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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Colorado Springs Clearinghouse Connects Veterans to Services

  • May 13, 2014
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A clearinghouse of service providers supporting military personnel, veterans and their families in Colorado Springs, Colo., has begun a new partnership with Pikes Peak United Way to offer an information and referral line for residents seeking assistance. “It’s a ‘no wrong door’ approach,” said Kate Hatten, executive director of the Peak Military Care Network. One week after the referral line’s launch, the network has received about six calls for help per day, a number Hatten expects to climb …

Panel Interested in Feasibility of Privatized Housing Venture on Guam

  • May 13, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is directing DOD to conduct a feasibility study for relying on a public-private venture to provide military housing on Guam following the arrival of about 4,000 Marines from Okinawa beginning in the mid-2020s, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The report should address any factors that could inhibit establishment of such a venture, and assess the current backlog and projected backlogs in family housing under the department’s five-year spending plan …

Hill AFB Reaches out to Communities, Schools, State under Commander’s Leadership

  • May 13, 2014
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Since becoming the installation commander of Hill Air Force Base, Col. Kathryn Kolbe has strived to fully integrate the installation, its missions, and its men and women into the fabric of the surrounding community in northern Utah. Under Kolbe, Hill has been an early adopter of DOD’s section 331 authority allowing installations and communities to share base support services, and partnered with the state and local school districts to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Kolbe, who also commands the 75th Air Base Wing, has actively participated in the leadership of a host of local civic groups …

Massachusetts Officials Tout Efforts to Protect Guard Base

  • May 13, 2014
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Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., should reap long-term benefits from several state initiatives, including $9 million in funding for the base’s runway and an aviation program at a vocational high school, officials said Monday at a community forum hosted by the state Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force. The runway funding for Barnes, a joint use airport, was made possible by the landmark $177 million bond bill Gov. Deval Patrick (D) signed into law earlier this year …

Senate Committee Will Try to Preserve A-10 Fleet, Levin Says

  • May 13, 2014
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Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that he and other senior members of the panel will try to find an offset to pay for the cost of operating the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The committee, however, won’t follow the lead of its counterpart in the House, which last week voted to preserve the aircraft through fiscal 2015 by allocating $635 million from DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to cover the cost. “We’re going to try to save it …

GAO Reviews Feasibility Study behind Closing Power Plant at Clear AFS

  • May 12, 2014
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The Air Force’s decision to close the power plant at Clear Air Force Station, located in the interior of Alaska, primarily was based on a feasibility study of alternative power sources, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The agency was asked to review the study before the Air Force closes the plant. Officials considered leasing the plant to a private-sector entity or to a public utility, but none were interested. The Air Force then decided to close the plant after determining the estimated costs to shut it down were significantly lower than the cost of continuing to operate it …

100,000 Jobs Mission Reaches for Hire Goal

  • May 12, 2014
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Companies in the 100,000 Jobs Mission hired almost 141,000 U.S. military veterans through the first quarter of 2014, putting the coalition of 154 companies on a trajectory to surpass its new goal of hiring 200,000 veterans by 2020. At an event last week, Peter Chiarelli, former vice chief of staff of the Army, applauded the initiative for de-mystifying the impact of post-traumatic stress and recognizing there is no reason veterans affected by the condition cannot work …

Housing Developer Files Suit over Groundwater Contamination at Ft. Detrick

  • May 12, 2014
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A firm planning to build housing on a 92-acre site outside of Fort Detrick last week filed a lawsuit against the federal government alleging that high levels of trichloroethylene in the groundwater stemming from the Army’s negligent disposal practices dating to the 1950s have prevented it from building 732 homes in Frederick, Md. The lawsuit filed by McLean, Va.-based Waverly View Investors in U.S. District Court in Baltimore seeks more than $37 million to compensate it for the value of the land, development costs and lost profits, reported the Baltimore Sun. The company says the groundwater has TCE levels up to 42 times the federal maximum …

Authorization Bill Places Pentagon on Path toward ‘Hollow’ Military

  • May 12, 2014
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By voting to block most of the Pentagon’s proposals for coping with stringent spending caps imposed through fiscal 2021, the House Armed Services Committee last week could jeopardize the military’s readiness while raising questions as to how DOD will meet the mandated budget limits starting in FY 2016. “When we are told we can’t reduce infrastructure, we can’t retire weapons systems, we can’t change pay, compensation, health care, what’s left … is readiness and modernization,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters over the weekend. “So we are going to have to raid our readiness accounts and our modernization account …

House Language Could Provide Head Start for BRAC Authorization, Conger Says

  • May 12, 2014
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Language approved by the House Armed Services Committee last week calling for a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures and realignments could provide the Pentagon a jump on a new BRAC round, according to John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment. “They have given us the preamble pieces,” Conger told American Forces Press Service. “All of which take time and if we execute them, all will allow a BRAC authorization on a shorter timetable.”

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