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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

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 …

18.6MW Solar Project Advances at Ft. Detrick

  • March 31, 2015
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Defense Logistics Agency Energy, in coordination with the Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives, last month awarded a contract to Framingham, Mass.-based Ameresco to build an 18.6-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility at Fort Detrick. Under the 25-year power purchase agreement that was reached, the post will purchase all power generated by the solar plant at a cost equal to or less than current and projected electricity costs. The solar PV system will be designed as “microgrid ready,” allowing it to be connected to a future microgrid. Ameresco will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the production facilities at the installation located in Frederick, Md. The firm also will fund construction of a 4-kilovolt distribution line of about one mile in length. The project is scheduled to be operational by March 2016, according to the Office of Energy Initiatives. Fort Detrick is one of the Army’s pilot Net Zero installations; it’s aiming to become net zero for energy by 2020.

White House Endorses Recommendations to Overhaul Military Compensation

  • March 30, 2015
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President Obama said Monday he will support the broad package of reforms to military pay and benefits proposed earlier this year by a congressionally chartered panel. “I believe the recommendations are an important step forward in protecting the long-term viability of the all-volunteer force, improving quality-of-life for service members and their families, and ensuring the fiscal sustainability of the military compensation and retirement systems,” Obama wrote in a letter to Congress. The president said the administration will send Congress by April 30 a set of legislative proposals based on the recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission …

As Army End Strength Falls, So Does Its Civilian Workforce, Senior Leaders Say

  • March 30, 2015
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The Army is attempting to trim its civilian workforce commensurate with its drawdown of service members, but the effort remains a work in progress, the service’s top two leaders told lawmakers last week. “There’s lots of pressure on the services to reduce civilian end strength and we do believe the Fourth Estate — what we call the rest of the Department of Defense outside of the services — absolutely needs to be looked at in terms of growth,” Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said March 26 at a House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. DOD defines the Fourth Estate as defense agencies, field activities and some other entities not falling under one of the services or under a combatant command …

Community Needed to Step up to Address Infrastructure Priorities at Beale AFB, Officials Say

  • March 30, 2015
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Public agencies could play a larger role in helping Beale Air Force Base upgrade its electrical power and wastewater treatment systems and improve the northern California installation’s busiest gate, according to a Yuba County supervisor. “Yuba County is looking to step in a little more intimately,” John Nicoletti told the Appeal-Democrat. “Whatever happens to the base outside the fence happens in the county first,” said Nicoletti, who also serves on the Beale Liaison Committee …

ADC Extends Deadline for 2015 Defense Community Awards Nominations

  • March 30, 2015
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Nominations for ADC’s 2015 Defense Community Awards now will be accepted until Friday, April 10. The awards honor a community, installation, public official or military leader demonstrating leadership, innovation and excellence. Awards will be presented at the third annual Defense Communities Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill during the Defense Communities National Summit, June 22-24. Awards will be made in the following categories: congressional leadership; military leadership; community or state leadership; base redevelopment project of the year; defense community or state of the year; and DOD installation of the year. Award criteria and other information are available on the ADC website. There is no entry fee.

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