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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

House Bill Would Ease Veterans’ Transition

  • May 28, 2014
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The House on Wednesday passed legislation aimed at increasing the number of service members who find jobs after leaving the military. H.R. 2942 would reauthorize the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Professional Certification and Licensure Advisory Committee, which managed licensing and certification for job training programs for veterans separating from the armed forces, reported the Hill. It is designed to help veterans who have the appropriate military training and experience for civilian occupations but lack required licenses or certification for those jobs …

Planning Group Tackles Regional Growth Concerns outside Aberdeen Proving Ground

  • May 28, 2014
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Since 2005, the Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor (CSSC) has helped coordinate a variety of planning needs stemming from the growth experienced at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., following the 2005 round of base closures, including transportation, workforce and infrastructure. The regional growth management organization for eight jurisdictions in three states outside Aberdeen Proving Ground has spearheaded multiple initiatives aimed at sustaining the post’s R&D missions and boosting economic development outside its boundaries, relying on partnerships and a commitment to the soldiers and civilian personnel working for the 90-plus tenant organizations located there …

Budget Reality Makes BRAC Urgent, Former DOD Official Says

  • May 28, 2014
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With the Pentagon’s authority to pare down its excess infrastructure limited, perhaps officials could jump start the process by following the formula used in the 1980s when the department was similarly stymied from closing bases, according to an op-ed published in Defense News. To break the logjam, Lawrence Korb, the senior DOD official in charge of installations, and then-Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, agreed in 1985 that DOD would submit a list of bases it wanted to close to the committee …

Amendment to Policy Bill Would Bar DOD from Assessing Climate Change

  • May 28, 2014
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The Pentagon would be prohibited from assessing climate change, under an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that House lawmakers approved last week. The language, sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), passed on a near party-line vote. “This amendment will prohibit the costs of the president’s climate change policies being forced on the Department of Defense by the Obama administration,” McKinley wrote House colleagues …

Republican Gains in Midterm Election May Not Translate into Spending Gains for DOD

  • May 28, 2014
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It’s not clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate, considered a solid prospect in the midterm election, would result in a spending boost for the Pentagon or other policy changes beneficial to the defense industry. With a Democratic president still in the White House for two more years and the House still controlled by the Republicans, gridlock likely would continue on Capitol Hill no matter who controls the Senate, reported Politico …

Wyoming Tops List of Best States for Military Retirees, Survey Says

  • May 28, 2014
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Citing its high scores in measures of economic health, quality of life and health care, a new survey ranks Wyoming as the top state for veterans to retire. Wyoming ranks first in the number of VA health facilities per 10,000 veterans and also ranks fourth highest in the number of veterans per 100 residents, reported Government Executive. Delaware ranked highest for quality of life for military retirees, New Hampshire has the best health care system for retirees and Mississippi has the best economic environment, according to the story. The survey, by WalletHub, a personal finance network, looked at a variety of factors, including housing prices, job opportunities and the number of veteran-owned businesses.

Thornberry Keeps Government’s Focus on National Security

  • May 27, 2014
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Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry has established himself as a leader in national security, and after serving as the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee since 2011, he has earned a reputation as an innovator and strategic thinker in defense policy. As part of his leadership role on the Armed Services Committee, he is leading a long-term effort to reform the Department of Defense, including a review of the way the Pentagon buys goods and services. The study’s goal is to streamline the department’s acquisition process, field better weapons and save taxpayers’ money …

Summit Session to Scrutinize Communities’ Approaches to BRAC Preparation

  • May 27, 2014
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With a future BRAC round looming on the horizon, next week’s Defense Communities National Summit in Washington will take a close look at the strategies that communities and states have employed to prepare for base closure rounds in the past. The session will focus on best practices, as well as the mistakes that should be avoided. Speakers and specific topics that will be covered include: Anne Marie Dowd, Executive Vice President, Legislative and Defense Sector, MassDevelopment — lessons learned from BRAC 2005 and Massachusetts’ $177 million bond bill …

Willow Grove LRA Selects Five Firms for Master Developer Competition

  • May 27, 2014
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The LRA for the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove last week selected five firms to vie to become the master developer of the 862-acre site located north of Philadelphia. A total of 11 firms responded to the Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority’s request for qualifications. The five finalists, which will have until Aug. 4 to respond to a request for proposals, are: Catellus Development Corp., Oakland, Calif.; Hankin Group, Exton, Pa.; a team composed of K. Hovnanian, Edison, N.J., Basser-Kaufman, Woodmere, N.Y., Oxford Properties Group of Canada and Korman Communities, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; Lennar Corp., Miami; and Toll Brothers, Horsham, Pa. …

Pentagon, BLM Reach Compromise Allowing Transmission Line to Go Ahead

  • May 27, 2014
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The developer of a 515-mile, high-voltage transmission line will need to bury five miles of the line to eliminate conflicts with training and weapons testing on the northern extension of White Sands Missile Range, N.M., under a compromise DOD worked out with the Bureau of Land Management. The compromise seemingly settles the dispute between the developer of the SunZia project and supporters of White Sands — along with DOD — over the line’s potential to impact testing and evaluation activities at the missile range …

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