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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

New BRAC Round Would Generate Savings, Conger Says

  • March 4, 2015
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The Pentagon’s senior installations official told lawmakers Tuesday that the BRAC round DOD is requesting would realize savings much more quickly than the 2005 round. “We look at the next round as an efficiency-driven one,” John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. “In such a budget environment as we have today, it only makes sense to avoid spending money on excess …

Central Louisiana Hopes to Shield Ft. Polk from Troop Cuts a Second Time

  • March 4, 2015
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The people of Central Louisiana put on a strong show of support Tuesday for the listening session for Fort Polk, with a large number of residents lining the streets in Leesville on the way to the meeting site and crowds at two satellite locations participating via live streaming. Speakers emphasized the region’s patriotism and loyalty to the post as Army officials gathered input from Fort Polk’s neighbors before deliberating over the service’s second round of restructuring this decade. The listening sessions that officials are conducting at 30 installations will be used to help the Army determine how to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000 by fiscal 2020 …

Pax River Housing Project Featured on ‘Designing Spaces’

  • March 4, 2015
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Home improvement show “Designing Spaces” will feature the housing privatization project at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in an episode later this month. The segment — scheduled to air March 19 at 7 a.m. on Lifetime — will focus on one military family living at the Challenger Estates neighborhood managed by Lincoln Military Housing in southern Maryland. The segment highlights the unique partnership the military formed with developers and property managers to upgrade the condition of family housing at installations across the nation, according to a press release.

Installation Chiefs Turn up the Heat to Make Case for BRAC

  • March 3, 2015
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The military’s installation chiefs made an impassioned plea to lawmakers on Tuesday for permission to hold a BRAC round in 2017, fine tuning their previous arguments and making clear the consequences if Congress rejects the Pentagon’s request for a new round of base closures for the fourth year in a row. Two of the witnesses came to the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing with new estimates of the amount of excess infrastructure capacity their services are saddled with. An analysis based on fiscal 2013 data concluded the Army has an 18 percent facility excess, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. That figure was based on an active-duty end strength of 490,000, which the Army will reach by the end of the year …

Conger Looks to Congress for Input on BRAC Process

  • March 3, 2015
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The Pentagon’s installations chief tackled head-on the latest criticism from lawmakers toward the administration’s request for a new BRAC round at Tuesday’s House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing. John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, acknowledged that even though defense officials have pledged to conduct a new BRAC with a different emphasis than the last one, unless the department updates the legislation authorizing a new round, lawmakers may continue to be wary. “Let me be clear,” Conger said. “We’re open to a discussion on this point. I would like to solicit your suggestions as to specific changes in the BRAC legislation that would make it more acceptable …

Reed Joins Carter in Supporting BRAC Request

  • March 3, 2015
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Jack Reed, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, indicated at a hearing Tuesday that he may support another round of base closures. “I do believe that we need to consider efforts to allow the Defense Department to shed what may be as much as 25 percent in excess infrastructure it does not necessarily need, and use these resources for the best and higher priorities,” Reed said in his opening statement. The hearing on President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request featured Ashton Carter’s first opportunity to testify on Capitol Hill as defense secretary …

Missouri Leaders Tout Ft. Leonard Wood’s Assets

  • March 3, 2015
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Dozens of state and local officials — part of a crowd estimated at nearly 2,000 — showed up at a listening session Monday to support Fort Leonard Wood and highlight its strengths as the Army considers how to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000 by fiscal 2020. Sen. Claire McCaskill said the post, located in the Missouri Ozarks, has the lowest direct cost of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command installations. “If we’re talking about saving money, we would want to be utilizing this facility not cutting this facility …

Lifting Defense Spending Cap to Wait, Graham Says

  • March 3, 2015
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The fiscal 2016 budget resolution passed by the Senate most likely will not adjust spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act, despite a push by defense hawks to lift the ceiling on national security spending, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who sits on the Budget and Armed Services committees. Graham said he favors sticking with the caps in the budget resolution, and then attempting to strike a bipartisan deal to lift the defense cap later in the session …

Republican Support to Exceed Defense Budget Cap Extends beyond Armed Services Panel

  • March 3, 2015
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The aim of House Republicans to provide the Pentagon relief from the stringent Budget Control Act spending cap for fiscal 2016 goes beyond Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee, and signals a sharp split between defense hawks and fiscal conservatives. This week it was learned that 70 House Republicans wrote Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Feb. 26 to recommend allocating at least $561 billion for national security next year, a level equivalent to the president’s budget request. The letter echoes the sentiment of defense hawks that adhering to the statutory cap for defense spending threatens national security …

Community of Stakeholders Needed to Support Installations’ Net Zero Initiative

  • March 2, 2015
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To ensure its success, the Army’s Net Zero Initiative — an effort to reduce the consumption of energy, water and waste resources to an effective rate of zero — requires the support of a variety of stakeholders, including contractors, utility providers, municipalities, residents and regulatory agencies, according to the latest article published in the Journal of Defense Communities. Since the 17 pilot installations participating in the initiative were selected four years ago, these stakeholders have been collaborating with installation officials to realize the Army’s goals of slashing energy use and producing energy onsite from renewable sources, trimming water use while sustaining the local aquifer, and reducing solid waste streams. Carrying out Net Zero waste programs, for instance, requires greater interaction between the installation and local municipalities as the post may not have sufficient quantities of materials to make a recycling initiative viable …

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