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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Officials Break Ground on Ft. Belvoir Highway Expansion

  • April 29, 2014
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Leaders from northern Virginia broke ground Monday on a project to widen a 3.5-mile stretch of U.S. Route 1, the primary access road to Fort Belvoir. Traffic congestion outside the post’s gates has been a problem for the past two decades, even before the installation’s population grew by thousands of personnel following the last round of BRAC …

Reservists Face ‘Different Stressors’ in Returning from Combat

  • April 29, 2014
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According to the latest figures from the Pentagon, suicides among active-duty service members dropped in 2013 from the previous year but rose among Reservists, highlighting the different set of problems facing members of the Guard and Reserve. “There’s a growing amount of data — including our own research — that the Guard and Reserve soldiers are unique, with different stressors and problems,” said Dr. Craig Bryan, executive director of the National Center for Veteran Studies …

Subcommittee Would Block OSD Funds to Prod Pentagon to Budget for 11th Carrier

  • April 29, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee plans to use the power of the purse to ensure DOD provides funding for 11 aircraft carriers. The panel would hold back half of the funding for the office of the secretary of defense (OSD) until officials commit funds needed to prepare to refuel the USS George Washington, according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill the subcommittee is scheduled to mark up Wednesday …

Governor Appeals to White House to Protect White Sands from Transmission Line

  • April 29, 2014
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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) is urging President Obama to intervene in a decision by the Interior Department’s (DOI) Bureau of Land Management over the planned route of a transmission line that calls for it to cut through the northern extension of White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Martinez’s letter to Obama echoed the concerns of Pentagon officials and the installation commander who earlier have said the planned route of SunZia’s 515-mile-long, high-voltage transmission line would interfere with testing and evaluation activities at White Sands …

House Panel Rejects Proposal to Trim Commissary Discount, Housing Allowance

  • April 29, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Military Personnel Subcommittee failed to adopt the Pentagon’s plan to reduce direct subsidies for military grocery stores and slow increases in service members’ basic allowance for housing (BAH), according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill the panel is scheduled to mark up on Wednesday. The changes in military pay and compensation included in the administration’s FY 2015 budget request were the Pentagon’s latest attempt to stem the growth of skyrocketing personnel costs and mitigate the impact of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps …

Partnerships Focus on Finding Veterans a Career

  • April 29, 2014
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While many initiatives across the nation are focused on placing transitioning service members into jobs, two promising programs aim to help veterans find careers outside of the military. The 11-year old Helmets to Hardhats job training program helps veterans obtain certification in the construction industry through a no-cost apprenticeship program. Veterans receive a certification they can transfer to any state and receive training in how to read a blueprint, among other skills …

Ft. Huachuca Solar Project to Rely on GSA Contract

  • April 29, 2014
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An 18-megawatt solar installation being developed at Fort Huachuca, representing DOD’s largest solar array to date, will supply energy to the southeastern Arizona post through a General Services Administration (GSA) area-wide public utility contract. Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 155-acre project — a joint effort among the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, Fort Huachuca, GSA, Tucson Electric Power and developer E.ON Climate and Renewables — on Friday. Under the agreement, Tucson Electric Power will fund, own, maintain and operate the project, and contract with developer E.ON for the design, engineering, procurement and construction …

Community Issues May Be Critical to Preserving Robins AFB, Advocate Says

  • April 28, 2014
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Two areas that leaders in Middle Georgia should pursue to boost the prospects that Robins Air Force Base survives a future BRAC is reducing crime and improving the quality of its public schools. “We have to find a resolution to the growing crime issue in Middle Georgia,” said Robert McMahon, president and CEO of the 21st Century Partnership, the local support group for Robins. “That’s an issue that impacts not only the military’s perception but industry’s perception of our region, and I think we have to work that aggressively,” said McMahon …

Congress Will Find Funds to Retain 11th Carrier, Lawmakers Say

  • April 28, 2014
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Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation have pledged to secure the funds needed to refuel the USS George Washington, which would allow the Navy to retain 11 aircraft carriers. “I am not worried that the United States is going to lose a carrier because I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, said at a press conference on Monday, reported the Hill. DOD’s latest five-year budget provides funding for only 10 carriers as it does not include $6 billion needed to refuel the George Washington …

Effort to Overturn National Guard Cuts Runs into Resistance on Capitol Hill

  • April 28, 2014
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Congress has historically been a reliable advocate for the interests of the National Guard, but in the latest dispute over the Army’s plan to trim the size of the Army National Guard and replace its fleet of Apache attack helicopters, many members on Capitol Hill are pushing back against the arguments of state National Guard leaders. A common refrain from lawmakers is that the cuts in the Army’s end strength forced by the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps are sufficiently deep that the Guard needs to bear some of the burden of the budget cuts …

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