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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Local Official Expresses Confidence Ft. Lee Will Survive Next Round of Army Cuts

  • July 14, 2014
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The Army is considering reducing the number of soldiers and civilians at Fort Lee, Va., by up to 3,600 personnel, but because of recent investments in the installation and the nature of its mission, any reductions imposed likely would be significantly smaller in magnitude, according to a local planning official. “Because of the budget constraints in Washington, they are taking a hard look at, where do they go in the future,” Denny Morris, executive director of the Crater Planning District, told the Progress-Index. “I don’t think they’re going to change too much because the mission at Fort Lee is still basically the same …

N.C. Base Provides Washington Officials Up-Close Look at Sources of Encroachment

  • July 14, 2014
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Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point recently hosted top Pentagon and White House officials for a firsthand look at the primary encroachment challenges faced by the installation on the coast of North Carolina and its outlying training facilities. One of the visit’s key goals was to show the officials where funding from DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program for establishing a buffer around Cherry Point has been used. “Flying this diverse group of officials around our military installations provided for a better understanding of how funds are used to prevent encroachment here …

Air Force Realignment to Trim Headquarters Staffing

  • July 14, 2014
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The Air Force will deactivate and realign organizations at its headquarters, major commands, numbered air forces and field operating agencies as part of a cost-cutting effort that would eliminate 3,459 positions at headquarters across the service, officials announced Monday. The changes, a result of a comprehensive effort to reduce overhead costs, increase efficiencies, eliminate redundant activities and improve effectiveness and business processes, will help the service meet a Pentagon directive to reduce costs and staff levels by at least 20 percent. The reorganization is projected to save $1.6 billion in the next five years …

Air Force Reveals Plan to Consolidate Installation Support

  • July 14, 2014
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The Air Force on Monday outlined its plan to consolidate policy and oversight of installation and mission support activities within a newly created Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center. Officials have not yet determined where the new center, which will report to Air Force Materiel Command, will be located. The move was announced by officials as part of a larger reorganization of the service’s headquarters, major commands, numbered air forces and field operating agencies designed to save $1.6 billion over five years …

New Hampshire Establishes Court to Hear Veterans’ Cases

  • July 13, 2014
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By next month, New Hampshire’s first court designed to handle criminal cases involving veterans linked to substance abuse, trauma and other issues stemming from their military service will begin hearing cases in Nashua. On Thursday, top state judicial and military officials, including Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), dedicated the Veterans Behavioral Health Track court, reported Army Times. The court is not intended to provide veterans a get-out-of-jail-free card, said Maj. Gen. William Reddel, adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard …

RFQ Launches LRA’s Search for Roosevelt Roads Master Developer

  • July 13, 2014
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Puerto Rico’s Local Redevelopment Authority is seeking responses to a recently issued request for qualifications for master developers for the redevelopment of Roosevelt Roads, the island’s former Navy Base in Cieba. The RFQ includes 3,000 acres of prime Caribbean coastline that is ideal for hotel properties, ecotourism, marinas, light industrial, casinos, educational institutions and other mixed-use development …

North Country Officials Focus on Potential School Cuts Triggered by Army Drawdown

  • July 13, 2014
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Under the worst-case scenario considered by the Army in its analysis of the impacts of trimming its active-duty end strength to 420,000, Fort Drum, N.Y., would lose up to 16,000 personnel. If the full reductions were realized, the economic consequences would overwhelm the region as the post’s total population of soldiers and civilians is only 19,000. Similarly, such an outcome would devastate area schools that support Fort Drum personnel, resulting in a 60 percent reduction in enrollment at public schools and a one-third cut in the number of students at the community college in neighboring Watertown …

Infinity Takes over UAS Park Project at Grand Forks AFB

  • July 13, 2014
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New Braunfels, Texas-based Infinity Development Partners has stepped in to become the developer of the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology park at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., after the existing developer backed out. Infinity has been involved in the enhanced use lease project since its inception through its work supporting Grand Forks County, which will be leasing a 217-acre site from the Air Force. The Grand Forks County Commission approved the change in developers last week …

Forbes Blasts Navy Plan to Deactivate Cruisers

  • July 13, 2014
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, slammed the Navy’s plan to save $4.7 billion by taking 11 guided missile cruisers out of service for modernization. Forbes faulted the proposal during a hearing Thursday, saying there is no guarantee the ships would return to service since the money needed to update the cruisers may not be available. “I don’t think this is a phased modernization plan,” Forbes said, reported the Virginian-Pilot. “I think this is a phased euthanization plan, because when those ships go into dry dock, we have no assurance they’re coming back …

Southern Maryland Leaders Look to Strengthen Pax River ahead of BRAC

  • July 13, 2014
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With outstanding facilities, an ideal location and a large swath of controlled airspace, Naval Air Station Patuxent River is in a favorable position with a possible BRAC round looming, but officials in southern Maryland believe there is more to do to bolster the installation’s standing after finding out the results of an analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. “There’s nothing popping up out of the study suggesting something we can’t handle,” Robin Finnacom, acting director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development, told Southern Maryland News. Most interesting was the $60,000 report’s conclusion that one of the installation’s most valuable attributes, the complexity and unique characteristics of its missions, poses a potential weakness …

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