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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

States Extends Effort to Purchase Homes next to Robins AFB

  • May 21, 2014
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A local effort to purchase homes outside of Robins Air Force Base is receiving a helping hand from the state to limit encroachment outside of the Middle Georgia base. To date the local effort, which includes contributions from three counties and is being led by the Central Georgia Joint Development Authority, has closed on 179 properties, with the number expected to rise to 200 by the end of the year. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which only received approval to buy properties in April, has received requests from 100 property owners. Total funding for the initiative, including contributions from Georgia and DOD is $29.8 million, reported macon.com. The local effort is focusing on properties closest to the airfield, with the state addressing other areas subject to aircraft noise.

Ft. Rucker Steps Up to Meet Energy Conservation Goals

  • May 21, 2014
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Fort Rucker has met the federal mandate to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015 head on, forming a partnership with Alabama Power that is slated to install more than $18 million in conservation measures and placing the post on a path to surpass the government’s original goal. Those cost-saving measures will save the southeastern Alabama installation almost $2 million a year, and include a variety of initiatives. The partnership installed a 51-kilowatt photovoltaic array at Fort Rucker that was paid for by the sale of three natural gas generators that were no longer operating …

Senate Panel Passes on Pentagon Proposal to Reduce Commissary Subsidies

  • May 21, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee on Wednesday rejected some, but not all, of DOD’s proposed reforms to military benefits, as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The panel ignored the administration’s plan to slash subsidies for military grocery stores by $200 million in FY 2015, but included the proposal to limit housing allowances below the rate of inflation …

Smith Denied Opportunity to Offer BRAC Amendment

  • May 21, 2014
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The House Rules Committee on Tuesday failed to accept an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill from Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) that would have approved a new BRAC round as well as reformed the base closure process. Smith, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, brought up the provision for discussion when the full committee marked up the annual policy measure earlier this month, but withdrew the amendment before receiving a vote with the intention of offering it during floor debate for the bill …

House to Complete Work on Defense Policy Bill Today

  • May 21, 2014
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After debating dozens of amendments to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill late into Wednesday night, the House is expected to complete votes on them and move to final passage of the underlying measure Thursday. One amendment that passed Wednesday evening would hamper efforts by DOD — or Congress — to use its wartime funding account as an escape hatch for items that it can’t fit under the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps …

OEA Offering Support for Communities Dealing with Reductions in Defense Spending

  • May 20, 2014
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Communities responding to the cancellation of a defense contract or a major reduction in DOD spending that results in a significant economic impact can apply to the Office of Economic Adjustment for planning assistance, according to a May 20 Federal Register notice. To be eligible, state or local governments, or regional entities need to have experienced one of the following circumstances: a publicly announced planned major reduction in DOD spending; the closure or significantly reduced operation of a defense facility resulting from the merger, acquisition or consolidation of the operating contractor …

Thompson Backed Recovery at Mare Island, Other BRAC Sites

  • May 20, 2014
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During his eight terms, California Rep. Mike Thompson has been an ardent advocate for the city of Vallejo’s effort to redevelop the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard as well as for base redevelopment communities across the nation. Last October, Thompson introduced legislation designed to attract tens of millions of dollars in private sector investment to communities attempting to recover from a base closure. The measure Thompson sponsored as a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee would have expanded the New Markets Tax Credit program by up to $100 million a year for communities that suffered a base closure or realignment …

Hagel Stands by Austerity Measures in Budget

  • May 20, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will continue to defend the cost-cutting initiatives included in the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request as lawmakers debate the proposals over the coming months, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Tuesday. “[Hagel] stands firmly behind the tough decisions that were made in that budget proposal, decisions that he believes are necessary to preserve our military edge in a very difficult fiscal environment …

Subcommittee’s Recommendation Exceeds Request by $110M for BRAC Cleanup

  • May 20, 2014
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Funding to clean up installations closed in past BRAC rounds would receive $380 million under the draft fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Tuesday by the Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. The recommendation exceeds DOD’s budget request by $110 million but still would represent a $71 million decline from current year funding. The spending bill approved last month by the House matched the administration’s request for $270 million for legacy BRAC sites …

Senate Panel Rebuffs Pentagon’s BRAC Request

  • May 20, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee on Tuesday rejected the Obama administration’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The bill does not authorize a new BRAC round. Now is not the time to spend billions of upfront dollars on another BRAC round, especially as costs for the last one have dramatically exceeded expectations, and we’re still paying for the 2005 BRAC round,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), the panel’s ranking member …

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