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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

House Milcon Panel Calls for BRAC Justification Study

  • April 21, 2015
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The House Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee is directing the Defense Department to conduct a study to determine whether a new round of base closures is necessary, as part of its fiscal 2016 spending bill. The panel directs DOD to report by the end of the year its “initial assessment of excess inventory and cost personnel associated with that,” reported the Tampa Tribune. Florida Rep. David Jolly (R) told the paper he supports the provision calling for a BRAC justification study and isn’t hesitant to consider the administration’s request to hold a base closure round in 2017 …

Budget Conferees Make Case for Pentagon Spending

  • April 20, 2015
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Republican lawmakers highlighted the importance of funding defense programs at the initial meeting Monday of the House-Senate budget conference, signaling the likelihood that the compromise fiscal 2016 budget resolution will satisfy defense hawks. “The world is just more dangerous today than it was in 2011 when we passed the Budget Control Act,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, a member of the Armed Services Committee. In their budget blueprints, both chambers added $38 billion in spending to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account as a way of sidestepping the statutory ceiling on defense spending in FY 2016 …

Northwestern Ohio Officials Develop Workforce Vision

  • April 20, 2015
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Officials in northwest Ohio last week held a two-day workshop to generate ideas to expand job creation opportunities and assist businesses and workers harmed by defense cutbacks at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima. The participants first learned that existing workforce development efforts in Allen County have a cohesive structure, according to Future iQ Partners, the consultant hired by the county through a $220,000 grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment. “You don’t have dysfunction here,” said David Beurle, the firm’s CEO. “You’re not broken … and you’re not starting at zero. You’ve got momentum …

Pennsylvania Holds Inaugural Meeting of Base Support Commission

  • April 20, 2015
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The 17-member Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission held its first meeting last week with the primary aim of protecting and promoting the state’s installations ahead of a future BRAC. “I am looking forward to working with my legislative colleagues as well as with economic development professionals and other volunteers on the commission to focus our efforts and activities that will protect and enhance the military value of our defense installations in serving our warfighters,” said state Sen. John Blake, a member of the commission who represents a district that includes Tobyhanna Army Depot. “We are aware that BRAC discussions will occur in Washington, D.C., in the years ahead. We need to work now to ensure Pennsylvania installations and Pennsylvania workers are not endangered by future BRAC decisions …

Officials Gather for Groundbreaking for 30MW Solar Array at Ft. Benning

  • April 20, 2015
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Officials from the Army, the General Services Administration and Georgia Power held a groundbreaking at Fort Benning, Ga., on Friday for a $75 million, 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic array. The Fort Benning solar facility is the first of three Georgia Power solar projects in development at Georgia Army installations; the other two solar farms will be constructed at Forts Gordon and Stewart. The array at Fort Benning, located in Columbus, will feature 136,900 panels covering about 200 acres. The farm is scheduled to begin operation in 2016, providing about 40 percent of the post’s peak electrical demand …

House Appropriators Plan to Allocate Extra War Funds

  • April 19, 2015
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The House Appropriations Committee plans to allocate the $38 billion in funding added to DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account in an effort to sidestep the statutory cap on defense spending, according to the committee’s draft spending allocations. The committee’s fiscal 2016 spending plan includes $96 billion for OCO, with $88.4 billion allocated for the defense spending measure, $532 million for military construction and $7.1 billion for the State Department’s budget …

N.C. Delegation Will Continue to Oppose Effort to Shutter Airlift Wing

  • April 19, 2015
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North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said he would continue to fight the Air Force’s plan to deactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing after officials last week released a long-waited reported justifying the move. The freshman senator said the plan to deactivate the 440th — an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field — would hinder the ability of airborne units at the post to quickly deploy to global hotspots. “Why on Earth would we jeopardize the training and readiness in that context — the only place on the planet where we do that? It just doesn’t make sense to me …

With Fewer Casualties, Army Plans to Close 40 Percent of Warrior Transition Units

  • April 19, 2015
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The Army will close 10 of its 25 warrior transition units by summer 2016 as the number of war-related casualties declines, officials announced Friday. Most of the closing locations serve 50 or fewer soldiers. The transition units will remain on installations where there are large concentrations of soldiers, and they will continue to be co-located with major Army medical centers. “We addressed the need at the height of conflict, and we are addressing the need as we come back down,” said Col. Chris Toner, commander of Warrior Transition Command …

Subcommittee Chairman Appears to Favor Consolidation Plan for Exchanges, Commissaries

  • April 19, 2015
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After gaining support among top DOD leaders, a plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange systems now may be favored by a key lawmaker responsible for personnel policy. Rep. Joe Heck, chairman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, has been reviewing the report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which in January called for consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency into a single Defense Resale Activity …

State Approves 13MW Solar Project at Camp Lejeune

  • April 19, 2015
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The North Carolina Utilities Commission last week approved Duke Energy’s plan to construct a 13-megawatt solar farm at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The farm will cover 80 acres, and connect to the electric grid at a Duke Energy Progress substation on the base. Power generated by the project will be available to the utility’s customers, with Camp Lejeune continuing to purchase energy from Duke. The solar array, the company’s first at a military installation, is expected to go online this year …

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