after the Armed Services Committee this week voted to “favorably report out” her nomination. President Obama nominated Ballentine, a top sustainability and renewable energy official for Wal-Mart Stores, for the post in January. She testified before the committee last week. To watch a webcast or read her answers to written questions, visit the committee website …

Worst-Case Scenario Would Be Devastating for Colorado Springs

  • June 26, 2014
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Fort Carson, Colo., would lose up to two-thirds of its population of 24,000 soldiers by 2020 under a worst-case scenario evaluated as part of a required assessment of the impacts of eliminating 70,000 active-duty soldiers from the Army. A cut of that magnitude would result in $1 billion in lost wages, a loss of 21,000 jobs and a big blow to the housing market in the region …

Power Plant Regulations at Heart of Senate Road Block on Spending Bills

  • June 26, 2014
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An effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to block a recent Environmental Protection Agency proposal regulating carbon emissions from existing power plants appears to be at the center of last week’s decision by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to suspend debate on a package of three fiscal 2015 spending bills. And while the two Senate leaders and appropriators are trying to restart the appropriations process, failure to break the impasse could mean that all of the momentum in both chambers to move spending bills according to regular order this year could be lost …

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