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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

DOD Budget Has Room for Cuts, Experts Say

  • February 11, 2015
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At a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, defense experts pointed to a number of places the Pentagon could slash spending to meet the Budget Control Act caps starting in fiscal 2016. For starters, DOD should consider the recent recommendations of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which include offering contributions to 401(k)-style accounts for service members who leave before reaching the 20-year service milestone, reported Military Times. “They’ve got a sound approach there — it certainly could use some tweaks and improvements from Congress,” said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment …

Pennsylvania Installations Share Concerns over Possible Downsizing

  • February 11, 2015
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The leaders of three installations in south central Pennsylvania met with local officials Wednesday to highlight the important role the facilities play in the region’s economy as well as in national security. Two of the installations — the Defense Logistics Agency’s Distribution Center Susquehanna and Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg — each employ more than 4,000 workers, most of whom are civilians. The Army War College and the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle have 1,700 staff members. The War College hosts more than 400 students annually. But beyond demonstrating the installations are critical to the local economy, it’s important to show they are run efficiently and serve unique functions within the military …

DOD Energy Consumption Hits Record Low

  • February 11, 2015
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Energy use by the Defense Department, including both installation and operational energy, in fiscal 2013 fell to the lowest level recorded since at least FY 1975, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration. DOD’s overall share of federal energy usage dropped from 87 percent in 1975 to 78 percent in 2013. Installation energy — which includes the energy required to operate installations, including energy required by non-combat vehicles — accounts for 30 percent of the department’s consumption. The agency attributed the decline to a handful of policy initiatives, along with the drawdown of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan …

Monterey Seeks Consultant to Prepare SWOT Analysis for Area Installations

  • February 11, 2015
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The city of Monterey, Calif., is requesting proposals from qualified firms to conduct a comprehensive strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis for Monterey County installations and associated facilities and missions. The installations included in the analysis are: Presidio of Monterey (home to the Defense Language Institute); Naval Support Activity Monterey (home to the Naval Postgraduate School); Fort Hunter Liggett; Camp Roberts; and Ord Military Community. Proposals are due March 13 by 5:00 p.m. to the Plans and Public Works Department. The RFP is available on the city website.

Former Defense Officials Reinforce McCain’s Campaign to Increase DOD Budget

  • February 11, 2015
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Two former defense undersecretaries on Tuesday told the Senate Armed Services Committee that DOD’s annual budget should be raised by tens of billions of dollars to address expanding global threats, declining troop readiness and the need to develop new weapons. The recommendation from Eric Edelman and Michèle Flournoy would far exceed the fiscal 2016 budget proposed by President Obama, which calls for spending $35 billion more than the statutory spending cap, reported Stars and Stripes. “The United States probably faces the most complex and volatile security situation that we’ve faced in a long time, if ever,” said Eric Edelman …

Carter One Step Closer to Senate Confirmation

  • February 11, 2015
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The Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday voted 25-0 to endorse Ashton Carter as the next defense secretary, setting up a vote on Carter’s nomination by the full Senate as soon as Wednesday. The unanimous vote follows last week’s confirmation hearing during which Carter, who previously served during the Obama administration as deputy defense secretary and acquisition chief, sailed through his cross-examination. His nomination has universally garnered praise. Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Carter “one of America’s most respected and experienced defense professionals,” reported CQ. “I have known him, and members of the committee have known him, to be an honest, hardworking and committed public servant,” McCain said during the Feb. 4 confirmation hearing.

Over 2,000 Turn out to Support Fort Riley at Listening Session

  • February 10, 2015
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State and local officials and members of Kansas’ congressional delegation addressed an overflow crowd of more than 2,000 residents in Junction City, Kan., on Monday during an Army listening session that provided attendees an opportunity to show their support for Fort Riley. The meeting allowed the Army a chance to gather input from Fort Riley’s neighbors before the service determines how it will shrink its end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. Fort Riley could lose a maximum of 16,000 personnel, primarily soldiers, through the end of this second round of restructuring. Speakers highlighted the multitude of partnerships between local institutions and the post, covering areas such as education and health care …

Military Generates $19.3B Impact in South Carolina

  • February 10, 2015
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South Carolina military installations contribute $19.3 billion to the state’s economy annually, according to a new study from the University of South Carolina. The three installations in Beaufort County — Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Naval Hospital Beaufort — generate $1.5 billion for the state and are responsible for nearly 13,000 jobs. “That’s a huge element of our local economy, no question about it,” said William Bethea, who leads the South Carolina Military Base Task Force …

Downsizing Has an Upside for Energy Efficiency

  • February 10, 2015
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Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, learned about several initiatives that are improving sustainability at Fort Campbell, Ky., during a visit last week. The relocation of the post’s Noncommissioned Officer Academy moved the school from an aging facility dating from World War II to a newly renovated building that is more energy efficient and cheaper to maintain, reported the Fort Campbell Courier. “They were in old World War II wood buildings that were failing,” Hammack said. “We were able to move them to something that was a lot better …

Bipartisan Agreement over Raising Spending Caps Amounts to Little More than ‘Happy Talk’

  • February 9, 2015
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Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, along with President Obama, have found common ground on the need to raise the statutory cap on fiscal 2016 defense spending, but until Republicans and Democrats start to agree on how to pay for extra spending for the Pentagon, the much-needed relief will remain a mirage. Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said she is “surprised by all the ‘good news’ stories about a higher defense budget.” “Sure, both sides want a higher defense topline, but that’s where the agreement stops,” Eaglen told Defense News. “Neither party has any indication or inclination about how this ends up …

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