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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

White House to Exceed Budget Caps in FY 2016 Request

  • October 15, 2014
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The Obama administration’s fiscal 2016 budget request will exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps at least for non-defense appropriations, Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Wednesday. In FY 2016 and beyond, Donovan said, “it’s absolutely critical on the non-defense side that we continue to make progress against sequestration, to relieve sequestration, to invest, whether it’s in infrastructure, in research and development, early childhood education, training …

Sequestration Jeopardizes Army’s Ability to Fulfill Its Role, Hagel Says

  • October 15, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised the Army for its contributions since 9/11, before urging Congress to undo spending reductions called for under the Budget Control Act to avoid devastating cuts to the service’s force structure. “As the Army emerges from over 13 years of large-scale combat operations — the longest in its history — it faces new challenges,” Hagel said. “The world’s becoming more volatile, less predictable, and, in many ways, more threatening at the same time our defense budgets are declining …

Climate Change Prompting DOD to Study Risks to Installations

  • October 15, 2014
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DOD is preparing for a range of impacts to its facilities as a result of climate change, according to its newly released Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. “Climate change will have serious implications for the department’s ability to maintain both its built and natural infrastructure, and to ensure military readiness in the future,” states the department’s strategic blueprint for tackling the issue. Potential impacts to military infrastructure include: increased inundation, erosion and flooding damage; changing demand for heating and cooling of buildings; disruption to the supply of reliable energy and fresh water …

Ft. McClellan LRA Celebrates Completion of UXO Cleanup

  • October 15, 2014
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Local dignitaries gathered at the former Fort McClellan in northeast Alabama on Wednesday for a final “big bang” marking the successful conclusion of the McClellan Development Authority’s 11-year effort to remove unexploded ordnance (UXO) from 2,781 acres of training ranges. Since the authority’s predecessor signed its first environmental services cooperative agreement (ESCA) with the Army in 2003 to assume responsibility for remediation, contractors have destroyed 14,338 munitions and recovered more than 2.9 million pounds of scrap metal …

Texas Initiative to Connect Veterans to Training, Jobs in High-Demand Industries

  • October 15, 2014
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The Texas Workforce Commission last week launched an initiative to boost the hiring of veterans in some of the state’s most high-demand industries — petrochemical, advanced manufacturing and information technology. The commission designated $4.3 million from the state’s Skills Development Fund to establish the Veteran and Industry Partnership, which will link industry associations, local Workforce Solutions partners and community colleges to develop training for veterans. Local workforce development boards have partnered with industry leaders and 17 colleges throughout Texas to identify high-demand workforce needs in local areas and develop expedited training programs for veterans …

Private Sector Carrying the Load for Army’s Energy Gains

  • October 14, 2014
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Improving the sustainability of Army installations has become increasingly critical as the long-term supply of fossil fuels and other resources becomes less certain, a trend projected to worsen as climate change accelerates. With DOD facing strict spending caps over the next seven years, though, the investments needed to bolster energy efficiency and energy security at the Army’s installations, conserve water and acquire power from renewable sources are coming via partnerships with the private sector, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, said Tuesday. To date, energy savings performance contracts have proven to be one of the service’s most powerful tools for cutting its installation energy bill …

Roadmap Calls for Pentagon to Consider Climate Change across All Planning Activities

  • October 14, 2014
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The Defense Department’s new strategic blueprint for addressing climate change calls for officials to consider the impacts of global warming as part of all policies, plans and programs, including stationing decisions such as future BRAC recommendations.
Encroachment management plans and programs, such as studies for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program also will need to be reviewed, according to the Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. The report includes a list of documents, plans and systems that should be reviewed and updated to integrate the impacts of climate change …

Army’s Top Leaders Chide Congress for Budget Uncertainty

  • October 14, 2014
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The next eight to 12 months will be critical for the future of the military as Congress makes funding decisions that dictate the size of the force and how it is equipped, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Monday at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. Unless Congress steps in, the spending cap for fiscal 2016 will force the Army to slash its end strength far below the level called for in the FY 2015 budget, 450,000 soldiers, Secretary John McHugh said earlier in the day. “If sequestration returns in fiscal ’16 … Another round of indiscriminate cuts will gut the force to the point that we will be unable to meet the president’s defense strategic guidance …

Gamble Turns Pre-BRAC Closure into Thriving Technology Center

  • October 14, 2014
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Fifty-one years after local officials and business leaders in Greenville, S.C., made a bold decision to purchase the shuttered Donaldson Air Force Base from the government and convert it into an industrial park focusing on aviation, the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center is a key component of the region’s economy, Jody Bryson, the center’s president and CEO, writes in a commentary in the Greenville Online. The center is home to 99 companies, including technology, military, educational and advanced manufacturing firms. The center, which has an annual economic impact of $2 billion, hosts Donaldson Field, the largest general aviation airport in the state …

Florida Awards $2.5M to Communities to Support Local Installations

  • October 14, 2014
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Fourteen defense communities in Florida will receive a combined $2.5 million to support 19 installations through a variety of activities, Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday. Ten counties received $1.6 million in defense infrastructure grants for local projects covering encroachment, transportation and access, utilities, communications, environment or security. Infrastructure grants are awarded to local projects deemed to have a positive impact on the military value of the installation in addition to benefitting the community. Twelve counties received $850,000 in defense reinvestment grants, which are designed to support relationships between military installations and their community …

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