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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Spending Bill Negotiations Held Up

  • December 8, 2014
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House and Senate negotiators were expected to miss their Monday night deadline for wrapping up talks over the fiscal 2015 omnibus spending bill, potentially upsetting the delicate schedule that would allow Congress to avert a federal shutdown. Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said Monday evening that she and House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) had reached agreement on their parts of the “CRomnibus,” and that congressional leaders were hashing out issues unrelated to spending. The CRomnibus includes 11 individual spending bills and a continuing resolution (CR) for the Department of Homeland Security …

Defense Bill Does Not Extend Environmental Protections to Non-BRAC Sites

  • December 8, 2014
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The leadership of the Armed Services committees negotiating the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill removed a provision that would have offered the same liability protections that BRAC sites receive when unknown contamination is discovered to property at facilities closed outside of BRAC. The language, added as an amendment sponsored by Indiana Rep. Todd Young (R) to the House version of the annual policy measure, would have extended the indemnity now provided by section 330 of the 1993 defense authorization bill to property not yet transferred at ammunition plants and other installations closed outside of the BRAC process …

Defense Spending Will Dominate Next Secretary’s Schedule

  • December 8, 2014
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Ashton Carter, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, is not expected to face an arduous confirmation in the Senate, but he will be confronted with major tests over the department’s budget as soon as he takes the helm at the Pentagon. When Carter arrives DOD’s fiscal 2016 budget request most likely will be completed, leaving him the exercise of selling the proposal — which is expected to exceed the Budget Control Act spending cap by $36 billion — on Capitol Hill …

Housing Developer at Ft. Knox Files Suit over Troubled Project

  • December 8, 2014
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The Army’s housing partner at Fort Knox, Ky., has filed a lawsuit against the project’s insurer after the company refused to approve changes to the development plan. The suit, which was moved to U.S. District Court in Louisville last month, follows the Army’s deactivation this year of the post’s single brigade combat team. Almost 50 percent of the housing project’s residents were assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Knox Hills LLC, a partnership between Lend Lease (US) Public Partnerships and the Army, had requested Ambac Assurance Corp. settle the dispute through mediation, but the firm refused …

State Approves Projects Benefitting Corpus Christi Installations

  • December 8, 2014
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Two state agencies last week approved $4.5 million in projects intended to bolster Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and Corpus Christi Army Depot, including an effort to protect the air station’s flight training mission from encroachment. The projects are intended to increase the military value of the two installations in advance of DOD budget cuts. Mark Scott, a member of the Corpus Christi City Council and South Texas Military Facilities Task Force, said the initiative is a concrete illustration of the community’s support for the installations. “What it tells the military is that we have tangible assets in the game, that we are financially committed to their long-term presence …

Installations, Operational Energy Posts at DOD to Merge under Authorization Bill

  • December 7, 2014
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The Pentagon’s top installations and environment position would be merged with the department’s operational energy chief post, under the compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill unveiled last week. The new position would be called the assistant secretary of defense (ASD) for energy, installations and environment. The combined organization would “equally prioritize” the functions of the deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment with the ASD for operational energy plans and programs …

FY’16 Budget Request Expected to Exceed Spending Cap by $36B

  • December 7, 2014
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The Pentagon’s fiscal 2016 budget request is expected to surpass the corresponding Budget Control Act spending cap by $36 billion, bringing its base budget request in line with its long-planned $535 billion top line, Defense News reported. The higher figure was approved last week by the Office of Management and Budget, according to the story. The gap between DOD’s topline for its next five-year budget, which will cover FY 2016-2020, and the spending caps is expected to jump from $115 billion to $147 billion due to a request from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which says it cannot carry out the current national security strategy without additional resources …

Ft. McPherson-Tyler Perry Sale Reportedly in Trouble

  • December 7, 2014
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Filmmaker Tyler Perry is considering pulling out of a deal to purchase two-thirds of the former Fort McPherson due to the protracted nature of negotiations with the city of Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week. Perry agreed in August to purchase 330 acres of the 488-acre post on the southwest edge of Atlanta for a movie and television production complex, but now is favoring an expansion of his studio operations on property he acquired west of Atlanta, according to an individual familiar with the situation …

Confirmation Process Should Not Be Difficult for Carter

  • December 7, 2014
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Praising Ashton Carter for knowing the Pentagon “inside and out,” President Obama on Friday officially tapped the technocrat and recent deputy defense secretary to be the next civilian leader of the Defense Department. “On day one, he’s going to hit the ground running,” Obama said at the White House. The president called Carter “one of our nation’s foremost national security leaders” who has the strategic and technical background to be his fourth defense secretary. “He’s a reformer who’s never been afraid to cancel old or inefficient weapons programs …

Changes in Defense Bill Should Spur Community-Installation Partnerships

  • December 5, 2014
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Language in the compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill should overcome military services’ concerns about taking advantage of the authority first enacted two years ago allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. Since section 331 was enacted as part of the FY 2013 defense authorization bill, the services had expressed concerns that the new authority conflicts with existing acquisition rules and regulations. The new language transfers section 331 from a chapter of the U.S. Code that deals with procurement to a chapter focused on real estate …

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