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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

BRAC Prohibition in Compromise Measure Short, To the Point

  • December 12, 2013
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The House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill adopted varying approaches to rejecting the Obama administration’s request for a BRAC round in 2015, and the compromise version of the legislation unveiled this week finds one more way to bar additional base closures. “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an additional Base Realignment and Closure round,” reads the language in the bill …

Hagel Praises Sequester Relief included in Budget Deal

  • December 12, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday applauded this week’s budget agreement for restoring much-needed funds to military readiness accounts and supporting planning efforts over the next two years. “While this agreement doesn’t solve every budget problem facing DOD, it will help address our military readiness challenge by restoring funding for training and procurement — especially in fiscal year 2014,” Hagel said …

Authorization Bill Likely to Advance in Senate, Inhofe Says

  • December 12, 2013
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Despite a groundswell of resistance among Senate Republicans to supporting the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill, there is sufficient backing in the party’s caucus to clear the compromise measure crafted by committee leaders, James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday. Opposition to the legislation in the Senate stems from the dispute over how many amendments Republicans would be allowed to bring up when the bill came to the floor prior to Thanksgiving. Party leaders could not reach an agreement, prompting Armed Services committee leaders from both chambers to hash out a “pre-conferenced” measure over the past several weeks …

Pueblo Depot LRA Readies for Greater Responsibility

  • December 11, 2013
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The LRA for the Pueblo Chemical Depot, Colo., is making plans for a brighter future when it assumes control of about two-thirds of the facility over the next several years and the Army completes its chemical weapons disposal mission. “This is just the first step in starting, or really restarting the BRAC process,” Russ DeSalvo, the LRA’s executive director, told the Pueblo Chieftain. “The Department of Defense is working with us, and it will be a two- or three-year process to vet the property …

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 …

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