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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Army Brass Learns about Critical Role Fort Jackson Fulfills

  • March 1, 2015
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A crowd of almost 2,000 showed up Thursday in Columbia, S.C., to let the Army know how vital Fort Jackson is to the local economy and to highlight the ways the region has supported the service’s largest training post. The listening session was held to help the Army learn about community support for Fort Jackson, which could lose up to 2,363 soldiers and 708 civilian workers in a second round of restructuring intended to shrink active-duty forces from 490,000 to 420,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020 …

SouthField Developer Woos Lawmakers to Fund Parkway Extension

  • March 1, 2015
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Eight Massachusetts state senators toured the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth last week as part of an effort by master developer Starwood Land Ventures to attract state money for a new route to access its SouthField reuse project. The road would complete the 2.75-mile William Delahunt Parkway. That road’s first phase opened in August 2013 at a cost of $42.5 million, providing access to SouthField from Rockland, which lies east of the former air station. The second phase would extend the parkway to the western side of the project. Providing more direct access to SouthField is the key to jump starting commercial development, Starwood Vice President Matthew Barry told the lawmakers Feb. 25 …

Utah Lawmakers Endorse Test Range Expansion

  • March 1, 2015
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A resolution endorsing an Air Force plan to expand the Utah Test and Training Range is progressing in the Utah Senate. The Senate’s Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee last week approved the resolution endorsing the extension of the range’s boundaries covering about 700,000 acres in parts of three counties in northwest Utah. The land would be acquired by the Air Force and DOD, reported the Standard. The expansion is needed to create a buffer to protect the range from encroachment from surrounding communities and to improve the military’s capability to test the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II …

Cape Cod Commission Releases RFI for Military-Community Communications Plan

  • March 1, 2015
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In support of the Upper Cape communities in Massachusetts and Joint Base Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Commission is seeking information on how an interested contractor could develop and/or modify tools and procedures to standardize and improve communication and coordination between the military installation and surrounding jurisdictions across a wide range of subjects and where appropriate to propose different, more proactive and modern tools and mechanisms to achieve effective military-civilian communication and coordination. The purpose of this request for information is to obtain responses from experienced vendors in this field with guidance or insight on the most effective tools and mechanisms to include in a potential Upper Cape regional communication and coordination platform that would also have the benefit of improving community-JBCC coordination …

Defense Appropriations Panel Sticking to Budget Cap, Chairman Tells Navy Officials

  • February 26, 2015
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House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen pressed Navy Secretary Ray Mabus at a hearing Thursday to reveal what priorities would be cut from the service’s fiscal 2016 budget request if it is forced to adhere to the Budget Control Act spending cap. “We’d like, actually, a list of what you would have to do under [a] sequestration scenario,” Frelinghuysen told Mabus during his panel’s first budget hearing of the year. Mabus maintained that the administration’s proposal was the “minimum budget” for the Navy and Marine Corps to meet the defense strategy, but Frelinghuysen insisted the subcommittee needs to prepare for the likelihood that Congress does not strike a deal lifting the defense spending cap …

McCain Hones Strategy to Defeat Budget Caps

  • February 26, 2015
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Wednesday vowed to spearhead an effort to provide the Defense Department relief from the statutory spending caps. “I will not vote for a budget in the United States Senate that has sequestration in it. I can’t do that to the men and women who are serving,” McCain said at a New America Foundation conference, reported the Hill. “Next week, [Defense Secretary] Ash Carter is going to come over with a budget and then we’re going to have one hell of a fight over sequestration …

Anxiety over Cost-Cutting Reforms Prevalent, Enlisted Leaders Testify

  • February 26, 2015
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Questions about possible changes to compensation, benefits and support services are hurting the morale of service members and their families, the military services’ top enlisted leaders told lawmakers on Wednesday. Soldiers “see the future. They see it on the news every day, and they see uncertainty and it bothers them,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey told the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. “What I really need is them focused on the mission and saving their fellow soldiers’ lives,” Dailey said. The hearing comes as stringent budget caps are forcing DOD to consider cost-cutting reforms to benefits, including housing allowances and commissary discounts, as well as programs supporting military families …

Budget Hearing to Focus on DOD’s Declining Investment in Facilities

  • February 26, 2015
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee next week will hold a hearing to assess the long-term impact of the steep cuts in spending on facilities spurred by the Budget Control Act. “The budget reductions, compounded by the deep cut of sequestration, have placed a significant strain on installation investment accounts and forced the acceptance of increased risk within aging infrastructure,” according to a statement from the committee …

Virginia Lawmakers to Consider Funding Encroachment Efforts at Hampton Roads Bases

  • February 26, 2015
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Virginia lawmakers are considering adding $2.4 million to the state budget to protect the Navy’s Fentress Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake and Langley Air Force Base in Hampton from urban encroachment. Fentress would receive $2.1 million and Langley $250,000 under the budget amendments. Chesapeake and Langley have committed to matching the funds, reported the Virginian-Pilot. Chesapeake approved its program last year but has not yet started buying properties, said Deputy City Attorney Andrew Fox. The city plans to spend $2.5 million in municipal funds on the initiative. Officials now are evaluating about 6,000 acres and likely will target property that could be used for high-density development …

Army Bracing for Further Cuts under Budget Caps, McHugh Says

  • February 26, 2015
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If the statutory spending caps are fully imposed in fiscal 2016, all Army personnel and activities will be affected, Army Secretary John McHugh told reporters Wednesday. “There will virtually be no corner of the Army that will be untouched,” he said. “Obviously, the primary concern that we discuss in these very uncertain times are the readiness ratings for soldiers and whatever tomorrow’s missions might be.” McHugh ranked the budget as one of his top three priorities, along with any activity involving deployed forces, and combating sexual assault and sexual harassment …

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