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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Nation Wastes $6B Annually on Unneeded Bases, Analyst Says

  • May 18, 2014
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By repeatedly dismissing the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures, Congress is responsible for wasting $6 billion a year on unneeded installations, according to a commentary by Loren Thompson appearing in Forbes. To arrive at that figure, Thompson takes DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request for $40 billion for base operations, facility maintenance and military construction; pro-rates that figure to account for the 20 percent of military sites that are outside the United States and its territories; and applies the department’s estimate that about 20 percent of its infrastructure is excess …

Collins Lends Support to Active, BRAC Communities

  • May 18, 2014
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Since she was first elected in 1996, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) has been a champion of her state’s military installations and communities recovering from BRAC actions. Her longstanding support for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has resulted in the Navy spending tens of millions of dollars to upgrade its facilities. Funding to consolidate the shipyard’s structural shops was moved up to the Navy’s fiscal 2014 budget following a Navy report on improving the infrastructure needs of its four public shipyards …

Clean Energy Trumps Pax River Support as Governor Vetoes Bill Blocking Wind Farms

  • May 18, 2014
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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Friday vetoed a bill that would have blocked a proposed wind farm on the state’s Eastern Shore, ignoring the concerns of southern Maryland officials who believe the project could interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The measure would have delayed the construction of large turbines within 56 miles of Pax River — an area that would cover the distance from the air station on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore to the Great Bay project site across the bay. The decision by O’Malley, a strong proponent of clean energy development contemplating a run for the White House, was praised by environmentalists …

Solar Projects at Three Georgia Posts Push Army Closer to 1 Gigawatt Goal

  • May 18, 2014
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The Army announced its largest solar project to date last week when it unveiled plans to develop 30-megawatt, alternating current, solar photovoltaic arrays at three installations in Georgia — Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning. The three projects, referred to as “Georgia 3×30,” are a collaborative effort among the Army’s Energy Initiatives Task Force, the three installations, the General Services Administration (GSA) and Georgia Power. The venture is projected to bring the service 9 percent closer to its commitment to deploy one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025 …

Senate Committee’s Turn to Mark up Authorization Bill This Week

  • May 18, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee gets its turn to address the Pentagon’s plans for trimming force structure, eliminating weapons systems, cutting military pay and compensation, and holding a new BRAC round when it marks up its version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill this week. On Tuesday, the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee will mark up its portion of the annual defense policy measure, with the full committee taking up the legislation starting Wednesday. Many decisions committee members make this week will echo those the House made earlier this month …

Ft. Huachuca Solar Project to Be Followed by Larger Ventures, Army Official Says

  • May 15, 2014
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In an interview with Fox Business, Amanda Simpson, executive director of the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, talks about last month’s groundbreaking at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., on DOD’s largest solar array to date, along with the service’s plans to develop renewable energy sources across the country. The 18-megawatt solar installation being developed in southeastern Arizona will provide 25 percent of the installation’s power needs. The project is not designed to save the Army money on its future energy bills as it will continue to purchase power from the local utility at prevailing rates …

‘Home Base Iowa’ Legislation Intended to Attract Veterans

  • May 15, 2014
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Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on Memorial Day is expected to sign legislation designed to bring more veterans to Iowa, particularly newly discharged service members and their families. The bill’s provisions include a requirement for colleges and universities to report their policies on awarding academic credit for military experience; a requirement for occupational licensing boards to offer credit to veterans with appropriate military training and experience …

Planning, Innovation Pave Way for Riverbank to Turn Ammo Plant into ‘Green’ Business Park

  • May 15, 2014
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Suffering from one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates at the time the Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant closed in 2010, the city of Riverbank, Calif., could not afford any further economic setbacks as it began to carry out the redevelopment plan which called for retaining the site’s light industrial focus with a “green” twist. Four short years later, the mixed-use business park located in the heart of California’s Central Valley has quadrupled its number of tenants, and now is home to 36 companies employing 300 people with an additional 75 workers anticipated to be hired later this year. The Riverbank Industrial Complex generates a $31 million local economic impact, almost four times its annual economic contribution prior to closure …

Colorado Adds Military Promotion to Economic Development Mission

  • May 15, 2014
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Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed two bills Wednesday intended to better position the state’s military installations in a future base closure round. House Bill 1351 adds the mission of supporting and promoting the military, primarily through lobbying the federal government, to the role of the Colorado Office of Economic Development. About $120,000 was included in the state budget for a new staff position which could be used to carry out the new function …

Air Force to Impose Headquarters Cuts Quickly

  • May 15, 2014
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The Air Force intends to trim its headquarters staff at a much quicker pace than the five-year timeline Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for, with offices responsible for installation support services one of the targets for consolidation, according to Air Force officials. Hagel directed the services to reduce their headquarters staff by 20 percent within five years, but the Air Force is aiming to complete much of its cuts by the end of fiscal 2015 …

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