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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Senate Armed Services to Keep Policy Bill Deliberations Closed

  • April 23, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 17-9 Thursday to keep its days-long markup of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill closed. The committee’s markup of the annual defense policy measure traditionally has been closed to the public at the insistence of former Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who cited the difficulty of going in and out of classified session. Supporters of opening the deliberations, led by Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), have argued the markup should be open to the public given the importance of the legislation and because the lion’s share of the committee’s work is not classified …

OEA Makes $175M Available to Local Districts to Upgrade On-Base Schools

  • April 23, 2015
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The Defense Department will be allocating $175 million to local school districts to construct, renovate, repair or expand elementary and secondary schools operated by local school districts on military installations that are in poor condition or experiencing overcrowding, according to an April 23 Federal Register notice. The funding, part of the fiscal 2015 spending bill for DOD, supplements an ongoing, non-competitive program administered by the Office of Economic Adjustment that has provided a total of $770 million to upgrade schools. OEA will use a list of schools with the most serious capacity or facility condition deficiencies assembled by the department in 2011 to invite local education agencies to apply for funding …

White House Missives Reinforce Split with Congress over FY’16 Spending

  • April 22, 2015
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Office of Management and Budget Chief Shaun Donovan on Tuesday criticized the first two fiscal 2016 spending bills moving through the House for adhering to the Budget Control Act spending limits, underscoring the potential for a divisive battle over spending this year, but also setting the path for a possible budget deal to relax the stringent caps. Donovan criticized the military construction-VA spending bill for shortchanging spending to upgrade military bases and veterans’ health care, reported CQ Roll Call. The milcon bill, along with the energy-water measure, is set to go to the House floor next week after gaining approval of the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. “The president has been clear that he is not willing to lock in sequestration going forward, nor will he accept fixes to defense without also fixing non-defense …

How is DOD Assessing the Risks Posed by Turbines, Panel Asks

  • April 22, 2015
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With the number of wind farm projects with the potential to interfere with military training and testing activities on the rise, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is eager to learn how the Defense Department assesses the risk to military missions posed by wind energy development. Defense officials have reached agreements over mitigation measures in a number of instances in which proposed wind farms were located close to installations, training ranges or low-level training routes, according to report language attached to the subcommittee’s portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill …

Milcon Spending Bill Advances in House

  • April 22, 2015
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The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a $76.6 billion fiscal 2016 spending bill for military construction and veterans affairs that provides a significant boost for military construction and family housing after spending on those programs dropped about one-third in the current year. Under the bill, military construction and family housing spending would rise $900 million over FY 2015 levels to $7.7 billion. The House’s proposal, however, still falls short of the Obama administration’s request for $8.4 billion in FY 2016. Milcon funding dropped in the current year as DOD opted to defer a portion of its construction program to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness …

Committee Seeks Update on Services’ Net Zero Progress

  • April 22, 2015
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All three services are embarking on ambitious efforts to increase the environmental sustainability of their installations, with the ultimate goal of reducing the consumption of energy, water and waste resources to an effective rate of zero. These efforts — first launched by the Army in 2011 under its Net Zero Initiative — are helping the military conserve energy while increasing its reliance on renewable energy sources and enhancing its energy security; reduce consumption of freshwater resources so as not to deplete groundwater; and limit the use of landfills. The efforts also are aimed at saving money …

Atlanta May Need to Help Finance Sale of Ft. McPherson

  • April 22, 2015
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The Atlanta City Council this week approved extending a $13 million line of credit to the Fort McPherson LRA, allowing the purchase of 330 acres of the post by filmmaker Tyler Perry to go ahead. Mayor Kasim Reed requested the line of credit as a backstop in the event the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority is unable to pay the Army the $26 million it is asking for the 488-acre installation. Reed told the council it needed to act with urgency …

Appropriations Committee Asks for Detailed Analysis of Infrastructure Needs in BRAC Study

  • April 22, 2015
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Citing its concern about the Pentagon’s repeated calls for a new BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to provide a comprehensive assessment of its infrastructure needs. “Though the committee is not endorsing or precluding another BRAC round, it is interested in more detailed information that would help lead Congress to make an informed decision on that question,” states the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure that was released Tuesday …

House Readiness Panel Dismisses BRAC Request

  • April 22, 2015
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee once again rejects the Obama administration’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, according to its portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The language in the draft bill stating that, “Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure round,” affirms the committee’s intent to reject DOD’s request to conduct a BRAC round in 2017, the panel states …

ADC Regional Forums to Introduce Local Leaders to Defense Community Issues

  • April 21, 2015
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A new series of regional forums hosted by ADC is intended to introduce community leaders and other local officials to the broad range of issues facing defense communities, including DOD fiscal constraints and their impact on force structure, a looming BRAC round and defense industry adjustment. The inaugural event, the Defense Communities Southeast Regional Forum, will be held in Fayetteville, N.C., from May 28-29. In addition to bringing local officials up to speed on what’s going on in Washington, the forum will cover the tools and strategies available to support defense communities …

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