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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

BRAC Not Right around the Corner, House Staffer Says

  • June 8, 2014
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Citing unanswered questions about the level of surplus DOD infrastructure and the extent to which the military’s force structure will come down, if at all, a staff member for the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) expressed doubt Friday that Congress would approve a new round of base closures in the near term. The Pentagon has requested permission each of the past three years to conduct a BRAC round so it can shed some of its estimated 24 percent excess capacity. But Dave Sienicki, a professional staff member on the majority side of HASC, told the audience at the Defense Communities National Summit that he was skeptical of that figure because the department hasn’t assessed its excess capacity since 1999. “[That figure] doesn’t make sense to me …

Brunswick LRA Pays Back Navy Loan 10 Years Early

  • June 6, 2014
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Officials from the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) presented a $3 million check to the Navy on Thursday, paying off part of its obligation for its economic development conveyance 10 years before it was due. The early loan payoff is a testament to the speedy transfer of the property from the Navy and the subsequent rapid redevelopment at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park. The payment took place at the Defense Communities National Summit and will save the authority, the LRA for the former Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB), about $1 million in interest and bank charges. “This action represents the types of sound fiscal management decisions that are made by the MRRA Board of Trustees in their oversight of the NASB redevelopment effort …

Policy Bill Would Eliminate Army’s Authority to Close Arsenals

  • June 6, 2014
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The Army secretary would lose a pre-Civil War authority to shutter arsenals without congressional approval, under the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed last month by the Senate Armed Services Committee. With both chambers poised to reject the Obama administration’s request for a new round of base closures for the third straight year, the provision would further restrict the military’s ability to pare down its infrastructure …

Defense Community Award Recipients Hit on Theme of Collaboration

  • June 6, 2014
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Partnerships are key to supporting installations and communities near them, according to several recipients of the 2014 Defense Community Awards, which were presented at a special ceremony Thursday on Capitol Hill…

‘Money Isn’t Coming Back Soon,’ Analyst Says

  • June 6, 2014
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The steady decline in defense spending on both products and services almost certainly isn’t turning around anytime soon, according to a panel of defense industry experts appearing Thursday at the Defense Communities National Summit. DOD’s total obligations were down 16 percent from fiscal 2012 to 2013, said David Berteau, senior vice president and director of the national security program on industry and resources at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Contract spending dropped 25 percent since 2008, while spending on pay and benefits rose over that five-year period …

New Partnership Authority Helps Keep Army Museum Open in Fayetteville

  • June 5, 2014
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Sequestration had forced Fort Bragg’s commanding general last year to close the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in downtown Fayetteville, N.C., on weekdays, before the post reached an agreement with the city to reopen the museum using a new authority allowing installations and municipalities to share support services. The agreement to pay Fayetteville for the museum’s custodial services relied on section 331 of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill and marked the first time the Army took advantage of the authority. The effort to work out a deal with the city to reopen the museum took several twists and turns, however, before a successful outcome was realized …

Michigan, Indiana and Ohio Receive Grant to Help Offset Reduction in Defense Expenditures

  • June 5, 2014
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The University of Michigan, in partnership with the Ohio State University and Purdue, was awarded a $2.4 million grant to provide on-call technical assistance to communities impacted by current defense procurement drawdowns, the DOD announced June 4…

SunPower, NV Energy Team on Second Project at Nellis AFB

  • June 5, 2014
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State utility NV Energy has selected SunPower Corp. to build a 19-megawatt solar photovoltaic power system at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the firm announced Wednesday. The system is expected to be constructed next year, contingent on contract approval by Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission. The project will be the second major solar installation that the utility and energy provider have built at Nellis. SunPower completed a 14-megawatt solar system there in 2007 …

BRAC Not out of the Question in Future, Wittman Says

  • June 5, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee’s rejection over the past three years of the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures may not be permanent, according to the chair of the panel’s readiness subcommittee. “We’re not saying never do a BRAC,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) said Wednesday during the keynote lunch at the Defense Communities National Summit. But DOD should wait to conduct a new round until it first has taken a look at its long-term strategic and force structure needs. “I believe we have to take this in the proper sequence,” Wittman said …

Need for Federal Strategy to Address Excess Defense Infrastructure Is Urgent, ADC Says

  • June 4, 2014
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Congress needs to grant the Defense Department sufficient authority to deal with its surplus of infrastructure, otherwise DOD will be forced to hollow out many of its installations and the economies of affected defense communities will suffer, according to a policy statement approved by ADC’s board of directors this week. ADC issued the policy statement as the Pentagon and Congress remain in a years-long stalemate over the need for a series of cost-saving reforms even as the defense budget is subject to stringent spending caps and the military draws down from 12-plus years of war. “In an environment of declining support for installations, the only solution is to confront head-on the nation’s excess military infrastructure,” Bob Murdock, ADC’s outgoing president, told the audience Wednesday at the Defense Communities National Summit …

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