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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Task Force Reconvenes to Support Northeast Pennsylvania Depot

  • April 10, 2014
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Northeast Pennsylvania leaders have reactivated the Blue Ribbon Task Force to craft a plan to defend Tobyhanna Army Depot against budgets cuts or a looming BRAC round. The depot was spared during the previous two base closure rounds, although the workforce of DOD’s largest full-service electronics maintenance facility has shrunk by one-third over the past two years, reports the Times Leader. The depot now employs 3,500 employees. About 150 additional workers plan to leave through early retirement incentives by the end of the month …

Ft. Hood Tragedy Points toward New Mission for Military, Obama Says

  • April 10, 2014
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As President Obama on Wednesday eulogized the three soldiers killed in last week’s shooting at Fort Hood, his remarks signaled a change in focus for the military from a decade-plus of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to a battle to cope with its lasting consequences for those who fought there, reported the Washington Post. “We must honor these men by doing more to care for our fellow Americans living with mental illness, civilian and military …

Senate to Take up Milcon Spending Next Month

  • April 10, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to mark up the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill before the end of May, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said Thursday. Mikulski said the milcon measure “definitely will be the first” spending bill her committee marks up as the House and Senate Appropriations committees attempt to coordinate their schedules, reported CQ. But the schedules won’t be identical …

Appropriators Highlight Deficiencies at DOD Facilities

  • April 10, 2014
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The House Appropriations Committee cited a variety of shortcomings in DOD’s military construction program, including a lack of priority placed on projects that affect safety and health, and antiquated dining facilities at several joint bases, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. “The committee believes that the Department of Defense should consider more than the mission requirements and training objectives of installations when prioritizing MILCON projects …

Battle over A-10 Heats up on Capitol Hill

  • April 10, 2014
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Republican lawmakers and local officials on Thursday pledged to save the A-10 attack aircraft from an Air Force proposal to retire the fleet in the face of strict spending caps originally mandated in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The challenge for the lawmakers, led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), is finding an offset to make up for the $3.5 billion the Air Force intends to save by eliminating the aircraft that specializes in close air support, reported Defense News. “I am working this issue with my colleagues,” Ayotte told reporters …

Army Welcomes New IMCOM commander

  • April 9, 2014
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The Army’s Installation Management Command (IMCOM) welcomed its new commander, Lt. Gen. David Halverson, on Tuesday during a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Halverson, who also became the Army’s assistant chief of staff for installation management, previously served as deputy commanding general at Training and Doctrine Command. He takes over from Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, who led IMCOM since November 2011 …

BRAC Property Disposal Advances, Navy Says

  • April 9, 2014
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Using a variety of conveyance mechanisms, the Navy has disposed of 93 percent of its excess property identified in prior BRAC rounds, with less than 14,000 acres remaining, the service’s top installations official told lawmakers last week. In the testimony he submitted to the Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment, cited several milestones the Navy achieved last year: May 2013 — the Navy conveyed 1,917 acres at the former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads to the commonwealth of Puerto Rico LRA via an economic development conveyance …

Army Drawdown Would Require Large Cut in Brigades, Odierno Says

  • April 9, 2014
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If the full force of sequestration returns in fiscal 2016, the Army would be forced to eliminate up to 46 percent of its active-duty brigade combat teams, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Those cuts would be accompanied by a 22 percent reduction in brigade combat teams from the National Guard, Odierno told the panel. Those changes would result in the Army going from a mix of 51 percent active and 49 percent reserve component personnel, to a 46 percent active and 54 percent reserve-component split …

Cleanup of Legacy BRAC Sites Going Too Slowly, Lawmakers Say

  • April 9, 2014
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Prompted by concern over the pace of the cleanup of installations closed during the first four BRAC rounds, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to submit a plan to expedite and expand cleanup activities at legacy BRAC sites, according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The plan, which would be due 90 days after the spending bill is enacted, also should explain how the department “will fully utilize the funds previously appropriated …

House Panel Warns DOD against Closure Actions outside of BRAC

  • April 9, 2014
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The Defense Department should consult with lawmakers before attempting to carry out a closure or realignment outside of a BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs the Pentagon in the report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The request was prompted by the committee’s concern that “the Department of Defense will authorize the closure of military installations under Title 10 U.S.C. 2687, without adequate congressional consultation,” the report states …

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