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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Authorization Bill Rejects Air Force Plan to Retire A-10 Fleet

  • April 27, 2015
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For the second straight year, the House Armed Services Committee has proposed reversing the Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. Instead, the committee would provide $683 million to keep the aircraft flying, according to the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The Air Force has said retiring the A-10 would save $4 billion and that other aircraft can perform the close air support mission. Many lawmakers, though, dispute the claim that other aircraft can replace the Warthog …

Joining Forces Receives Industry Pledge to Hire, Train 90,000 Veterans, Spouses

  • April 27, 2015
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A group of technology and energy companies have committed to hire or train 90,000 veterans and military spouses in the next five years, First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week during an event marking the fourth anniversary of the Joining Forces initiative. When the effort to raise awareness among all Americans about the service, sacrifice and needs of military families initially was launched, President Obama challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans and spouses. Now, less than four years later, “America’s businesses have continued to race past my husband’s initial goal, and together, those businesses who answered the president’s call have hired or trained more than 850,000 veterans and military spouses,” the first lady said …

House Armed Services to Shift Base Budget Needs to OCO Account

  • April 26, 2015
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The House version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill will be aligned with that chamber’s budget resolution, allowing DOD to tap the tens of billions of dollars in extra funds stashed in its war account for requirements that ordinarily would be funded in the department’s base budget. “I’m not too wrapped up in the label on the account,” Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said last week before his panel’s subcommittees began marking up the annual policy bill …

Panel Asks Air Force, Navy for Details on Criteria for F-35 Basing Decisions

  • April 26, 2015
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is eager to learn more about the selection criteria the Air Force and Navy rely on when making stationing decisions for the F-35, according to report language attached to the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The subcommittee directs the two services to brief it before either announces the initial screening and site survey criteria for their next stationing action, or by Dec. 1, 2015, whichever is earlier. The briefing should cover each service’s existing process for stationing, basing and laydown decisions for the F-35, with an explanation of the methodology employed for each criterion …

China Lake Community Needs to Address Water Shortfall, McGinn Says

  • April 26, 2015
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Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is a valuable asset for the Navy that likely wouldn’t be threatened by a prospective BRAC round, the Navy’s top installations official told the China Lake Alliance during a luncheon last week. At the same time, the aquifer that China Lake relies on is in overdraft, jeopardizing the long-term sustainability of the installation located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, said Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment. “Even if there were not China Lake and the Naval Air Warfare Center here, this would be an unsustainable situation …

Army Commission Announces Chairman, Vice Chair

  • April 26, 2015
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Retired Army Gen. Carter Ham, who most recently served as commander of U.S. Africa Command, will lead the National Commission on the Future of the U.S. Army, the commission announced last week. Thomas Lamont, who served as assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs from 2009 to 2013, will be the panel’s vice chair. The commission, created by the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, will assess the structure and size of the Army, determine the proper force mixture of the active and reserve components, and conduct policy analysis to document how policies affect mission requirements, according to a press release …

Cultural Festival to Showcase Link between Monterey, Military Facilities

  • April 26, 2015
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The city of Monterey, Calif., will hold a cultural festival this weekend to highlight the community’s close relationship with its two military installations — the Presidio of Monterey, home of the Defense Language Institute, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
With a BRAC round looming, the inaugural Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival will provide an opportunity for Monterey to demonstrate its support for the two installations, according to Mayor Clyde Roberson. “We can provide the [Defense Department’s] mission here better than anywhere else,” Roberson said last week. “This is just one of the many steps we are taking.” Last year, Monterey County trademarked the slogan, the “Language Capital of the World,” as part of an effort to raise the profile of the Defense Language Institute. Military activity in Monterey contributes $1.4 billion to the local economy annually, reported the Monterey Herald.

Compromise Expected over Procedural Hurdle to Use of Extra Defense Funds

  • April 23, 2015
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House and Senate conferees appear to have reached a compromise over one of the primary sticking points to agreement on a fiscal 2016 budget resolution, a procedural hurdle that could block the Senate from allocating $38 billion in extra funding added to DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO). The Senate’s budget blueprint includes a point of order on spending from the department’s war account that exceeds $58 billion, the original amount requested by the Obama administration. The point of order would allow Senate Democrats or fiscal conservatives to block appropriations from the OCO that exceed $58 billion unless defense hawks can produce 60 votes to override the objection …

Personnel Committee Defers Action on Consolidation Plan for Commissaries, Exchanges

  • April 23, 2015
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A plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange system is not included in the portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill marked up by the House Armed Services’ Military Personnel Subcommittee on Thursday. Chairman Joe Heck (R-Nev.) said the panel is not yet ready to address the consolidation plan, which the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission recommended in January. Lawmakers are awaiting results from a contractor study mandated by Congress in last year’s authorization bill …

New Air Force Agency Will Transform Delivery of Installation Support, Vice Commander Says

  • April 23, 2015
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The new Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC) for the first time will provide the service a “single voice” for installation and mission support, allowing officials to better prioritize funding across the service, according to the center’s vice commander. “The tremendous opportunity that is presented by the AFIMSC is that, for the first time in our history as an Air Force, we are going to be able to have that single voice across that installation and mission support portfolio and try to provide the balance and leveling that our commands have done a great job at thus far,” Col. Brian Duffy told a class of Air Force leaders attending the Commanders’ Professional Development School …

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