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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Democrats to Oppose House Authorization Bill over Reliance on OCO Funds

  • May 13, 2015
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will whip Democrats against the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill over opposition to the measure’s reliance on DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to get around the Budget Control Act spending caps. The unprecedented move follows a DOD briefing Wednesday for House Democrats that concluded, “this bill is the wrong bill,” according to House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.). The annual policy legislation typically passes with bipartisan support. Equally surprising was the announcement by Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, that he also would vote against the measure …

House Rules Sends Policy Measure on to Floor Debate

  • May 13, 2015
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The House Rules Committee voted late Wednesday night to send the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill to the chamber floor to start debate today on the underlying measure along with 135 amendments. One of the most divisive amendments allowed would strike language encouraging the defense secretary to consider allowing recipients of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to serve in the military, reported the Hill. The amendment’s sponsor, Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and 24 other Republican lawmakers had asked House Rules for the original language to be stricken from the defense policy measure because immigration issues are the responsibility of the Judiciary Committee …

White House Opposes Defense Bill Language Mandating Headquarters Downsizing

  • May 13, 2015
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Language in the House version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill requiring DOD to trim its headquarters budgets and personnel by 20 percent over five years garnered a strong objection from the Office of Management and Budget, which claimed the provision was unnecessary. The bill stipulates that the streamlining initiative generate $10 billion in savings and calls for the department to prepare an accurate baseline accounting of defense headquarters budgets and personnel, and detailed information on planned reductions in management headquarters. The department, however, already is carrying out a plan to reduce headquarters personnel, according to OMB’s “Statement of Administration Policy” issued Tuesday for H.R. 1735 …

Planning Board Endorses Proposal for Alameda Point

  • May 13, 2015
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Plans to convert a 68-acre portion of the former Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif., into a mixed development with homes, commercial space and parkland moved one step closer to being realized this week after Alameda’s Planning Board unanimously approved the proposal. The city council will take up the plan next month, when it also will consider the development agreement the city has struck with Alameda Point Partners for the parcel, reported the Alamedan. The city selected Alameda Point Partners after deciding to direct the project itself following two failed efforts led by master developers over the past decade …

Veterans Face Multiple Barriers to Gaining Civilian Employment, Report Says

  • May 13, 2015
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A new report points to a lack of preparation and unaddressed health issues as the primary challenges facing veterans trying to find civilian employment. A lack of preparation, according to service providers and veterans interviewed for the report, created multiple challenges, including unrealistic expectations among many veterans about the jobs they qualified for, the level at which they would enter the civilian workforce, how easily they would find employment or how much they should be compensated. One post-9/11 veteran quoted in the report, Exploring the Economic and Employment Challenges Facing U.S. Veterans, described the frustration of having to start over …

Senate Readiness Panel Denies Pentagon’s BRAC Request

  • May 12, 2015
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The Defense Department would be prohibited from holding a round of base closures, under the portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill marked up Tuesday by the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee. “At a time when the department cannot afford to fully fund … readiness requirements, I do not support giving the department the authority to pursue a BRAC round,” said Subcommittee Chair Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), reported CQ Roll Call. The panel’s rejection of the Obama administration’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017 was not a surprise as Ayotte has made her opposition clear in recent years …

Lack of BRAC, Extra War Funds Prompt White House Veto Threat over House Defense Bill

  • May 12, 2015
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The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto the House version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, citing a host of disputes, including its reliance on the department’s overseas contingency operations account to sidestep the statutory spending caps and its failure to adopt many cost-cutting reforms proposed by the Obama administration. The “Statement of Administration Policy” issued by the Office of Management Budget highlights language precluding DOD from spending funds on a new round of base closures. “This impairs the ability of the executive branch to plan for contingencies or make other needed adjustments that would improve military effectiveness and efficiency,” it states. The department needs Congress to authorize a new BRAC round to “allow DOD to rightsize its infrastructure while providing important assistance to affected communities, freeing resources currently consumed by maintaining unneeded facilities …

Visitors, Community Members Adjust to New Security at Wright-Patterson

  • May 12, 2015
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Since DOD raised the force protection level at U.S. installations on Friday, visitors to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have been forced to comply with more stringent security procedures, while local businesses remain anxious about a potential decline in customer traffic. Workers at the base, located outside of Dayton, Ohio, have largely been unaffected by Northern Command’s decision to raise the force protection level at DOD facilities from Alpha to Bravo, reported Dayton Daily News. The new protocols — which require visitors to obtain a base-issued pass — have prompted a handful of changes at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The museum cancelled bus tours from the main complex to hangars on base that house historic presidential and unique research aircraft …

Get up to Speed on Defense Community Issues at ADC’s Regional Forum in Fayetteville

  • May 12, 2015
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Local and state officials and community leaders interested in learning more about the role they can play in supporting their military installations at a time when defense communities face a growing set of challenges should attend the Defense Communities Southeast Regional Forum in Fayetteville, N.C., from May 28-29. The forum will cover the range of issues facing defense communities, including the long-term consequences of sequestration, how to prepare for military downsizing and the BRAC process. The event is designed to bring local officials up to speed on what’s going on in Washington, as well as introduce participants to the tools and strategies available to support defense communities …

ESPC to Help Rock Island Arsenal to Replace Coal-Fired Heating

  • May 12, 2015
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In a project designed to save money and reduce carbon emissions, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., will replace its 101-year-old coal-fired central steam plant with natural gas boilers throughout the island. The $22.4-million modernization project will be funded by a 15-year energy savings performance contract (ESPC) from Honeywell. The improvements also will help the garrison address recent changes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act calling for a reduction of coal use or the installation of costly pollution control equipment in plants that burn fossil fuels …

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