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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Armed Services Leaders Work toward Compromise Defense Measure

  • December 3, 2013
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To provide a fallback option in case the Senate does not quickly pass a fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill when it returns next week to Capitol Hill, the top leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees met behind closed doors Monday to hash out their own version of a conference report that could be easily cleared by the two chambers before the end of the year. The participants — House Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), House ranking member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Senate Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senate ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) — said very little following the meeting …

House Move to Pass New CR Likely to Meet Resistance

  • December 3, 2013
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The House may take up a new continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government running after Jan. 15, but opposition from Democrats, defense hawks and appropriators, over the measure’s austere spending level could imperil the strategy of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Boehner said Tuesday the chamber may act on the measure next week, after which the House is scheduled to adjourn until Jan. 7. Moving a stopgap bill next week would reduce the pressure on the House to act quickly when the new session begins next year …

FAA Accepting Applications for Military Airport Program

  • December 2, 2013
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Former military airfields and joint use airports have almost two months to apply to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Military Airport Program (MAP), a valuable source of funding for capital improvements. The fiscal 2014 MAP has eight slots available for new participants or existing participants eligible for redesignation. None of the open slots, however, are available for general aviation airports, according to the Dec. 2 Federal Register notice …

Veterans Push Back at Talk of Closing Commissaries

  • December 2, 2013
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Veterans and active duty service members at Fort Bragg and the neighboring community of Fayetteville, N.C., say commissaries provide a valuable benefit and would be greatly missed, a possibility raised by the recent news that top Pentagon officials have asked the Defense Commissary Agency to create a plan to close all stateside commissaries. Mark Erskine, commander of American Legion Post 230 and an Army veteran on 100 percent disability, cannot imagine losing the stores where he buys his food and basic household supplies …

Ryan, Murray Continue Talks in Quest for Budget Deal

  • December 2, 2013
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Negotiations between House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will continue this week as the leaders of the House-Senate budget conference try to reach agreement on a budget framework for the remainder of the fiscal year. Murray “remains hopeful that they can get a deal by the deadline,” her spokesman Eli Zupnick told CQ. The conference committee has a Dec. 13 deadline for striking a budget deal, although the current continuing resolution funding the federal government does not run out until Jan. 15 …

RAND Study Examines Benefits of Divesting DOD Schools

  • December 2, 2013
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The RAND Corp. is looking at the costs and benefits of operating DOD schools for military dependents in the continental United States, the latest study to focus on a potential divestiture that could help the military stretch its shrinking budget dollars. The study, which is costing the Pentagon $905,000, will review 60 schools at 15 installations that enroll about 23,000 schoolchildren, reported Stars and Stripes. The review will compare the performance of DOD schools with nearby public schools. It will not look at overseas schools operated by the DOD Education Activity …

Ancillary Support Programs to Be Eliminated at Air Force Facilities, Welsh Says

  • December 2, 2013
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Nonessential support services that contribute to the quality-of-life for airmen and their families but do not support the Air Force’s primary mission can be expected to succumb to the budget knife, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said last week. Welsh cited several examples of facilities that would be cut, including golf courses, bowling alleys, auto hobby shops and others that are not self-supporting. “These things have made our way of life a lot of fun for families and military members, but we cannot afford them anymore …

DOD Awards $13.2M Grant to Community to Replace School at Dugway Proving Ground

  • November 26, 2013
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The Tooele County School District, Utah, will receive $13.2 million from DOD to demolish and replace a high school at Dugway Proving Ground, the department announced last week. The school district is providing matching funds of $2.7 million for the project, which will serve 120 students in grades seven through 12. The school district, which leases land from the Army for the school, will own and operate the new high school …

NFL Team’s Support Helps Jacksonville Improve Veterans Services

  • November 25, 2013
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The Jaguars Foundation is contributing $1 million to help Jacksonville expand a range of services for veterans. Earlier this month, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and Jaguars owner Shad Khan cut the ribbon on the city’s new veteran resource and reintegration center, a project designed to better support veterans with social services, housing assistance and employment services. The city also is adding a social services specialist to its military affairs office to assist veterans, reported First Coast News. “This will assure that Jacksonville continues to be known throughout the country as the number one home for returning veterans,” said Khan.

Further Cuts Will Harm Commissary Benefit, Agency CEO Says

  • November 25, 2013
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Military grocery stores struggled during fiscal 2013 to cope with cutbacks in funding triggered by sequestration, Joseph Jeu, director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency, told lawmakers last week. Civilian furloughs forced most commissaries to close one day a week for six weeks. A department-wide hiring freeze already had resulted in staffing at two-thirds of the commissaries falling below required levels. As a result, some customers waited in checkout lines for 20 to 30 minutes …

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