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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Odierno Remains Anxious over Army’s Declining End Strength

  • August 14, 2015
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Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno on Wednesday warned that the service risks sacrificing its long-term viability if stringent spending caps remain in place. “I believe this nation is at an important inflection point, specifically regarding national security,” Odierno said during his last Pentagon press briefing as he prepares to retire from the Army after almost 40 years of service. “Our security environment remains uncertain and dynamic,” he said, “with increasing requirements on our military while we continue to have decreasing resources in our military. This is of great concern to me …

Court Rebuffs Neighbors’ Complaints over Noise from Navy Growlers at Washington Base

  • August 14, 2015
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A federal judge this week refused to grant an injunction sought by residents in northwest Washington state to suspend flights of EA-18G Growler aircraft based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to an outlying landing field (OLF) to practice takeoffs and landings. The neighbors complained that the flights to OLF Coupeville, which resumed early last year following a temporary moratorium, were causing serious health effects due to noise. U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly, however, ruled that the group of residents known as Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve for a Healthy, Safe and Peaceful Environment failed to show that overflights by the Navy’s newest electronic-warfare aircraft were significantly louder than described in a 2005 environmental assessment, reported the Seattle Times …

Installations, Local Partners in Three States Win DOD Awards for Habitat Protection

  • August 14, 2015
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Conservation projects in Georgia, Maine and Nevada intended to protect buffer lands at four military installations in collaboration with local agencies and nonprofits will receive a total of $6.2 million, DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program announced earlier this week. The three 2015 REPI Challenge award winners are Fort Benning/Fort Stewart, Ga.; Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, Nev.; and the Naval Shipyard Portsmouth Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School, Maine. The three partnerships will leverage their DOD awards with more than $21 million in other funding to protect a total of 28,050 acres. The REPI Challenge aims to protect large parcels of land through cost sharing from local and private partners to preserve compatible land uses that support military readiness, while also protecting critical wildlife habitats and threatened and endangered species. The competition places a premium on harnessing the creativity of the private sector to leverage unconventional sources of funding, attract philanthropic support and take advantage of market-based approaches to land and resource conservation …

District Finds Room for Homeless Veterans at Walter Reed

  • August 14, 2015
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Help USA, a national group founded almost 30 years ago by current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, plans to renovate a series of single-occupant apartments at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, under a deal being negotiated by the Army and the District of Columbia. The project, slated to include 75 efficiency apartments, would be the only component of the city’s redevelopment plan for 66.5 acres at the medical campus aimed at veterans, reported the New York Times. “It’s an iconic setting,” Thomas Hameline, president and CEO of the nonprofit which has launched veterans programs in four states, said of the historic hospital in northwest Washington …

ADC Welcomes Five New Board Members

  • August 14, 2015
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Five new directors representing a range of defense communities and private sector firms have joined the ADC board following the elections held in June during the National Summit in Washington. The new directors are: Russell DeSalvo, president and CEO, PuebloPlex (Pueblo Depot Activity Development Authority). DeSalvo has a background in community advocacy and installation management/redevelopment, which he has leveraged to forge a successful community-military partnership to support the reuse of the realigned Pueblo Chemical Depot in central Colorado. Joe Driskill, executive director, Sustainable Ozarks Partnership and the Leonard Wood Institute. The partnership — a subsidiary of the institute — collaborates with Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri’s congressional delegation, state leaders and others to support the installation and improve the region’s business climate …

Pentagon Launches New Review to Streamline Management Structure

  • August 11, 2015
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Defense officials will be developing a plan to trim the supervisory workforce within the office of the secretary of defense and associated defense agencies and field activities, following a recent directive from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work. The initiative, which is specifically aimed at “rationalizing and delayering” the management structure at DOD headquarters, represents the department’s latest reform effort to slash overhead spending. The DCMO will form a team of subject matter experts to work with affected organizations “to conduct a review of supervisory ratios and spans of control; create standardized frameworks; and develop implementation plans for the to-be rationalized organization in compliance with staff reduction requirements …

Quick Agreement over CR Needed to Avoid Shutdown following Hectic September

  • August 11, 2015
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A busy September for Congress punctuated by debate over the Iran nuclear deal, high-priority highway and cybersecurity bills, and the pope’s visit likely will result in lawmakers getting only one shot at passing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open after Sept. 30. Because of the time Congress will be devoting to other priorities when it returns to Washington after Labor Day, neither the House nor the Senate will have the luxury of amending the CR they receive from the other chamber and sending it back for a second vote, reported CQ. “The highway bill, the cyber bill, the other things that need to get done, and the Iran resolution, and the highway bill are going to take a lot of time,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, vice chairman of the Republican conference …

State Lawmakers Eye Military Retirees

  • August 11, 2015
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Maryland and Connecticut this year enacted legislation exempting some or all of military pensions from state income tax, furthering a keen competition among states to attract military retirees. Military retirees are highly desirable, as they typically seek civilian employment, generating income taxes and bolstering the economies of the states they live in, reported Stateline.org. The legislation signed by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) exempts the first $10,000 of retirement pay from state taxation. Only retirees’ first $5,000 of pay had been exempt previously …

‘Ghostbusters’ Filming Could Spur New Industry at SouthField

  • August 11, 2015
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Filming for the reboot of the “Ghostbusters” franchise is scheduled to begin this month at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station, after the site’s master developer invested more than $500,000 to get a 35,000-square-foot hangar at the Boston-area installation ready for the spotlight. The production would be the first major motion picture shot at SouthField, the mixed-use project set to replace the Navy base, but it may not be the last. At least two other production companies have contacted LStar Management about filming there, managing partner Kyle Corkum told the Boston Globe. Before LStar assumed control of the reuse project in May, the hangar had been slated to be demolished …

Killeen Seeks Consultant to Perform Ft. Hood JLUS

  • August 11, 2015
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The city of Killeen is seeking responses to a request for proposals to conduct a joint land use study (JLUS) for Fort Hood, Texas. The RFP is available on the city’s website. Responses must be received no later than 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Responses received later than the date and time above will not be opened …

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