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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Developers Outline Vision for Reviving Connecticut Army Engine Site

  • January 8, 2014
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Developers plan a mix of residential and commercial uses, along with open space, at the former Stratford Army Engine Plant located at the mouth of the Housatonic River in Connecticut, they said at a press conference this week. The plan for the 77-acre site includes apartments, retail, restaurants, parks, and entertainment and educational facilities, with possible options including a town center, hotel and transit center …

Ft. Hood Airfield to Play Role in Texas Site for Testing Drones

  • January 8, 2014
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Robert Gray Army Airfield at Fort Hood is expected to conduct testing of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as part of the winning application from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi to host one of six national test sites for studying how to safely integrate drones into the nation’s airspace. Texas A&M University does not yet have a formal agreement with the post, but it is engaged in talks with the installation …

Army Looking at Options for Speeding Drawdown, Odierno Says

  • January 8, 2014
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After previously accelerating its plan to cut 80,000 soldiers and eliminate brigade combat teams (BCTs) at 10 U.S. posts to meet budget constraints, Army officials now are studying if the service’s forces can be cut further in a short timeframe. “We’re taking out about 20,000 a year. If I go higher than that, it costs me more to take them out, and so we start reducing the savings that we’re gaining from the people,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said during a speech at the National Press Club Tuesday. “So that’s the dilemma that we have …

Prospect for Stopgap Spending Bill Rises despite Progress on Crafting Omnibus

  • January 8, 2014
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Congressional appropriators continued to make progress Wednesday on resolving differences over funding and policy in the 12 bills needed to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal 2014. But with the Jan. 15 deadline for both chambers to clear a massive, $1.012 trillion spending package fast approaching, the likelihood is growing stronger that lawmakers will need to take up a short-term continuing resolution …

DOD Awards $16M Grants to Build Elementary Schools at Kansas, New Mexico Bases

  • January 8, 2014
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School districts in Albuquerque, N.M., and Junction City, Kan., will each receive $16 million grants from the Defense Department to replace elementary schools at neighboring military installations. Albuquerque Public Schools will receive $16.3 million to demolish and rebuild Wherry Elementary School located on Kirtland Air Force Base. Geary County Unified School District 475 will receive $16.1 million to build the new Fort Riley Elementary School …

Northwest Washington Installations Stand to Gain from Funding in Defense Bill

  • January 8, 2014
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The 2014 defense authorization bill, signed into law by President Obama late last month, is a boon for installations in northwest Washington, authorizing tens of millions of dollars in funding for projects at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and Naval Base Kitsap. Four construction projects were authorized at Lewis-McChord totaling $153 million, including $79 million for an aircraft maintenance hangar and $37 million for airfield improvements. Three projects were authorized at Whidbey Island, including $85 million for P-8A Poseidon hanger and training facilities …

White House’s FY’15 Budget Request behind Schedule

  • January 7, 2014
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President Obama likely will not deliver his fiscal 2015 budget request to Congress until late February at the earliest, according to budget experts. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will send its “passback guidance” — the White House’s response to an agency’s draft budget — to the Pentagon shortly, reported Defense News. Passbacks, which are followed by one or more rounds of negotiations, usually occur in late November …

Army Embraces GAO Recommendation to Solicit Community Input for Basing Decisions

  • January 7, 2014
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The Army plans to develop guidance governing when community meetings should be used gather public input prior to making basing decisions in the future, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Army’s comments come in response to a recommendation the congressional watchdog agency made regarding the service’s extensive process to determine how it would restructure its forces to shrink its active component end strength by 80,000 soldiers, a decision which resulted in a plan to inactivate 10 brigade combat teams …

Appropriators Complete Work on Defense Bill, but Omnibus Could Slip Past Deadline

  • January 7, 2014
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Congressional appropriators on Tuesday added the defense bill to the list of spending measures for which they have ironed out differences over funding levels and policy as they craft a fiscal 2014 omnibus package, but delays in reaching agreement on the last six bills could force lawmakers to take up a short-term continuing resolution (CR). Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, had hoped to finish all 12 parts of the $1.012 trillion omnibus by Wednesday to give each chamber enough time to consider the legislation before the current CR expires Jan. 15 …

Labor Department Provides Training Funds for Transitioning Troops at Lewis-McChord

  • January 7, 2014
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About 900 transitioning military personnel from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., will receive a variety of employment services through a $5.6 million national emergency grant from the Labor Department. The grant will provide the personnel with case management, support services and training to help them apply skills they acquired through military service in the civilian workforce, according to a press release. Only $2.9 million will be released initially, with additional funding being allocated as the state demonstrates a continued need for assistance. The grant was awarded to the Pacific Mountain Workforce Consortium and will be operated by the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council. “The Department of Labor, industry partners, educators and workforce professionals at the local level have made it our common mission to help our veterans transition successfully from military service to civilian life,” said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.

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