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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Mikulski Supports Army Force Structure Commission

  • April 24, 2014
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Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, this week said she supports a plan to establish an independent commission to study the appropriate balance between the Army’s active and reserve components. Support for the proposal already is growing as a bill introduced in the House to create a blue-ribbon panel has 167 bipartisan cosponsors, reported CQ. Mikulski made the announcement on Wednesday after visiting Maryland’s adjutant general and leaders of the state’s National Guard …

Many Officers Will Be Forced Out, Army Concedes

  • April 24, 2014
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The Army on Wednesday acknowledged that a majority of the 3,000 officers whose positions need to be eliminated by the end of fiscal 2015 will be forced out, clarifying an earlier assertion denying the officers would be subject to involuntary separation. Officials will need to let go at least 2,000 officers as part of an effort to shrink the service’s end strength from 522,000 soldiers to 490,000 by October 2015, reported Government Executive in a correction to a recent story …

Army Estimates Installations’ Excess Capacity at 18 Percent

  • April 24, 2014
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Preliminary results of a facility capacity analysis by Army officials indicate the service’s excess capacity ranges between 12 and 28 percent in the United States, depending on facility category, with an overall average of 18 percent. Excess capacity totals over 167 million square feet of facilities across all installations, potentially costing the Army over $500 million a year in unnecessary operations and maintenance, based on a cost of $3 per square foot to maintain underutilized facilities …

Elimination of Commissary Subsidy Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences

  • April 24, 2014
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The Obama administration’s plan to slash the annual subsidy for military grocery stores could jeopardize the viability of military exchanges as well as quality-of-life programs, according to a former director of the Defense Commissary Agency. “The role of the dice is not just on whether the commissaries will survive, it’s whether the entire system can survive,” Richard Beale Jr., who led the Defense Commissary Agency from 1992 to 1999 …

DOD Spouse Employment Initiative Surpasses Hiring Goal

  • April 23, 2014
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A Pentagon program has connected more than 60,000 military spouses with jobs, exceeding the White House’s goal for the initiative and overcoming many of the challenges to hiring military spouses. “Eighty-five percent of military spouses actually have some college, 25 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 10 percent have an advanced degree,” said Meg O’Grady, a senior program analyst in DOD’s office of family policy and children and youth …

Installation Chiefs to Brief Lawmakers on Public-Private Partnerships

  • April 23, 2014
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The military services’ installation chiefs will talk about the various ways DOD leverages the private sector to support its infrastructure needs during a panel discussion next week hosted by the Congressional Caucus on Public-Private Partnerships (P3). The panel will include: Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics; Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment; and Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment …

Kansas, Oklahoma Bases Receive Final OK for Refueling Tankers

  • April 23, 2014
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The Air Force on Wednesday formally affirmed the selection of Altus Air Force Base, Okla., as the KC-46A’s formal training unit, and McConnell AFB, Kan., as the first active duty-led main operating base. The announcement follows the recent completion of the environmental analysis required for the basing decisions. Officials selected Altus and McConnell as preferred alternatives last May …

Focusing on Younger Generation’s Needs Will Bolster Huntsville’s Prospects to Gain Missions

  • April 23, 2014
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Attracting new missions to Redstone Arsenal doesn’t require Congress to authorize a new round of base closures, but it does require the Huntsville, Ala., metro area to “attract those that have a choice” where they want to live and work, Col. Bill Marks, the garrison commander, told the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County this week. He noted that the arsenal picked up a new activity through re-stationing a few years ago when Army Contacting Command moved from northern Virginia to be closer to its parent command …

McKeon Outlines Priorities for Policy Bill

  • April 23, 2014
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Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, cited readiness, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and nuclear deterrence as his chief priorities as the panel gets ready to unveil the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. In addition to readiness — which has deteriorated due to spending caps imposed in each of the past two years — McKeon said he was concerned about the Navy’s proposal to retire an aircraft carrier and the Air Force’s decision to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft …

White House to Mark Third Anniversary of ‘Joining Forces’

  • April 23, 2014
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First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are asking Americans to ask questions about “Joining Forces” via social media, as part of the events celebrating the initiative’s third anniversary today. On Wednesday, Obama and Biden will speak to service members, families and employers at the Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum at Fort Campbell, Ky., and will answer some questions about the initiative they launched to mobilize all sectors of American society to support service members and their families …

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