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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Cantor Defeat Likely a Setback for Defense Industry

  • June 11, 2014
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Tuesday’s stunning primary defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) removes the defense industry’s most reliable supporter from the chamber’s leadership, according to experts. More significantly for defense communities, it raises the chances that an emboldened tea party succeeds in pushing for additional spending reductions or, at a minimum, quashes any future budget deals from reversing sequestration cuts beyond fiscal 2015 …

House, Senate Policy Bills Offer Competing Plans for Reorganizing Top Installations Post

  • June 11, 2014
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Depending on how the issue is settled during House-Senate negotiations over the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, the Pentagon’s top installations and environment position could remain in place but with a new title, or it could be merged with the department’s operational energy chief post. The Senate version of the annual defense policy bill, approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee last month, adopts DOD’s reorganization plan, which calls for merging the positions of deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment with the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for operational energy plans and programs …

Ft. Bragg Microgrid to Bolster Energy Reliability

  • June 10, 2014
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Honeywell will build a $3.4 million microgrid at Fort Bragg, N.C., that will bolster energy reliability by networking new and existing backup generators across the post, the company announced Tuesday. Using advanced controls, the microgrid will allow the installation to share emergency generation between multiple buildings, reducing overall energy use by requiring fewer generators to address energy interruptions …

Is Army Lodging Program Increasing Its Vulnerability to Security Threats, Committee Asks

  • June 10, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee directs DOD and the Army to review their policies regarding base access for persons using privatized lodging facilities to ensure that installations are not exposed to unnecessary security threats, according to the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed last month. The committee said it supports the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program but remains concerned that “some PAL hotels, in the interest of improving occupancy rates, may have provided lodging to persons who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the installation …

Senate Panel Requests Details on Army Process for Making End Strength Reductions

  • June 10, 2014
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With the Army undergoing an effort to determine which installations will lose brigade combat teams (BCTs) as it plans to trim its active-duty end strength below 490,000, the Senate Armed Services Committee is directing the service to describe the decision-making processes and analytical methodologies it will employ. The Army has said it will need to eliminate an additional 40,000 troops to reach an end strength of 450,000 by fiscal 2017 to meet Budget Control Act spending caps …

Internal Opposition Holds up Air Force Plan to Centralize Installation Management

  • June 10, 2014
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A proposal to establish a single Air Force organization to provide installation support has been delayed for a second time as the service’s top generals have criticized multiple aspects of the plan. At a meeting Friday, the officers objected that several components of the plan were unclear, including how funding would be merged and where decision-making authority would reside, reported the Washington Times …

Panel Rejects Amendment to Preserve A-10 Fleet

  • June 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted down an amendment to reallocate Air Force funds to keep the A-10 close air support aircraft flying next year, making it the first congressional panel to support the Air Force’s plan to retire the fleet. The committee rejected the amendment from Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) by a 23-13 vote before approving the underlying fiscal 2015 defense spending measure by voice vote. Last month, versions of the FY 2015 defense authorization bill approved by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee both called for funding to keep the A-10 “Warthog” in the air …

State Seeks Data on Effectiveness of Military Transition Programs

  • June 9, 2014
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Over the past several years, the state of Washington and Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been investing steadily in programs to help separating service members locate employment, but finding data on the success of those initiatives is proving elusive, officials told Gov. Jay Inslee (D) last week at a quarterly meeting of the state’s Military Transition Council. The problem is common across DOD, reports the News Tribune. An April Government Accountability Office study, for example, found little data showing how veterans fared six months after leaving the military …

Eastern North Carolina Positioned to Weather Drawdown

  • June 9, 2014
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The pace of active-duty separations from North Carolina installations is projected to increase from 40,000 annually in the five years that ended in 2012 to more than 75,000 in the next five years, but officials on the state’s coast are confident the region’s economic health will continue to thrive. “I am certainly not saying we will not see an impact … but the community can endure this if done over a three- to four-year period,” said Richard Woodruff, city manager for Jacksonville …

Proposal to Open Exchanges Online to Most Veterans Would Preserve Program Benefits

  • June 9, 2014
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The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has proposed providing online access to all honorably discharged veterans as a way to extend the exchanges’ discounts to millions of deserving veterans while shoring up the program’s revenue stream amid downsizing and budget cuts. The plan, submitted last month by AAFES CEO Thomas Shull to the Pentagon, would help the exchange system sustain profits needed to support morale, welfare and recreation activities at a time when fewer personnel and families are living on installations …

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