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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Legislature Approves Taxing District for Stratford Engine Plant Reuse

  • May 9, 2014
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The Connecticut General Assembly has passed legislation creating a special taxing district around the former Stratford Army Engine Plant, boosting the effort to transform the site into a mixed-use redevelopment. The measure, passed Wednesday in the Senate and last week in the House, would make it easier for developers to issue bonds to fund infrastructure upgrades, including roads, water and sewer lines, and sidewalks, reports the Connecticut Post. The taxing district would have the power to set and collect taxes to pay for the improvements …

Federal Scoring Rules Need to Be Revisited, Robyn Says

  • May 8, 2014
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Dorothy Robyn, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment, makes the case for reforming the way the federal government treats real estate leases and public-private ventures for budgetary purposes, in a commentary in the Washington Post. “The budgetary rules that govern investment in these assets are a blunt instrument that does serious collateral damage. Reforming these rules would allow the government to shrink its real estate footprint, modernize its legacy infrastructure for the 21st century and save billions of dollars …

Committee Rejects Army Plan to Restructure National Guard

  • May 8, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee Wednesday night voted to block the Army’s plan to shift almost 200 Apache attack helicopters from the National Guard to the service’s active component. The amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill was proposed by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and passed by a voice vote with support from both sides of the aisle, reported the Hill. Following the vote, the committee passed the underlying defense policy bill early Thursday morning …

Lawmakers Vote to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • May 8, 2014
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In a major victory for advocates of the A-10 Warthog, the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday night added language to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill prohibiting the Air Force from retiring its fleet of close air support aircraft. Supporters of the amendment, sponsored by Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), defied both Committee Chair Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) in passing it 41 to 20. The committee later passed the underlying defense policy bill early Thursday morning …

In Resisting DOD Austerity Measures, House Bill Puts off Budget Reckoning

  • May 8, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed unanimously early Thursday morning by the House Armed Services Committee brushed off a slew of cost-saving proposals by the Pentagon in an attempt to avert reductions in force structure needed to accommodate strict spending caps. The policy bill identifies savings to offset the cuts it rejects, but those represent only short-term solutions as part of an effort to postpone significant structural changes required by the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps, reports CQ Roll Call …

Philanthropies Pledge $102M for Military Families

  • May 8, 2014
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First Lady Michelle Obama last week announced a $102 million philanthropic initiative to support military families over the next five years. The Veterans Philanthropy Exchange will allow participants to share best practices, create new resources and recruit even more donors, Obama said from the Washington headquarters of the Red Cross …

Panel Rejects Navy Plans to Retire Carrier, Deactivate Cruisers

  • May 7, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday authorized funding to refuel and overhaul the U.S.S. George Washington, upending the Navy’s plans to retire one of its 11 aircraft carriers. The committee’s vote during its day-long markup of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill largely reflected language passed last week by the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. The bill authorizes $796 million to refuel the carrier; DOD officials have said they would budget necessary funds to refuel the carrier only if lawmakers relax the spending caps imposed starting in FY 2016 …

ADC Task Force to Review Association’s Governance

  • May 7, 2014
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The ADC Board of Directors has launched a task force to assess whether the association’s governance structure needs to be updated, an exercise that will rely on input from members. The effort comes as the association celebrates its 35th anniversary and is intended to ensure that ADC’s governance follows the best practices in the world of associations. The task force will focus on issues such as the structure of the board and whether it is representative of the membership, and how directors are elected …

Senate Coalition Moves to Block Army National Guard Changes

  • May 7, 2014
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A bipartisan group of 19 senators introduced legislation to preserve much of the Army National Guard’s combat aviation mission until an independent commission reviews a proposal from the Army to transfer the Guard’s 192 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. The measure — introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), co-chairs of the Senate National Guard Caucus — also would bar the Army’s plans to trim the size of the Guard from 350,000 to 335,000 soldiers by fiscal 2017 …

House Committee Rebuffs BRAC Request

  • May 7, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee approved language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill rejecting the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017 during its day-long markup Wednesday of the annual policy measure. The vote was set in motion last week when the Readiness Subcommittee included a prohibition on conducting additional base closure rounds in its portion of the bill, and reinforced when Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) endorsed the ban on new BRACs earlier this week. At the same time the bill, which still was being debated Wednesday night, includes language calling for DOD to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures — a possible first step toward a new BRAC …

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