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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

2MW Array under Construction at Dugway Proving Ground

  • August 11, 2015
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A 2-megawatt solar array under construction at Dugway Proving Ground is expected to generate 10 percent of the installation’s electricity needs while enhancing the energy security of the facility located 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. “Energy security is vital for the Army mission at Dugway. With aging infrastructure of the commercial power grid and frequent power outages, it’s critical we look at alternate methods to insure an uninterrupted power source,” said Don Smith, Dugway’s new garrison manager. The $7.7 million array requires 1,300 metal posts to hold 3,300 stationary solar panels. The array will save Dugway about $640,000 a year over 25 years …

Shutdown Not in the Cards, McConnell Says

  • August 7, 2015
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday insisted there would be no government shutdown in October in the wake of the controversy over undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue. McConnell said he would not indulge conservatives who are demanding that language removing $528 million in federal funding for the group be attached to any fiscal 2016 spending bills, including a continuing resolution, reported CQ Roll Call. “I can’t tell you what will finally end up in or out of any government funding resolution. I can tell you without fear of contradiction there will be no government shutdown …

To Preserve Aerospace Cluster, San Antonio Needs to Revisit Its ‘Value Proposition’

  • August 7, 2015
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San Antonio needs to think strategically about the advantages it offers the aerospace industry to ensure it doesn’t lose a chunk of the sector to other places, a senior executive with Port San Antonio said at a chamber of commerce event last month. Officials should consider further investment in facilities and the workforce, expanding the components of the aerospace industry the region excels in and competing on qualities other than price, according to Jim Perschbach, executive vice president for business development at Port San Antonio, the reuse project at the former Kelly Air Force Base. The city specializes in maintenance, repair and overhaul, with a core competency in servicing aging types of airframes and engines, reported San Antonio Express-News. But it could strengthen its aerospace cluster by branching out to commercial paint application, satellite communications, landing gear and navigation …

Las Cruces Hosts Navy Flight Training Squadron

  • August 7, 2015
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Student aviators from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, returned to Las Cruces International Airport, N.M., last week for the 12th time since 2001 for two months of training flights. Officials from Las Cruces are particularly excited this year after Navy officials last fall decided not to come to the city for winter training flights over concerns about fuel service operations at the airport. A fueling error had been blamed for the crash last year of an air ambulance, reported the Las Cruces Sun-News. The Navy typically brings student pilots to Las Cruces for training from January until March. “The Navy has an open invitation to come to Las Cruces for its training exercises, and we consider it a privilege to host them here,” said Mayor Ken Miyagishima …

New Access Procedures Shouldn’t Deter Visitors, Ft. Bliss Commander Says

  • August 7, 2015
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During the annual State of the Military address, the commanding general of Fort Bliss reassured the residents of El Paso they are still welcome at the installation despite new procedures for visitors to gain access to the post. “We still want you to visit; we want you to come here,” Maj. Gen. Stephen Twitty told about 500 military, civilian and business leaders Wednesday at the event sponsored by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. “This will be a slight inconvenience.” On Sunday, officials will open five visitor control centers to help improve access to the post …

Army Lab Forges Research Partnership with Maryland Groups

  • August 7, 2015
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The Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., last week established a formal partnership with local education, industry and workforce organizations to strengthen collaboration between researchers with the goal of delivering new technologies to the Army and further developing the region’s STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — workforce. One focus of the partnership will be the development of an open campus at Aberdeen Proving Ground which will provide space for researchers, industry and educators to collaborate on the development of new military technology. The Army Research Laboratory previously established a pilot open campus near the University of Maryland in College Park, where more than 465 people are working, reported the Baltimore Sun. “In the future, we hope to have a campus-like environment at APG where we can have groups come in and share experience and share facilities with Army researchers and government researchers,” said Thomas Russell, director of the Army lab …

Talk of Potential Shutdown Emerges in Wake of Planned Parenthood Videos

  • August 4, 2015
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A growing number of Republicans are calling for the party’s leaders to link fiscal 2016 spending bills, including a continuing resolution, to language denying funds to Planned Parenthood, in response to a series of undercover videos showing the organization’s executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue. A failed procedural vote in the Senate Monday to debate a measure cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood is unlikely to slow a rising outcry over the issue from conservatives. The effort began in the House last week with 18 members pledging to oppose any spending bills that continue funding for the organization, reported the Hill. And now Senate Republicans, particularly three of the members running for president, have taken up the mantle …

Policy Bill Talks Stuck on Military Benefits

  • August 4, 2015
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A proposed increase in co-pays for prescriptions has emerged as one of the thorniest issues in negotiations between the House and Senate Armed Services committees over the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. As of last week, the ranking members of the two committees had sided with Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) against House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) over the health care fees. McCain, along with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), favor DOD’s plan to increase co-pays for drugs purchased through Tricare by mail or at retail pharmacies while continuing to allow prescriptions to be filled at military clinics for free …

Army Seeks Community Input over Plan to Train Rocket Units at JBLM

  • August 4, 2015
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The Army is seeking input from residents of the South Sound region of Washington state about a plan to conduct a three-day test at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to determine whether it can conduct rocket firing training without disturbing surrounding communities. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System can create a sonic boom and likely will be more noticeable to residents than the howitzer cannons currently used in training at the installation, reported the News Tribune. The Nisqually Reservation is the closest community to the installation firing range and likely would experience the loudest noises. Officials will host an open house this week for residents …

Brooks City Base Issues $55M in Bonds for Infrastructure Upgrades

  • August 4, 2015
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Brooks City Base issued $54.9 million in revenue bonds for infrastructure improvements needed to support further growth at the redevelopment project in San Antonio, officials announced Monday. The bond package will fund a variety of projects: restoration of historic Hangar 9, the only surviving hangar from World War I; parkway and drainage improvements; repairs and upgrades to Aeromedical Drive and Louis Bauer Drive; and engineering and design work for South New Braunfels road extension to Loop 410. A portion of the funds also will be used for the construction of the Embassy Suites by Hilton at the city base …

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