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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Kaine Measure Would Help Troops Pay for Civilian Credentials

  • May 19, 2014
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Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) last week introduced legislation to help service members acquire credentials that would ease their transition into the civilian workforce. The 2014 Credentialing Improvement for Troop Talent Act would allow DOD’s tuition assistance program to pay for licensing fees and additional expenses such as training materials and test fees. Currently, the program provides financial assistance for postsecondary courses and degree programs but does not cover credentialing expenses …

N.C. Lawmaker Introduces Amendment to Protect Reserve Airlift Wing

  • May 19, 2014
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North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) on Monday introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill to prevent the Air Force from deactivating the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field. The proposal was included in the service’s FY 2015 budget request, which calls for retiring the 440th’s 12 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. “These cuts would be detrimental for the Fayetteville community — eradicating jobs and damaging the livelihood of many hard working men and women who serve Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield …

Massachusetts Governor Leads Effort to Support Mission Needs of State’s Installations

  • May 19, 2014
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With the formation of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has spearheaded one of the nation’s most comprehensive efforts to support a state’s military installations and their host communities, advancing initiatives in workforce training, transportation, environment and energy, and housing. Through a robust partnership with the military, the state’s congressional delegation and all levels of state government, the task force has worked to strengthen the commonwealth’s six bases by enhancing their missions and facilities, and exploring opportunities to bring in new missions …

Top Installation and Energy Slots Should Be Merged, White House Says

  • May 19, 2014
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The House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill would interfere with the Pentagon’s plan to merge the positions of deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment with the assistant secretary for operational energy plans and programs, according to the White House’s response to the legislation. The statement of administration policy issued Monday by the Office of Management and Budget said it objects to language in H.R. 4435 establishing an assistant secretary of defense for installations and environment to manage military construction and environmental programs …

BRAC Dismissal Tops Long List of White House Objections to House Policy Bill

  • May 19, 2014
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Citing its rejection of the administration’s request for a new BRAC round along with a host of other cost-saving proposals, the White House on Monday threatened to veto the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The bill does not include meaningful compensation reforms and other cost saving measures, rejects many of the department’s proposed force structure changes, and restricts DOD’s ability to manage its weapon systems and infrastructure …

Nation Wastes $6B Annually on Unneeded Bases, Analyst Says

  • May 18, 2014
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By repeatedly dismissing the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures, Congress is responsible for wasting $6 billion a year on unneeded installations, according to a commentary by Loren Thompson appearing in Forbes. To arrive at that figure, Thompson takes DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request for $40 billion for base operations, facility maintenance and military construction; pro-rates that figure to account for the 20 percent of military sites that are outside the United States and its territories; and applies the department’s estimate that about 20 percent of its infrastructure is excess …

Collins Lends Support to Active, BRAC Communities

  • May 18, 2014
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Since she was first elected in 1996, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) has been a champion of her state’s military installations and communities recovering from BRAC actions. Her longstanding support for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has resulted in the Navy spending tens of millions of dollars to upgrade its facilities. Funding to consolidate the shipyard’s structural shops was moved up to the Navy’s fiscal 2014 budget following a Navy report on improving the infrastructure needs of its four public shipyards …

Clean Energy Trumps Pax River Support as Governor Vetoes Bill Blocking Wind Farms

  • May 18, 2014
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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Friday vetoed a bill that would have blocked a proposed wind farm on the state’s Eastern Shore, ignoring the concerns of southern Maryland officials who believe the project could interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The measure would have delayed the construction of large turbines within 56 miles of Pax River — an area that would cover the distance from the air station on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore to the Great Bay project site across the bay. The decision by O’Malley, a strong proponent of clean energy development contemplating a run for the White House, was praised by environmentalists …

Solar Projects at Three Georgia Posts Push Army Closer to 1 Gigawatt Goal

  • May 18, 2014
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The Army announced its largest solar project to date last week when it unveiled plans to develop 30-megawatt, alternating current, solar photovoltaic arrays at three installations in Georgia — Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning. The three projects, referred to as “Georgia 3×30,” are a collaborative effort among the Army’s Energy Initiatives Task Force, the three installations, the General Services Administration (GSA) and Georgia Power. The venture is projected to bring the service 9 percent closer to its commitment to deploy one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025 …

Senate Committee’s Turn to Mark up Authorization Bill This Week

  • May 18, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee gets its turn to address the Pentagon’s plans for trimming force structure, eliminating weapons systems, cutting military pay and compensation, and holding a new BRAC round when it marks up its version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill this week. On Tuesday, the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee will mark up its portion of the annual defense policy measure, with the full committee taking up the legislation starting Wednesday. Many decisions committee members make this week will echo those the House made earlier this month …

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