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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Lawmakers Forego Changes to HUBZone Program Benefitting BRAC Sites

  • December 4, 2014
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The final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill does not include a provision intended to make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the HUBZone program, a Small Business Administration initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas. Language in the version passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee in May, added by Maine Sen. Angus King (I), would have expanded the geographic boundaries of HUBZones at BRAC sites to include the town or county where the installation is located, or census tracts contiguous to the installation …

BRAC Offers Growth Opportunity for Ft. Rucker, Local Advocacy Group Says

  • December 4, 2014
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The quality of life and other economic factors in southeastern Alabama make Fort Rucker a prime candidate for mission growth in a future base closure round, according to a leader of the installation’s local support group. Rodney Wolfe, chairman of Friends of Fort Rucker, cited the low cost of living, outstanding schools and highly trained workforce in Alabama’s Wiregrass region as examples of community assets that play a role in base closure decisions made by the Pentagon. “With the proper planning and preparation that is in place, BRAC could bring about the opportunity for growth at Fort Rucker …

Justification Study for New BRAC Stripped out of Compromise Measure

  • December 3, 2014
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Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees struck language calling for DOD to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures from the compromise versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill unveiled this week. The provision, part of the House version of the annual policy bill, was viewed by analysts as the first step toward future congressional approval for a new BRAC round. At the same time, though, the two committees acknowledged the need for the Pentagon to update the analysis of excess capacity it performed prior to the 2005 round and stated that DOD already has the authority to prepare such a study …

Defense Bill Not Guaranteed Smooth Path to Passage

  • December 3, 2014
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The House is scheduled to take up the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill today, after the House Rules Committee on Wednesday passed a rule to expedite its passage. While the House is expected to approve the compromise legislation unveiled earlier this week, its path in the Senate has been complicated by a decision by congressional leaders to append a package of almost 100 public lands provisions to the defense bill. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) has vowed to block the Senate’s attempt to pass the legislation next week over the land swaps …

House Spending Plan May Need Democratic Support

  • December 3, 2014
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With House conservatives critical of their leaders’ plan to wrap up fiscal 2015 appropriations bills, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may need to rely on Democrats to advance the package. House leaders want to move an omnibus made up of individual spending bills for 11 appropriations panels along with a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security that lasts for only several months. By including only short-term funding for immigration-related agencies, Republican leaders say their approach will buy the party time to come up with a viable way to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration …

Great Falls, Malmstrom AFB Consider Water Testing Collaboration

  • December 3, 2014
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Leaders from Great Falls, Mont., and neighboring Malmstrom AFB met this week to discuss shared services partnerships that could improve efficiency for both entities, including joint water testing. The meeting was a follow-up to an initial discussion in March that was held as part of the Air Force Community Partnership Program. Malmstrom is at the end of the city’s water supply line, but the two are operated as separate systems, reported the Great Falls Tribune. The two groups have identified redundant steps that could be eliminated, and now are crafting an agreement to combine the systems so they could be treated as a joint entity under state and federal regulations …

South Dakota Authority Needs Consultant for JLUS at Ellsworth AFB

  • December 3, 2014
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The South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority (SDEDA) in Rapid City, S.D., is seeking proposals from qualified firms to prepare a joint land use study for the communities surrounding Ellsworth Air Force Base. The effort is funded by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment which provides grants to state and local governments to conduct a JLUS to support the long-term sustainability and operability of military installation complexes. Interested firms must demonstrate knowledge and experience in community planning, development and land use issues, impact/analysis concerning air installation compatible use zones, economic development, and military installation management and operations …

DOD Likely to Continue Pursuit of BRAC under Carter

  • December 3, 2014
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Ashton Carter, who administration officials said Tuesday will be nominated shortly by President Obama to replace Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, likely will continue the Pentagon’s recent requests for a new BRAC round as one of a series of reforms needed to accommodate stringent spending caps. Closing excess bases needs to be a component of DOD’s effort to find efficiencies that spare military capabilities, Carter argued during several speeches he made as deputy defense secretary, a position the 60-year-old physicist held from October 2011 until December 2013 …

Reid to Support House Plan for Avoiding Government Shutdown

  • December 2, 2014
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said he would support the House Republican plan to fund all government agencies, except for the Department of Homeland Security, through a year-long omnibus. House approval of individual spending bills for 11 appropriations panels with a continuing resolution for Homeland Security that lasts for only several months — earning the strategy the moniker, “CRomnibus” — would be a policy win, Reid said, reported the Hill. “That would be a big accomplishment if we could get a bill over here that would fund all the appropriations subcommittees except for one …

House, Senate Give up Ground Reluctantly on DOD Reforms

  • December 2, 2014
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House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders reached agreement on a compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that offers the Pentagon only moderate concessions on many of its cost-saving reforms affecting military compensation and force structure. On one of the issues that held up a deal until Monday, committee leaders agreed to slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing (BAH) so it covers only 99 percent of costs, reported Stars and Stripes. DOD had proposed slowing increases in the BAH until it covered only 95 percent of costs …

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