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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

House Readiness Chair Reiterates Stance on New BRAC Round

  • July 23, 2014
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At a summit on maintaining military readiness under spending constraints, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, reiterated his position that Congress shouldn’t consider approving a new round of base closures until the Pentagon clarifies the future direction of force structure and its objectives for the next BRAC. “And if we’re going to get this right, we need to finish some things, we need to understand where’s end strength going to end up, how are we going to properly resource in the face of sequester, in the face of transitioning out of [the overseas contingency operations account] …

Expansion of Northern Flight Training Area Provokes Local Opposition

  • July 22, 2014
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An Air Force plan to expand a military flight training area for bombers over parts of Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas is drawing opposition from local officials concerned about the impact of increased flight activity. The Air Force says it needs to expand the Powder River Training Complex to 28,000 square miles for use by B-1 bombers based at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., and B-52 bombers at Minot AFB, N.D., reported the Billings Gazette. The move would cut training costs by limiting the need for the aircraft to fly to Utah and Nevada. The expansion is critical to preserving the B-1 mission at Ellsworth, according to South Dakota Sen. John Thune …

State Leads Effort to Highlight Assets at Ft. Leavenworth

  • July 22, 2014
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The Kansas Governor’s Military Council is working closely with elected officials and community leaders in northeastern Kansas to make the case for protecting Fort Leavenworth in the face of the Army’s latest effort to eliminate up to 70,000 additional troops by 2020. The supplemental programmatic environmental assessment (SPEA) released by the Army last month evaluated a maximum reduction at Leavenworth of 1,789 soldiers and 735 civilians. “The significance is huge,” said John Armbrust, the council’s executive director …

Bonner Looks to Transform Shipyard at Hunters Point

  • July 22, 2014
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The decades-long, multibillion-dollar redevelopment of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard managed by Lennar’s Kofi Bonner represents “the culmination of a career spent redesigning urban spaces spanning both sides of San Francisco Bay, particularly down-on-their-luck industrial corridors,” according to a recent profile in Ozy of the giant developer’s regional vice president. A number of factors make this “the most complicated” project that Bonner has worked on, including radioactive and other hazardous contamination, multiple regulators …

House Considers Moving FY’15 CR Next Week

  • July 22, 2014
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House leaders are considering voting on a fiscal 2015 continuing resolution (CR) next week that likely would extend past the November elections and possibly into December. No details on the duration or spending levels are available as Republican leaders have yet to make a final decision, reported CQ. While lawmakers already have conceded that a CR would be needed to keep the federal government running when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, a decision by the House to move a stopgap funding measure prior to the August recess would come much earlier than anticipated. Such an action also would definitely mark the end of activity on individual appropriations bills, and would leave the task of crafting an omnibus spending bill that would fund the federal government for the rest of FY 2015 until a lame-duck session.

Levin Concedes Possible Need for Backup Plan to Advance Authorization Bill

  • July 22, 2014
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Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of Armed Service Committee, has given staff members permission to begin discussions with their House colleagues over a compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill in the event the Senate again fails to approve its own version of the annual defense policy legislation. “I have given the green light to have preliminary discussions,” Levin said, reported Defense News. “We’ve got to have a fallback plan …

Los Angeles Mayor Joins Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

  • July 21, 2014
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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to end veteran homelessness in his city during a regional veterans summit last week, joining scores of mayors who previously accepted the Obama administration’s challenge. Garcetti also reiterated an earlier promise to work with the county to secure 10,000 jobs for veterans by 2017. First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke at the summit, praised both of the mayor’s commitments. “The idea that any of our veterans are spending months, or even years, struggling to find a job is unacceptable …

DOD Awards STEM Grant to School District Supporting Missouri Post

  • July 21, 2014
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Waynesville R-VI School District recently received a $300,000 grant from the DOD Educational Activity (DODEA) to help it implement a program encouraging students at the school system neighboring Fort Leonard Wood to take college-level math and science courses. The grant will help support an additional five advanced placement (AP) courses in the school district located in central Missouri. DODEA partnered with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) college readiness program …

New Jersey Adopts Comprehensive Approach to BRAC

  • July 21, 2014
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The state of New Jersey has launched a wide-ranging effort to stave off closures of its major installations in a future BRAC round, with state and elected officials joining with other stakeholders to preserve Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and the Picatinny Arsenal. Earlier this year, Gov. Chris Christie approved $200,000 in the state budget for the Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force, headed by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. “We have to be amazingly proactive in . . . growing the missions at our bases …

Central Kentucky Officials Seek Community Support to Fend off Cuts at Ft. Knox

  • July 21, 2014
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Local and state officials in Kentucky’s Heartland are urging residents in communities neighboring Fort Knox to write the Army in support of the post as the service considers where to eliminate personnel as it further shrinks its active-duty end strength. “We need the public’s help in making our case,” said Brad Richardson, president and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the group One Knox. The supplemental programmatic environmental assessment released by the Army last month evaluated a maximum reduction at Fort Knox of 5,954 soldiers and 1,651 civilians …

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