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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Army’s Renewable Spending Not Cutting into Readiness, Energy Official Says

  • August 3, 2014
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At a Capitol Hill forum last week, the Army’s senior energy official rejected the perception that the service’s investments in renewable energy are coming at the expense of training and readiness for its combat forces. “We have a utility bill of $35 billion over the next 25 years. The way we’re paying for our renewable projects is to take a portion of that bill, bringing some of that bill forward today to pay for some capital investments and paying it back over time,” said Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary for energy and sustainability …

Stratford Engine Plant Closing Not Imminent

  • July 31, 2014
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The closing of the deal to sell the 77-acre Stratford Army Engine Plant to a team of Connecticut developers most likely will not occur until the Army and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reach an agreement over a plan to clean up the tidal flats of the Housatonic River. At this point, it is not clear how long it will take for the Army and state regulators to settle on a remediation plan, reports the Stratford Star. From the Army’s standpoint, Point Stratford Renewal can close on the transaction as soon it is willing to …

Customer Service Operation to Bring 600 Jobs to Ft. Monroe

  • July 31, 2014
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Liberty-Source PBC, a business process outsourcer, will invest $1.6 million to locate a customer service facility at the former Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., that will create 596 jobs, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced last month. The company, which will provide finance, accounting, human resources, customer care and additional support services for its clients, employs a business model that uniquely relies on military spouses …

VA Reform Bill Retains Provision to Prompt States to Offer In-State Tuition to Veterans

  • July 31, 2014
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The compromise version of legislation addressing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ scheduling crisis includes a provision allowing veterans to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at public universities only if they are charged, at most, in-state tuition rates. The language does not force states to charge veterans in-state tuition at public universities, but in states that charge higher rates, the VA would not provide veterans any benefits for tuition and fees. Currently, the GI Bill covers tuition and fees at the in-state rate of public schools, but veterans may not always qualify for those rates due to the wide variance in state residency laws …

Authorization Bill on September To-Do List, Reid Says

  • July 31, 2014
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The Senate will only have “two weeks and two days” to work in September before it plans to adjourn until after the midterm election, but passing the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill is on the chamber’s “have-to-do” list, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday. To make headway on the annual defense bill and other legislative priorities, including stopgap and emergency spending bills, Reid warned members that the Senate would not be taking weekends off after it returns from its August recess on Sept. 8 …

Air Force to Consider Virginia Base for New Installation Support Center, Delegation Says

  • July 31, 2014
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Air Force officials have told members of Virginia’s congressional delegation that Joint Base Langley-Eustis would be considered as a candidate to host the Installation and Mission Support Center, the new organization the service is establishing to consolidate policy and oversight of installation and mission support activities. Officials previously have said the center would have about 350 employees, with many of the workers moving from other commands …

Utah Army Depot to Acquire Second Wind Turbine

  • July 30, 2014
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The Army has awarded a $5.5 million contract for the development, construction and installation of a 1.5-to-2-megawatt wind turbine at the Tooele Army Depot near Salt Lake City. The project is currently in the development stage and is scheduled to break ground sometime in late 2014 or early 2015. When completed, it is expected that the wind project will provide enough energy to power 400 to 500 homes. The Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District awarded the contract to the team of Minnesota-based Juhl Energy, Vermont-based Aegis Renewable Energy and California-based Icenogle Construction Management. Juhl Energy will act in the capacity of the lead design and installation developer and subcontractor. A turbine supplier has not yet been selected, reported Wind Power Monthly. A 1.5-megawatt turbine was installed at Toole in 2011; a solar array became operational at the depot the next year.

ESPCs Offer Energy Savings, Multiple Secondary Benefits

  • July 30, 2014
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While the most obvious benefit of an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) may be the ability to fund energy-savings projects and other critical energy infrastructure upgrades with zero upfront costs, the acquisition tool provides ancillary benefits as well, including a reduction in trouble calls, lower preventive maintenance costs and an improved skill set for installation employees. Gene Curtiss, building operation control center manager at Fort Bliss, Texas, believes ESPC projects have allowed his staff to gain extensive knowledge about complex systems they may not have been able to gain otherwise …

Air Force BRAC Program Is ‘Audit Ready’

  • July 30, 2014
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The environmental liability of $1.3 billion recorded on the books of the Air Force’s BRAC program is “complete and accurate,” the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) said this week. The announcement comes after AFCEC verified that internal processes are in place and information systems are properly tracking information for more than 5,200 sites for which it is responsible to clean up. The BRAC program achieved “audit readiness” three years ahead of the defense secretary’s mandated deadline …

Signs of Progress in Federal Effort to Pare List of Excess Properties

  • July 30, 2014
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At a House hearing on Tuesday, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said the federal government’s ownership of 7,000 unneeded properties worth $350 billion is “unacceptable.” “The Congress and public will be astounded to learn of the unbelievable inventory of properties uncovered in documents provided to the committee after waiting nearly three years,” said Mica, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Government Operations Subcommittee. Nearly 1,500 of the unneeded properties are valued in the multi-million-dollar range …

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