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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

House Panels to Mark up Authorization Bill in Two Weeks

  • April 5, 2015
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Six subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee will mark up their portions of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill from April 22-23, with the full committee markup scheduled for April 29. The Readiness Subcommittee, which is responsible for installation policy including BRAC, will mark up its portion of the annual policy bill on April 22 at 4 p.m. All of the markups will be streamed live on the committee’s YouTube Channel, according to the committee’s announcement. The committee will post draft bills for each subcommittee and the full committee on its website prior to the markups. Last month, Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said the legislation is scheduled to go to the House floor in mid-May.

Navy League Spearheads Campaign to Shore up Military Funding

  • April 1, 2015
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The Navy League is launching a grassroots campaign to generate public support for bolstering the budget of the Navy and the Marine Corps. The initiative comes as the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps are slated to be fully imposed for the first time since the legislation was enacted and the military is grappling with a variety of global threats even as it no longer is engaged in combat operations in Iraq and is in the midst of drawing down from Afghanistan. “Since 2001, the pace of Navy and Marine Corps operations has not slowed down,” said Sheila McNeill, who is chairing the national campaign and is a former Navy League president …

Medical Training Mission at JB San Antonio Should Shield Post from Worst Cuts

  • April 1, 2015
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At the last of 30 listening sessions held in defense communities across the nation, Army officials acknowledged that cuts of up to 70,000 soldiers from the service’s active-duty end strength now under consideration would greatly diminish its capabilities. “As we’re getting ready to make cuts, we’re going to have to cut straight into muscle and bone,” Col. Tom O’Donoghue told a crowd of 1,200 people who turned up Tuesday to support Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Over the next several months, the Army will determine how to apportion personnel cuts as its force shrinks from 490,000 to 450,000 and, possibly, to 420,000 …

N.C. Delegation Requests Language to Grant Reprieve to Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing

  • April 1, 2015
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In the latest move to save Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing, five members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are trying to add language to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill to block the Air Force from dismantling or relocating the Reserve unit based at Pope Field. Last week, the lawmakers wrote the leaders of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to include a provision stating that no funds can be “used to inactivate, relocate or otherwise disrupt the mission, personnel or aircraft” of the unit, which flies C-130H cargo airplanes. The delegation argues that disbanding the wing would hurt the training of Army airborne and special operations forces, and cost more money by forcing the Army to rely on out-of-state units to carry out routine missions and training exercises …

Parkway Extension Requires Public Investment, SouthField Developer Says

  • April 1, 2015
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The master developer for the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth is pressing the commonwealth of Massachusetts to spend between $20 million and $40 million to extend an access road through the reuse project. A deal to fund the road would position the long-troubled redevelopment, called SouthField, to attract commercial development as the region’s real estate market heats up. Extending the road to Route 18 would create a more welcoming entrance and ease access to the property, say officials with Starwood Land Ventures. The developer, though, has indicated it would pull out of the reuse in the absence of state funding, reported the Boston Globe …

Grissom Prepared for Takeoff

  • April 1, 2015
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The newly formed Grissom Regional Defense Alliance has declared that the active and redevelopment missions at the north-central Indiana site are ready to grow. Grissom Air Reserve Base is prepared to take on more military personnel, while Grissom Aeroplex, the business park adjacent to the base, is poised to attract major defense and aerospace companies. The alliance was formed last month as a subcommittee of the Miami County Economic Development Authority. The alliance has started a campaign to increase activity at the base and the business park that could transform the area into a bigger economic powerhouse …

Services Cite Installation Support as Priority in ‘Wish Lists’

  • March 31, 2015
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The Pentagon’s list of priorities that failed to make the fiscal 2016 budget request is heavy on weapons modernization and readiness needs, but it also includes installations support and quality-of-life programs. In his letter to the congressional defense committees accompanying the department’s “wish list,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter warned lawmakers that these items — costing more than $20 billion — should not be funded unless Congress matches the amount requested in in the president’s regular budget proposal. “Any extra program inserted into our budget submission will come at the expense of other programs we deemed more important, with ripple effects across the rest of the budget …

Higher Prices Won’t Offset Cuts in Commissary Subsidies, RAND Concludes

  • March 31, 2015
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The administration’s plan to offset cuts in subsidies to military grocery stores through higher prices likely won’t be successful, according to a new RAND study. Raising prices at commissaries can be expected to result in a drop in unit sales and total revenue as shoppers are likely to be relatively responsive to changes in price. As a result, the authors conclude that “raising overall price levels will likely not be a successful strategy to cover shortfalls in costs caused by the elimination of the annual U.S. Department of Defense appropriation.” And while military families who shop at commissaries would see their grocery bills increase, their extra expenses likely would be offset somewhat as they shopped elsewhere for some groceries and other items …

Personnel, Spending Cuts Hurt Army Communities, Halverson Says

  • March 31, 2015
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Budget uncertainties resulting from stringent spending caps are hurting defense communities, Lt. Gen. David Halverson, the Army’s assistant chief of staff for installation management and commander of the Army’s Installation Management Command, testified on Capitol Hill last month. “Current funding requires installations to scale back or cancel service contracts that employ people in local communities and requiring installations to work with commanders to use special duty assignments to support installation services and programs,” Halverson told the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee …

Carter Outlines DOD’s Latest Updates to Transition Programs

  • March 31, 2015
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Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday rolled out the Pentagon’s newest revision to its effort to prepare service members for life after the military. The military life cycle model, a new component of the DOD Transition Assistance Program, will help service members start preparing for transition early in their military careers. Personnel will have key “touch points” throughout their military careers that will allow them to align their military experience with their civilian goals, reported DOD News. The program will be implemented forcewide shortly …

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