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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

More Difficult Decisions Still Remain, Hagel Says

  • December 4, 2013
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Defense officials still face a number of challenging budget decisions on force structure, compensation and acquisition, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday after unveiling a series of organizational reforms intended to streamline DOD headquarters. “These reductions are only a first step in DOD’s efforts to realign defense spending to meet new fiscal realities and strategic priorities,” Hagel told reporters …

Negotiators Near Compromise over FY’14 Spending

  • December 4, 2013
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The lead negotiators of the House-Senate budget conference are close to an agreement that would raise topline spending for fiscal 2014 and possibly wipe out much of the increase in automatic spending cuts the Pentagon’s budget is scheduled to absorb this year due to sequestration. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are trying to strike a final deal in time for lawmakers to take it up next week. If they are successful, the House could vote on the plan next Wednesday …

Pentagon Austerity Measures to Eliminate Top Installations Post

  • December 4, 2013
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The deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment will be merged with the assistant secretary for operational energy plans and programs, as part of an array of personnel and funding reductions Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday to streamline the department’s overhead. The decision to eliminate DOD’s top installations post came amid a series of organizational changes to the office of secretary of defense (OSD) unveiled by Hagel at a Pentagon press briefing …

Winning Developer Refines Master Plan for Connecticut Engine Plant

  • December 3, 2013
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The development team about to purchase the former Stratford Army Engine Plant continues to update its master plan for the site, as it prepares to close the sale of the 77-acre property located at the mouth of the Housatonic River in Connecticut. An executive with Sedgwick Partners, one of the three companies that make up the Point Stratford Renewal LLC partnership, told the Stratford Star the team is beginning to talk with potential businesses interested in the property, including restaurants, hotels, retailers, professional services firms, multifamily housing builders and educational institutions …

Installations Need to Consider Consequences of Climate Change

  • December 3, 2013
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Climate change is expected to affect military missions in multiple ways as it influences DOD’s operating environment, shapes geopolitical dynamics across the globe, and accelerates instability or conflict. It also will force the Pentagon to plan for significant impacts to its installations from rising sea levels, storm surges and storm intensity, as well as drought and thawing permafrost. “There’s a lot of stuff out there that is all going to be impacted by changes in the climate,” said John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment …

Former DOD Official Named as Interim Replacement for Carter

  • December 3, 2013
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Christine Fox, who had served as the Pentagon’s director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation until June, will become the department’s second-in-command starting Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced yesterday. Fox replaces Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who is scheduled to step down today. Fox’s appointment by President Obama to serve as acting deputy secretary will make her the highest-ranking woman ever in DOD …

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 …

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