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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Rural Utility Agrees to $7.6M Settlement for Overbilling Ft. Knox

  • April 14, 2015
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Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative agreed to pay $7.6 million to the federal government over charges that it billed the Army for energy-saving projects at Fort Knox, Ky., that should never have been authorized, federal prosecutors said Monday. Prosecutors said the Kentucky utility received $8 million for 20 projects that were touted as saving more than $7 million over a decade but actually were estimated to lose more than $15 million over that period, reported the Lexington Herald-Leader. Prosecutors also cited several incidents in which Nolin charged the Army for projects that had not been approved by listing the costs under unrelated, but authorized, projects …

GAO Highlights Need for DOD to Improve Tracking of Underutilized Facilities

  • April 14, 2015
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In a report presenting 66 actions the federal government could take to improve efficiency, the Government Accountability Office reiterates the need for the Defense Department to improve its processes for identifying underutilized facilities as a prerequisite for consolidating or disposing of unneeded facilities. The congressional watchdog agency cited its earlier recommendations calling for DOD to modify its procedures for updating and verifying data on the utilization of facilities, and to establish a strategic plan to manage its real property. The plan should include long-term goals, strategies and use of metrics to help the department identify potential consolidation or disposal opportunities …

Air Force Names Four Candidates to Host New Tanker Reserve Unit

  • April 14, 2015
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The Air Force is considering four locations to host the first Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus unit — Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C.; Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.; and Grissom ARB, Ind. Officials on Tuesday said the service’s next generation aerial tanker KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal 2019. Air Mobility Command and Air Force Reserve Command now will conduct site surveys of each candidate. Officials will grade each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower …

Compromise Budget Resolution Unlikely to Clarify Fate of Spending Caps

  • April 13, 2015
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An amendment to the Senate version of the fiscal 2016 budget resolution calling for relief from the statutory spending caps for defense and non-defense spending over the next two years is unlikely to be included in the compromise resolution the two chambers are expected to hash out over the coming weeks. The amendment, introduced by Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) and passed with the support of four Republicans, called for replacing $148 billion in spending cuts in fiscal 2016 and 2017 with alternative offsets not yet specified over the 10-year budget window, reported CQ. As talks get under way over a compromise budget, conservative groups are pushing back against the provision because it would reverse the Budget Control Act spending caps …

Nation Can’t Afford to Punt on BRAC, Texas Lawmaker Says

  • April 13, 2015
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Count Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) as one of the few lawmakers willing to let the Pentagon launch a sixth round of base closures. For the second-term lawmaker, the logic is relatively simple — with new threats emerging across the globe, DOD should be allowed to save money from weapons and installations it no longer needs so it can afford to preserve its existing end strength. “What you shouldn’t cut are personnel,” O’Rourke, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told El Paso Inc. He certainly understands why BRAC is hugely unpopular in Congress, but lawmakers can’t afford to ignore officials saying the military has about 20 percent excess infrastructure capacity. “I don’t want to continue to subsidize bases and installations that are not performing …

Ft. Detrick Array to Help Post Meet Net Zero Target

  • April 13, 2015
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Leadership from the military, local officials and a Framingham, Mass.-based energy developer broke ground at Fort Detrick earlier this month on an estimated $35 million, 18.6-megawatt solar array. The project, which calls for the installation of 60,000 solar panels on 67 acres, will help the Frederick, Md., installation take a significant step toward reaching its net zero goals for energy. “We made a commitment to be a net zero community for energy,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Lein, commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick …

Michigan Delegation Presses Case for National Guard to Host Cyber Mission

  • April 13, 2015
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Michigan’s congressional delegation is lobbying top defense officials to locate a cyber operations squadron at the 110th Attack Wing at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The lawmakers cite multiple reasons for the unit to host the squadron including the base’s existing cyber missions, a factor which would save the Air National Guard $2.2 million because much of the needed infrastructure already is in place. They also point to the state’s skilled workforce and universities as assets that would help fill positions created by a new cyber operations squadron …

New Mexico Governor Signs Bill Streamlining Base Planning Panel

  • April 13, 2015
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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez last week signed legislation reducing the size of the state Military Base Planning Commission from 17 to 12 members. The change is intended to make the panel more nimble as it strives to protect New Mexico’s military assets, and means the commission will have nine representatives from the counties neighboring installations, two at-large representatives appointed from other counties and the lieutenant governor. The original bill, Senate Bill 369, would have eliminated the slot for the lieutenant governor …

N.C. Communities Request State Funding to Support Military Facilities

  • April 12, 2015
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Five defense communities in North Carolina have joined forces to pursue $1 million from Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to support their efforts to combat encroachment, invest in regional infrastructure and form partnerships with neighboring installations. Havelock Mayor Will Lewis spearheaded the collaboration, which includes Jacksonville, home to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River; Goldsboro, home to Seymour Johnson AFB; Fayetteville, home to Fort Bragg/Pope Field; and Elizabeth City, home to the U.S. Coast Guard. “Every municipality that is next to an installation has things that they spend money on to support the citizens on that installation that we don’t really get a tax base from …

Pentagon Pushing Plan to Consolidate Exchanges, Commissaries, Sources Say

  • April 12, 2015
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Defense Department leaders appear to be moving ahead with a plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange systems, according to multiple sources. The move comes in response to a recommendation from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission in January. Consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency into a single Defense Resale Activity would generate savings by combining many of the back-end office and support functions such as logistics and staffing, the panel concluded …

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