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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Tyndall AFB Asks to Restrict Surrounding Waterways during Emergencies

  • March 16, 2015
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The Bay Defense Alliance is urging the local business community to support a proposal from Tyndall Air Force Base that would allow it to restrict waterways surrounding the installation located on the Florida Panhandle if a security threat arises. The base faces a unique security threat because it is surrounded by water on three sides, Glen McDonald, a member of the Defense Alliance, told the Bay County Economic Development Alliance. Tyndall’s initial proposal generated significant opposition from residents, prompting officials to revise the plan …

DOD Grant Helps South Carolina Defense Firms Diversify

  • March 16, 2015
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Two state agencies in South Carolina are helping defense businesses diversify into other industries through a $700,000 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. The initiative — offered through the Department of Employment and Workforce and the Department of Commerce — is intended to help businesses in the defense industry prepare for reductions in spending by DOD. The program offers companies support in strategic planning, sales and marketing, lean product development and quality certifications, reported GSA Business. Two industries that defense firms are being encouraged to pursue are aerospace and automotive …

Subcommittee Chairs Remain Hostile toward New BRAC Round

  • March 15, 2015
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Now that the House and Senate panels responsible for BRAC have held their hearings on the administration’s fiscal 2016 budget request, it’s clear that the two subcommittee chairs are no less opposed to green lighting the Pentagon’s request to hold a new BRAC round than they have been in the past. Last Wednesday, Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, was upfront about her views on the matter, telling the installation chiefs for DOD and each of the services that her “going-in position” was that she is opposed to BRAC. At the previous week’s House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing, Chairman Rob Wittman (R-Va.) never stated his opposition to the department’s BRAC proposal but asked questions designed to bolster arguments against the request …

Virginia Lawmakers Hail Navy Basing Decisions

  • March 15, 2015
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The Navy will base its newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, at Naval Station Norfolk and homeport four amphibious ships at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia’s congressional delegation announced last week. The moves underscore the Navy’s commitment to Hampton Roads and also provide an economic boost to the region for at least several years, the lawmakers said. “This is a great sign for us in terms of the Navy’s view of our region,” said Sen. Mark Warner …

Army Installations Fight Uphill Battle against Sequestration

  • March 15, 2015
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Mandatory spending caps in the past three years have taken a toll on Army readiness as reductions in installation support have hurt spending on training facilities and soldier and family readiness programs, Lt. Gen. David Halverson, commander of Installation Management Command, said Tuesday at an Association of the U.S. Army forum. “A near-term threat to our effectiveness is sequestration. … It can’t be ignored,” said Halverson, who also serves as assistant chief of staff for installation management. “The Army has been on a tight budget for a few years … fiscal year 2015 doesn’t look any better …

Community-Military Partnerships under Discussion at Robins AFB

  • March 15, 2015
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Officials in Middle Georgia are working on a plan that would allow commercial use of airside facilities at Robins Air Force Base. The 21st Century Partnership and the Houston County Development Authority are developing the plan, and so far Air Force officials are encouraging the groups to move forward, reported the Telegraph. The plan likely would provide lease revenue to the installation and support development of the region’s aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul industry, said Charles Stenner, CEO of the 21st Century Partnership. “We think we’ve got a start [on getting] a handle on all the things that will be required, and now we’ve got to get on down the road …

N.M. Lawmakers Advance Bill to Streamline Base Planning Panel

  • March 15, 2015
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The New Mexico Senate last week approved a measure trimming the size of the state Military Base Planning Commission from 17 to 12 members. The measure also would require that members of the commission, which is responsible for promoting and supporting the state’s military bases, represent counties that are adjacent to installations. The change is intended to make the panel more nimble as it strives to protect New Mexico’s military assets, said state Sen. Bill Burt (R), reported the Albuquerque Journal. Burt represents Alamogordo, home of Holloman Air Force Base. The move is needed as a new round of base closures could be held in the coming years, Burt said. The state has four major installations — Holloman AFB, Kirtland AFB, Cannon AFB and White Sands Missile Range.

Army Moving Ahead with Community-Military Partnerships under New Rules

  • March 13, 2015
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Language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill is spurring the Army to fully embrace an authority first enacted two years ago allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. When section 331 was first introduced two years ago, Army efforts to take advantage of it were slowed over concerns that newly reached partnerships with host communities would need to adhere to the federal rules governing competitive acquisitions. The new language, however, transfers section 331 from a chapter of the U.S. Code dealing with procurement to one focused on real estate to make clear that the shared services authority can sidestep the Federal Acquisition Regulation …

North Carolina Crafts Plan to Support Military Installations

  • March 13, 2015
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The state of North Carolina is developing a strategic plan to shore up its installations ahead of looming budget cuts, troop drawdowns and a possible BRAC round. Most of the issues the states plans to focus on involve host communities, including the quality of public schools, transportation infrastructure and encroachment, Cornell Wilson, the governor’s military adviser, told state lawmakers on Thursday. Another concern is the condition of training ranges …

For Installations, Affordable Energy Storage Remains Holy Grail of Resiliency

  • March 12, 2015
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An efficient means to store renewable energy is the missing ingredient that would allow military installations to keep running in the event the commercial grid goes down, Army officials said Tuesday at an Association of the U.S. Army forum. “Right now we have solar panels that when the sun goes down, the power goes down,” said Robert Sperberg, chief of the facilities policy division in the office of the assistant chief of staff for installation management. “We’re 98 percent dependent on the grid,” Sperberg said. “What happens to the grid, happens to the installation, happens to our ability to serve …

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