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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force Rules out Civilian Furloughs This Year

  • December 11, 2013
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The Air Force will trim its civilian workforce by 900 positions this year to cope with fiscal 2014 budget constraints, rather than imposing furloughs as it did last year, officials announced Wednesday. Officials have not yet determined how the reductions will affect individual locations, according to a press release. To reduce the number involuntary separations, the service plans to offer incentives to encourage affected employees to retire or leave the Air Force …

Ft. Polk Support Group to Push Performance of Local Schools

  • December 11, 2013
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The community organization supporting Fort Polk, La., is launching an initiative to promote the achievement of the local school district serving children of the soldiers and civilian personnel at the post. “Fort Polk Progress intends to work in cooperation with the Vernon Parish School Board to inform our military partners on the achievements of the school district, plans for continued excellence and the pursuit of implementation funds,” Michael Reese, chairman of Fort Polk Progress, told the school board on Tuesday …

GAO to Look at Potential for Military Bases to Host Other Agencies, under Defense Bill

  • December 11, 2013
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The House and Senate Armed Services committees are interested in whether relocating non-defense agencies to military installations would save the federal government money and enhance security, according to language in the compromise version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill released earlier this week. The bill would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a feasibility study …

Budget Deal Imposes Reality on Defense Appropriators

  • December 11, 2013
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Tuesday’s budget deal would greatly benefit defense programs by erasing $20 billion in additional sequester cuts scheduled to go into effect next month, but it also means House and Senate appropriators will need to adhere to the adjusted spending caps for DOD included in the agreement. The fiscal 2014 defense spending bills drafted in the House and Senate, as well as the Pentagon’s budget request, all ignored the likelihood that sequestration would be triggered for a second straight year and called for funding that exceeded the Budget Control Act spending caps by about $50 billion …

Reported Savings from Federal Real Estate Initiatives Inconsistent, GAO Finds

  • December 11, 2013
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Federal agencies did not consistently report cost savings from real estate initiatives taken in response to a June 2010 presidential memorandum intended to spur the disposal of excess property, improvements in energy efficiency and other space consolidation efforts, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week. Space management initiatives — including consolidating or eliminating leases that were not cost effective — accounted for the largest portion of the $3.8 billion in savings agencies reported through fiscal 2012 …

Talk of Plan to Close Commissaries Prompts Anxiety from Military Families, Retirees

  • December 11, 2013
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Military families and retirees who rely on the commissaries at Keesler Air Force Base and the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Mississippi to buy groceries expressed consternation over the news that that the Pentagon might consider closing stateside commissaries. “We have heard lots of things bantered about and believe the system is working the way it is and don’t understand why time and time again the system seems to be under attack,” Candace Wheeler, spokesperson for the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits …

Opposition from Senate Republicans Could Stall Defense Bill

  • December 11, 2013
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A number of Senate Republicans have indicated they might not support the compromise version of the defense authorization bill unveiled by House and Senate Armed Services committee leaders Monday, raising doubt as to whether Congress can clear the legislation before the end of the year. The lawmakers’ opposition stems from last month’s dispute between the two parties as to how many amendments would receive votes when the annual policy bill went to the Senate floor. The two sides failed to come to an agreement, stalling debate on the bill prior to Thanksgiving and forcing the committee leaders to work out a “pre-conferenced” bill behind closed doors …

For Pentagon, Budget Deal Would Avoid Worsening Automatic Spending Cuts

  • December 11, 2013
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Defense officials would not need to find additional budget savings in fiscal 2014 and 2015 under the budget deal reached Tuesday, but they still would need to contend with sequester cuts in line with those imposed last year. On the one hand, the Defense Department would earn a reprieve from $22 billion in automatic cuts in the current year, erasing a $20 billion increase in the sequester scheduled to hit in January. But officials still would need to identify about $32 billion in savings from its FY 2014 budget request, however, as its $552 billion proposal was $54 billion above the spending cap …

Ryan, Murray Complete Deal with Partial Reprieve of Sequester Cuts

  • December 10, 2013
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After two months of mostly quiet negotiations, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a deal Tuesday that sets topline discretionary spending for the next two years and averts a total of $63 billion in sequester cuts over that period. In fiscal 2014, $45 billion in sequester cuts would be restored, bringing total discretionary spending to $1.012 trillion. That topline figure represents a $24 billion increase over the FY 2013 spending level of $988 billion …

Navy to Conduct Increased Training along Atlantic Coast

  • December 9, 2013
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The Navy will conduct more training along the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, following the signing of an environmental impact statement, a change that will give service members more time to spend with their families. Officials considered the close proximity of homeports to the training ranges as a way to reduce travel for sailors and Marines from their duty stations, reported the Brunswick News. “The Navy is required to track and, where possible, limit the amount of time sailors and Marines spend deployed from home,” the study said. The designated area — where the Navy will conduct additional surface-to-air, surface-to-surface and anti-submarine warfare activities — is 2.6 million square nautical miles along the Atlantic, from Maine to Florida, and Gulf coasts.

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