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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Talks Underway to Strike Compromise on Defense Spending Bill, Durbin Says

  • December 19, 2013
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When it comes to the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill, the assignment for House and Senate appropriators is to find more than $20 billion in savings from the original budget plans advanced in each chamber. “Negotiations are underway. We’ve got to cut $22 billion out of our mark in the Senate,” Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, told the Hill. “We understand this won’t be easy …

Defense Bill Could Encourage Services’ Use of EUL Projects

  • December 19, 2013
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House and Senate Armed Services committee leaders hashing out a compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill retained language allowing installation officials to use the proceeds from enhanced used leasing (EUL) projects to cover the administrative costs of launching and managing new projects, a move that could make it easier for the services to consider new projects. As a result, installation officials no longer would need to commit base support funding for administrative expenses associated with studying the feasibility of new EUL efforts and managing the acquisition process to select a developer …

RAND Study to Assess Magnitude of ‘Veteran Caregiver Crisis’

  • December 19, 2013
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The RAND Corp. is conducting a comprehensive study of the needs of military and veteran caregivers intended to lay “the groundwork for a national response to the military and veteran caregiver crisis,” the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced last week. RAND will complete a comprehensive needs assessment, determine the number of individuals currently serving as military caregivers and identify their specific needs, according to a press release. The findings also will shed light on what current policies, programs and initiatives are working to support caregivers, and where gaps exist …

Park Service Reviewing Proposals to Use Housing at New Jersey’s Fort Hancock

  • December 18, 2013
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The National Park Service is reviewing dozens of proposals for reusing 17 historic officers’ quarters and 18 other buildings at the former Fort Hancock located off the coast of New Jersey. In addition to the two-and three-story historic homes that remain at the installation the Army shuttered in 1974, the site at Sandy Hook includes barracks, mess halls, a bakery and mule stables. The park service set Monday as the deadline to submit proposals to lease the buildings for up to 60 years in exchange for upgrading and maintaining them …

Changing Fortunes at Ohio Guard Base Reflect Dispute among Air Force Components

  • December 18, 2013
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A story in Tuesday’s Washington Post chronicling the evolving mission of the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard points to the larger question of how the Air Force will allocate looming force structure cuts among its active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve components. Of course, others will have a say as well, including the Pentagon and Congress. One key milestone is the February deadline for the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, mandated by Congress, to weigh in on the relative roles of the three components …

Armed Services Committees Call for Joint Basing Study

  • December 18, 2013
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The Defense Department would be required to assess whether the joint basing initiative has producing any savings and whether the potential exists for additional savings, under a provision in the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill scheduled to be voted on today by the Senate. The joint basing initiative, a BRAC 2005 recommendation, merged installation support functions at two, and sometimes three, bases — often located contiguously — at 12 locations around the nation. However, lawmakers have been concerned that the initiative has not generated the savings initially projected …

Senate Clears Budget Deal; Appropriators Off to the Races

  • December 18, 2013
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The Senate cleared the two-year bipartisan budget agreement on Wednesday, clearing the way for House and Senate appropriators to craft an omnibus spending package for the last eight-and-a-half months of fiscal 2014. The budget framework passed the Senate by a 64-36 vote and now goes to the desk of President Obama, who applauded the deal after it was passed. The next deadline for appropriators is Jan. 15, the date when the current continuing resolution runs out …

Survey to Assess Experience of Veterans in Their First Job

  • December 17, 2013
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Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the behavioral health firm VetAdvisor this week began conducting a survey to determine why veterans leave their initial post-military jobs. The survey is intended to provide insight into how organizations can best structure employee retention programs for veterans. Researchers said the goal is to help veterans get on career paths quicker and help companies improve efforts to retain veterans, reported Stars and Stripes. “We don’t want veterans just to become ‘starter employees,’” said Dan Frank, CEO of VetAdvisor. “The companies we’re talking to are realizing it’s not just about hiring veterans but keeping them, too,” Frank said.

Fort Monroe Master Plan Gains Governor’s Approval

  • December 17, 2013
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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) last week approved Fort Monroe’s master plan, conferring several authorities to the Fort Monroe Authority, including the ability to sell homes and other property it now owns at the historic post located on the Virginia shore of the Chesapeake Bay. David Brown, executive vice president at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, praised the master plan for helping steer the redevelopment project toward economic self-sufficiency while allowing it to share “a key chapter in our nation’s history …

New Estimate Needed for Infrastructure Needs on Guam, GAO Finds

  • December 17, 2013
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Despite scaling down the scope of the realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the Defense Department has not reexamined its estimate of the island’s public infrastructure needs, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). That revalidation is not expected to be completed until 2015. Under the current realignment plan, which was revised in April 2012, up to 5,000 Marines will relocate to Guam beginning in the mid-2020s …

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