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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Pentagon, Developer Strike Deal to Mitigate Impacts of Wind Farm

  • January 15, 2014
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Construction of a wind farm in eastern North Carolina will be able to go ahead after DOD and the developer reached an agreement to mitigate impacts to military flight training conducted from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, officials announced this week. Under the agreement, wind turbines will be placed no closer than four nautical miles from the centerline of a major training route in eastern North Carolina used by Seymour Johnson F-15Es and Navy and Marine Corps aircraft for low-level flight training and access to the Dare County Bombing Range …

McKeon Retirement to Attract Multiple Challengers for Armed Services Post

  • January 15, 2014
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Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), who has chaired the House Armed Services Committee since 2011, is expected to announce today he will retire from Congress at the end of the year, setting up a fight for the powerful post. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the panel’s vice chairman, is considered the frontrunner and reportedly is McKeon’s choice to replace him, but at least two other senior committee members are expected to challenge Thornberry for the position …

Appropriators Urge DOD to Eliminate Spending on Excess Property

  • January 15, 2014
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The House and Senate Appropriations Committees highlighted the importance of eliminating “wasteful spending” on unused properties rated at “zero percent utilization,” according to the joint explanatory statement accompanying the military construction portion of the fiscal 2014 omnibus. “The DOD is urged to manage its facilities and properties in a responsible manner that does not waste taxpayer resources,” the appropriators added. Appropriators also emphasized their support for projects that promote conservation, green building initiatives, renewable energy and energy security …

Omnibus Advances to Senate

  • January 15, 2014
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By a 359-67 margin, the House on Wednesday easily approved an omnibus spending measure needed to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The next stop for the $1.1 trillion measure, which includes all 12 of the annual appropriations bills, is the Senate, where it could be considered as soon as Friday. The omnibus is expected to pass that chamber without any difficulty as well …

OPM Proposes Relaxing Restriction for Military Spouses to Gain Federal Tenure

  • January 15, 2014
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Breaks in federal service would not disqualify employees, including military spouses, from attaining career tenure in the government, under a recent proposal from the Office of Personnel Management. The proposed rule, published last week, would eliminate the existing requirement that federal employees work three years in “substantially continuous” service to qualify for tenure, which provides job security along with other benefits …

Demolition under Way at Utah Chemical Depot

  • January 15, 2014
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Crews last week began destroying incinerators at Deseret Chemical Depot in northwestern Utah, an effort expected to take nine months. “Ultimately, we’ll knock down everything associated with destroying the chemical weapons,” Army spokeswoman Amy Blauser told the Salt Lake Tribune. Workers formally completed the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile in January 2012. Army officials formally closed Deseret Chemical Depot last July in a ceremony that also transferred the facility’s 19,000-plus acres to nearby Tooele Army Depot. Deseret was the last of three chemical depots included in the 2005 round of base closures to complete its weapons disposal mission. The others were Newport Chemical Depot, Ind., and Umatilla Chemical Depot, Ore.

Installation-Community Partnership Addresses Traffic Woes at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

  • January 15, 2014
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Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) and its host communities have joined together to relieve traffic congestion along the Interstate 5 corridor, the principal artery between Tacoma and Olympia, Wash., that runs through the installation. The nine-mile stretch of I-5 that runs through JBLM narrows from four to three lanes as it enters and leaves the base, creating gridlock as military personnel and civilian workers come and go each day. JBLM officials joined with local planning organizations, members of the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership, and consultants from SCJ Alliance to tackle the region’s traffic problems, according to a presentation Tuesday at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington …

House Likely to Approve Omnibus Spending Bill

  • January 15, 2014
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The House today most likely will approve the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the government until Oct. 1, despite deep-seated opposition from conservatives. Republican lawmakers say they do not expect a large fight ahead of Wednesday’s vote, since the House already signed off on last month’s budget deal, and the omnibus merely fleshes out the details as to how federal agencies will meet the new fiscal 2014 discretionary spending caps included in the budget agreement …

Omnibus Funding for BRAC Cleanup Matches DOD’s Budget Request

  • January 15, 2014
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Cleanup at previously closed bases would receive $451.4 million under the omnibus spending package unveiled Monday, matching the Pentagon’s fiscal 2014 budget request. Both the House and Senate appropriations committees also recommended $451.4 million for BRAC cleanup in their earlier spending bills. This is the first year the two accounts funding cleanup at BRAC installations have been merged …

Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Offers Plan to Protect State’s Military Bases

  • January 14, 2014
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A Republican candidate for Texas governor is calling for a three-step plan to help the state prepare for the next round of base closures. “In 2012 the total annual economic output of Texas’ 15 military installations was almost $150 billion. Most of Texas’ military installations are located in rural or low-population areas. The economic impact the military has on these communities is extraordinary,” said Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general. The three actions Abbott outlined include: establishing the Texas Military Preparedness Commission within the governor’s office …

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