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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Construction, Renovation on Hold at Army Housing Projects

  • June 25, 2015
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The Army has suspended construction of new homes, along with renovation of existing units, as part of its Residential Communities Initiative until the service announces what locations will lose 40,000 soldiers. The Army’s announcement outlining how it expects to shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000, and possibly further, is expected before the end of July. At that point, officials will conduct a fresh assessment of the requirements at its housing privatization projects …

Lawmakers Honor Top Defense Communities, Leaders at ADC Awards Ceremony

  • June 25, 2015
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Defense communities and their leaders take enormous pride in hosting and partnering with military installations, service members, military families and veterans. They also work hard to preserve the legacy and sustain economic growth when the mission or force structure at a local base changes. These communities, installations and leaders were represented among the recipients of the 2015 Defense Community Awards, who were honored during a special ceremony on Capitol Hill Wednesday, the final day of the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) honored Louisiana and Fort Polk Progress, which won the Community Excellence Award for its long record of support for the Army and Fort Polk. “The state has spent over $25 million to fund the Fort Polk regional growth management plan, which has promoted new housing, retail and dining options for soldiers and their families …

House Vote on Conference Committee for Policy Bill Hits Snag

  • June 25, 2015
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A House vote on a motion to request a conference committee for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill was postponed Wednesday to give the Senate time to remove language that runs afoul of a constitutional requirement that legislation affecting revenue must originate in the House. The offending language is included in a portion of the Senate bill that alters the military retirement system, John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CQ Roll Call. McCain expressed confidence he could get obtain unanimous consent on the Senate floor on Thursday to remove the provisions. At this point, it doesn’t appear the snafu should slow down both chambers’ intent to reach agreement on a compromise measure quickly. McCain, along with House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), recently have expressed confidence that lawmakers could produce a conference report by sometime in July …

Kaine Lends a Hand to Separating Veterans

  • June 25, 2015
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During his first term in the Senate, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) has made reducing unemployment among veterans, especially Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans, a personal mission. His first legislation, the 2013 Troop Talent Act, established new standards to help active-duty service members attain civilian credentials for military skills to assist their transition into the workforce. Kaine serves on the Armed Services Committee, a post has used to secure key Virginia priorities in the past two defense bills, including the refueling and overhaul of the Norfolk-based USS George Washington in the fiscal 2015 authorization bill …

Sumter Seeks Consultant to Perform JLUS for Shaw AFB

  • June 25, 2015
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The Sumter City-County Planning Commission is soliciting proposals from qualified consultants to prepare and deliver a joint land use study (JLUS) for Shaw Air Force Base and Poinsett Range in the city of Sumter and Sumter County, S.C. The project is funded by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. Interested firms must demonstrate knowledge and experience in community planning, development and land use issues, as well as military installation management and operations. Responses are due by July 24 at 5 p.m. The complete RFP may be found on the city of Sumter website. All questions regarding this RFP shall be in written form and directed to George K. McGregor at gmcgregor@sumter-sc.com.

Military Will Manage Even as Infrastructure Scrapes By, Conger Says

  • June 24, 2015
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The nation’s defense infrastructure has not been adequately maintained for the past several years as the Pentagon diverts funds for installation support to higher priority readiness needs, but the military will be able to cope even if the stringent budget caps forcing officials to skimp on facility needs continue through the end of the decade, the department’s top installations official said this week at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. “We’ve done this before and survived it,” said John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, referring to a similar situation in the 1990s. “It takes years for buildings to crumble …

Army, Air Force Not Currently Planning to Bypass BRAC

  • June 24, 2015
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Despite threats from the Obama administration to resort to alternative options if Congress fails to approve its request for a new BRAC round, the Air Force and Army have no immediate plans to rely on a rarely used authority to close or realign bases outside of a BRAC round, installation officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Before taking a step to use 10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687, the Air Force would wait for direction from the Defense Department, said Col. Jonathan Webb, director of Air Force Installations Planning. It wouldn’t be prudent to sidestep the BRAC process, Webb said …

Army Faces Limited Options in Addressing Excess Capacity

  • June 24, 2015
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The Army is paying $480 million a year to maintain more than 160 million square feet of excess infrastructure, and the service has only a limited ability to trim that cost, officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. The service estimates that 18 percent of its infrastructure is excess. One tack it is taking to address the surplus is asking garrison commanders to identify their unutilized and underutilized space, and to consolidate activities into their most efficient facilities, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. Facilities in the worst condition can then be mothballed or torn down. But this initiative will not produce significant savings, Hammack said …

Blunt Shows Unwavering Support for Missouri Installations, Military Veterans

  • June 24, 2015
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Sen. Roy Blunt has tirelessly supported Missouri’s role vital role in the nation’s defense during his first term in the Senate, as he has fought to sustain and expand missions at each of the state’s military installations. Blunt championed several key state defense priorities as part of the 2014 omnibus spending agreement, including $337 million to keep the Air Force’s A-10 fleet flying at Whiteman Air Force Base and elsewhere, and $1.46 billion to build 15 new Growler aircraft in St. Louis. He also worked to preserve the Missouri National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing training base in St. Joseph and the Army Aviation Flight Activity and the Missouri National Guard Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot, which are co-located in Springfield …

Former Ft. Bliss Commander Reprimanded for Role in Awarding Renewable Energy Deal

  • June 24, 2015
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The former commanding general of Fort Bliss, Texas, has been reprimanded for steering a contract that was part of the post’s net zero energy initiative to a firm run by two of his former classmates at West Point. Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, who more recently commanded U.S. advisory forces in Iraq, was formally reprimanded in February after a three-year investigation by the Army’s inspector general, the Washington Post reported this week. An Army review board is considering whether to strip him of his rank as a two-star general before he is allowed to retire this year …

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