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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Partnership with NBA is a ‘Slam Dunk,’ Dempsey Says

  • April 21, 2014
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DOD, the National Basketball Association and USA Basketball launched a new partnership last week to support local communities and hundreds of thousands of active and retired armed forces members and their families through the sport of basketball. The program will focus on community service, transition, leadership and rehabilitation for those with life-altering injuries. On Friday Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey praised the collaboration, saying it will help solve problems at the community level …

Atlanta Expects to Obtain Ft. McPherson This Summer

  • April 21, 2014
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The city of Atlanta should complete its acquisition of the former Fort McPherson from the Army by the end of July, Mayor Kasim Reed told reporters last week. Reed mentioned the closed Army post as a potential site for much-needed affordable housing, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There’s good news because the city has, through a number of mechanisms, a substantial inventory of real estate,” said Reed, who cited the current site of Turner Field as another parcel that could be used for affordable housing after the Atlanta Braves baseball team moves …

Travis AFB Advocates Look to New Tanker Mission

  • April 21, 2014
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With the KC-10 fleet nearing the end of its lifespan, the Travis Community Consortium is pinning the future of Travis Air Force Base on the KC-46A. The base in northern California now is home to 27 KC-10s, but the local support group for Travis is confident the installation is the right location for the next generation tanker. “We believe Travis has the ideal infrastructure and location to host multiple KC-46A squadrons,” Sandy Person, who chairs the consortium, wrote in a commentary in the Vacaville Reporter …

DOD Should Take Advantage of Roads Program, House Panel Says

  • April 21, 2014
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The Defense Department should make greater use of the Defense Access Roads (DAR) program, a way for DOD to upgrade roads outside of military installations, according to the report of the House Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee has heard of many worthwhile road construction/expansion projects in and around military installations that are in great need of funding,” the panel states. Those projects would benefit both the installations and the communities …

Milcon Bill Expected on House Floor Next Week

  • April 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure is expected to be brought up on the House floor next week, as the chamber gets off to its fastest start for advancing appropriations bills in decades. House leaders have not yet determined exactly when the legislation would get floor time, however. The milcon bill likely would be brought up under an open amendment process, Republican aides told CQ. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has set an ambitious goal of marking up all 12 spending bills by July 4, and for the House to finish debating all 12 by the August recess …

City Creates New Authority to Carry out Ft. Gillem Reuse

  • April 20, 2014
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The Forest Park, Ga., city council last week approved the creation of an Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to oversee the reuse of 778 acres at the former Fort Gillem. The new authority will replace the Forest Park/Fort Gillem Implementation Local Redevelopment Authority, which is expected to disband shortly and transfer its work to the URA, reported the Clayton News Daily. The URA also will adopt the city’s urban redevelopment plan. “That now gives you the authorities that you need to have as the Urban Redevelopment Authority to start taking action and doing things on behalf of the city,” authority Executive Director Fred Bryant told URA board members. Officials are preparing to close on the Fort Gillem property in the coming weeks, and plan to hold a ceremony May 2.

Moves Pose Mental Health Risks for Military Kids, Study Shows

  • April 20, 2014
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Moving to a new town or city poses significant challenges for the mental health of children in military families, especially for teenagers, according to a new study. The researchers looked at the medical records of 548,336 children between ages 6 and 17 with at least one parent in the military; almost 25 percent of the children moved during the past year …

Local Schools Need to Support Military Children, Ft. Rucker Advocate Says

  • April 20, 2014
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The chairman of the local support organization for Fort Rucker stressed the need for school districts in defense communities to support the children of military dependents, by maintaining high academic standards as well as by being sensitive to the requirements of military-connected students, during remarks last week to the Daleville (Ala.) Board of Education. Rod Wolfe, chairman of the Friends of Fort Rucker, cited a number of measures that DOD evaluates when considering base closures, including whether a school system has adopted the Common Core Curriculum, which can lessen the challenges children face after moving to a different school district …

Defense Lobbying Shifts from Capitol Hill to Pentagon

  • April 20, 2014
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Even as lobbyists gear up for markups of the defense authorization bill and spending bills, much of their attention has shifted to the Defense Department as spending caps and earmark bans limit the power of lawmakers. “We’re not doing the retail lobbying on the Hill anymore,” one lobbyist told CQ. “I’m only hiring people who know their way around the Pentagon.” The change comes as lawmakers have lost much of their influence on spending decisions …

Revised Plan Would Ease Impact of Marines’ Realignment to Guam

  • April 20, 2014
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The Navy’s revised plan for relocating 4,700 Marines from Okinawa to Guam would extend the timetable for constructing facilities to accommodate the move from seven to 13 years, eliciting praise from the government of Guam. The plan would diminish the realignment’s impact on Guam’s infrastructure and residents, as a smaller military footprint results in a lower demand for power, water and wastewater treatment, according to the draft supplemental environmental impact statement the Navy released last week …

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