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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force Searches for Partner to Develop 20MW Solar Array at Vandenberg AFB

  • October 9, 2014
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The Air Force has released a request for proposals for a 20-megawatt solar photovoltaic array at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., which will be tied directly into the base’s power grid. The array will span 170 acres on a demolished family housing site and generate an estimated 37,387 megawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to provide 25 percent of the base’s energy needs. The Air Force will enter into a long-term power purchase agreement with the winning developer, who will build, own and operate the system. The developer also will own and sell the renewable energy credits generated by the project, further lowering the cost for the Air Force …

President, House Democrats Highlight Dangers of Sequestration

  • October 8, 2014
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During a rare visit to the Pentagon, President Obama on Wednesday warned about the deleterious impacts of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on national defense, underscoring the need “to make sure that Congress is working with us to avoid, for example, some of the draconian cuts that are called for in sequestration.” Obama added that lawmakers need to ensure the military has “the equipment and the technology that’s necessary for them to be able to succeed at their mission,” reported the Hill. “We have done some enormous work, and I want to thank everybody sitting around this table to continue to make our forces leaner, meaner, more effective, more tailored to the particular challenges that we’re going to face in the 21st century …

County Extends Ban on Tall Energy Facilities to Protect Travis AFB

  • October 8, 2014
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In an effort to protect operations at Travis Air Force Base in northern California, the Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday extended a prohibition on commercial renewable energy and wireless communication facilities exceeding 200 feet in height in the unincorporated parts of the county. The measure extends an interim ordinance for one year to address potential impacts to the installation’s radar operation and a new C-17 assault landing zone. “Both are potentially threatened by increased renewable energy development,” staff noted in a report to the board …

County Continues Effort to Protect New Jersey Base from Encroachment

  • October 8, 2014
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The Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund is purchasing a 167-acre tract outside of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, extending the community’s effort to provide a buffer for the central New Jersey installation. In recent years, the county and the Pentagon have partnered to protect 13 properties totaling 8,574 acres neighboring the base, which sits in Burlington and Ocean counties, reported the Messenger-Press. DOD has provided $6.1 million out of a total cost of $14.8 million to purchase the properties. The purchase of another 11 properties by the base totaling 2,536 acres is pending …

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit against Ft. McPherson Sale

  • October 8, 2014
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A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit from an Atlanta entertainment company seeking to block the sale of 330 acres at the former Fort McPherson to filmmaker Tyler Perry, ruling it was too early for the court to hear the case. Ubiquitous Entertainment Studios claimed it had met with the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority about purchasing 80 acres for a movie studio entertainment complex in 2011 — before the city of Atlanta entered discussions with Perry — but was told officials couldn’t negotiate until the Army transferred the property. The suit, filed in July, accuses the authority of violating its bylaws when it offered the property to Perry outside of a public competition …

Concord Residents to Learn about Developer Proposals for Weapons Station in January

  • October 8, 2014
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The city of Concord, Calif., is planning to hold a public meeting in January for the City Council and residents to learn about the reuse plans proposed by the four candidates vying to become the master developer for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. The proposals are due in late November. All four teams — Catellus Development Corp., FivePoint Communities/Lennar, J.F. Shea Co. and SunCal — have significant experience in base redevelopment, reported the Contra Costa Times. The Concord Reuse Project Area Plan calls for a mix of residential, office and commercial uses on about 2,300 acres near the North Concord BART station, while preserving 69 percent of the site for open space and recreational use. Separately, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Mercedes-Benz last week announced a partnership to test self-driving vehicles and new transportation technology on the nearly 20 miles of paved roadways on the base, according to the story.

Feds Deny Waiver from New Minimum Wage Requirements for On-Base Eateries

  • October 7, 2014
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Concessionaires at military installations will not be granted an exemption from new rules requiring federal contractors to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers, according to regulations issued Tuesday by the Labor Department. The Labor Department issued the rules to implement an executive order signed by President Obama in February establishing a $10.10 per hour minimum wage beginning Jan. 1 for workers on federal contracts. Since the president’s action, the services and lawmakers had expressed concerns that the increased cost — about 40 percent — could force on-base eateries to close, costing many military family members their jobs …

Rock Island Arsenal Vulnerable to Sequestration, McHugh Says

  • October 7, 2014
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Army Secretary John McHugh on Tuesday said the Army appreciates efforts by area leaders and elected officials to support Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., but warned Quad City officials that defense spending caps slated to be imposed starting in fiscal 2016 could force cutbacks at the facility. If Congress fails to relax the caps, “we’re going to be enormously challenged to maintain the kinds of programs that you see here. Less money means even fewer items bought, fewer items manufactured,” McHugh said following a tour of Rock Island. “We need to get that fixed …

Decision to Remove Fencing at Federal City Troubles Military Families

  • October 7, 2014
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A recent decision by the Algiers Development District to remove perimeter fencing surrounding the former Naval Support Activity New Orleans has upset many of the almost 200 military families who live in Navy housing located inside the Federal City project. Local officials intended to open up the Federal City project to the public to make it more attractive to prospective tenants. The families, who are now concerned about their safety, believed the fencing would remain until many of the existing buildings on the campus had tenants, reports the Times-Picayune. To date, most of the former Navy buildings are vacant …

Delaware Expands Veterans Court to Entire State

  • October 7, 2014
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A veterans court will begin hearing cases in Delaware’s Sussex County this month, bringing the problem-solving philosophy for handling veterans in trouble with the law to all three of the state’s counties. The move follows the success of the veterans treatment court in neighboring Kent County, which had been handling cases originating in Sussex. Of the 71 veterans whose cases were diverted to the Kent court since it was established in 2011, 63 graduated from the nearly year-long program …

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