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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Army May Not Return Oregon Chemical Depot Site to LRA

  • January 13, 2015
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The Army is reconsidering a plan to transfer thousands of acres at the former Umatilla Chemical Depot in northern Oregon to the site’s local redevelopment authority at no cost. The Columbia Development Authority, formerly the Umatilla Army Depot Reuse Authority, had planned on obtaining up to 9,500 acres via a no-cost economic development conveyance, with 3,000 acres designated for industrial development. The LRA doesn’t have the resources to purchase the site, reported the East Oregonian. “It was a pretty significant reversal from what we had been told up until last month,” project manager Don Chance told the authority’s board …

Two More Posts Open Family Housing to Military Retirees, Civilians

  • January 12, 2015
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Two Army installations recently have opened their family housing to military retirees and DOD civilians in an effort to raise occupancy rates. Last month, Corvias Military Living started allowing military retirees, DOD civilians and the families of slain soldiers to apply to live on Fort Bragg, N.C. Last week, housing officials there said they would accept DOD civilians who are single and service members at the rank of sergeant in an on-base apartment complex, reported the Fayetteville Observer. Those apartments previously were available only to service members with a rank of E-6 or higher …

Help ADC Craft its 2015 Agenda for Federal Outreach

  • January 12, 2015
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If you fancy yourself an aficionado of inside-the-Beltway goings-on and are interested in helping ADC develop its policy strategy for 2015, consider joining the association’s Federal Outreach Advisory Committee (FOAC). FOAC develops ADC’s yearly legislative and policy priorities and advises the House and Senate Defense Community Caucuses. FOAC is divided into two subcommittees — one for active base communities and one for base redevelopment communities. To join FOAC, you must be an active ADC member in good standing and be willing to participate in regular conference calls. If you are interesting in submitting a nomination to join, contact Paul Kalomiris at (202) 822-5256 x440 or pkalomiris@defensecommunities.org. Paul rejoined the ADC staff in December after serving in multiple capacities over the past 15 years. He now serves as senior policy adviser.

Landfill Gas Plant Helps Power JB Elmendorf-Richardson

  • January 12, 2015
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While solar power may not be viable in Alaska, officials at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage are generating a significant share of their energy needs through renewable sources. A landfill gas plant on the installation generates more than 56,000 megawatt-hours, or 26 percent of the installation’s electrical load, relying on the Anchorage municipal solid waste landfill adjacent to the base, reported the joint base’s public affairs office. The plant, which primarily uses methane, is allowing the installation to exceed a federal goal of obtaining 7.5 percent of its electric consumption from renewable sources …

Iowa Strives to Attract Veterans

  • January 12, 2015
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Veterans living in Iowa are eligible for a variety of tax breaks and other benefits following enactment last year of the Home Base Iowa Act, legislation designed to convince veterans to move to the state. Under the program, veterans are eligible to receive: a waiver of state income tax on military pensions; a $5,000 grant toward the purchase of a home; in-state tuition for public colleges and universities; and the ability to more easily obtain civilian licenses for skills learned in the military. “What we’re doing in Iowa can be an example of what other states can do,” Gov. Terry Branstad (R) told Military Times. “We look at it as a win-win for the veteran, for the companies and also for the communities in which they locate.”

Defense Officials Signal Intention to Request New BRAC Round

  • January 11, 2015
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Comments last week by two senior DOD officials provided a relatively strong indication the Obama administration once more will ask Congress for permission to conduct another round of base closures when it submits its fiscal 2016 budget request next month. On Friday Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters that the European infrastructure consolidation announced the previous day didn’t change the department’s view of the pressing need for a new BRAC round. “You know, we’re operating right now with what we think is about a 25 percent excess infrastructure here in the continental United States. And we simply can’t afford that,” said Kirby. “And I suspect you’ll see that — that be part of the discussion moving forward into February,” he said …

New Year Ushers in New Installations, Energy Organization at Pentagon

  • January 11, 2015
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The Defense Department has merged its installations and operational energy organizations to comply with the newly enacted fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The newly formed organization, the office of the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for energy, installations and environment, is being run by John Conger, who had been acting deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment. But because the new officeholder needs to be nominated by the president and is subject to Senate confirmation, Conger’s official title now is “performing the duties of the ASD for energy, installations and environment,” DOD spokesman Mark Wright told 360 …

Ft. Lee Plays Key Role for Neighboring Communities, Army Learns at Listening Session

  • January 11, 2015
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Residents and local leaders last week told Army officials about the importance of Fort Lee, Va., to both the surrounding region and the military during a listening session intended to gather public input before deciding how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. “It is not just a base that sits among us, but it is a part of us,” state Sen. Rosalyn Dance said at the meeting held at the post’s Army Logistics University, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch. About 100 people attended the session, covering a broad spectrum of the community, including residents, business owners, educators and lawmakers from the neighboring cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell, and three surrounding counties …

Governors Brace for Next Iteration of Battle over Army National Guard Aircraft

  • January 11, 2015
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After successfully fending off the Army’s plan last year to shift the National Guard’s Apache attack helicopters to the active component, the nation’s governors are expecting another fight over the Guard this year. “We already know that the Pentagon intends to resubmit plans to reduce the size of the Army Guard and to remove the Guard’s Apache helicopters,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said last week at a State of the States speech in Washington. “Governors and Congress said no once. And we will say it again. The Guard is the most cost-effective, combat-ready force in our nation’s arsenal,” said Herbert, who serves as co-chairman of the National Governors Association …

Montana Senator Named to Top Democratic Spot on Milcon Spending Panel

  • January 11, 2015
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Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) will be the ranking member on the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in the new Congress, the committee’s Democrats announced Friday. Tester fills the opening on the milcon panel created by the retirement of Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). Montana has one major installation, Malmstrom Air Force Base. Another panel getting a new ranking member is Homeland Security, notable because its new top Democrat, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), gave up the opportunity to serve in that capacity on any of the Armed Services Committee’s panels. She had been chairman of the Armed Services’ readiness panel and remains a member of the full committee …

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