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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

DOD Readiness Chief Gains Senate Confirmation

  • June 25, 2014
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The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Jessica Wright to be the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, the department’s senior official responsible for issues related to military and civilian personnel, including quality of life. Wright has been serving as acting undersecretary for personnel and readiness since January 2013, and previously served as assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved her nomination in January, but a floor vote had been delayed since then …

New Development Pushes Chaffee Crossing into a New Chapter

  • June 25, 2014
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After a string of announcements in the past year about new development coming to Chaffee Crossing, the reuse project at the former Fort Chaffee in western Arkansas is transitioning into a new phase of development, reports the City Wire. “I think there’s going to be smaller scale developments just because, and particularly here at Chaffee Crossing, because of the configuration of our property now. We’ve sold a lot of large tracts and because of that, we now have a lot of smaller, specialized pieces of property,” said Ivy Owen, executive director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority …

State Pitches in for Runway Extension Benefitting nearby Vance AFB

  • June 25, 2014
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The Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission last week approved a $204,750 grant to help pay for a runway extension at Enid Woodring Regional Airport, bringing the commission’s total contribution to the project to more than $730,000 over the past three years. The project is being led by the city of Enid and is intended to support Vance Air Force Base, which is about 8 miles from the airport. Lengthening the runway by 2,300 feet to 8,000 feet would allow T-38 aircraft from Vance to use the regional airport for regular operations, as well as to divert there due to strong crosswinds or threatening storms …

Will Unfunded Milcon Requirements Harm Readiness, Authorization Committee Asks

  • June 25, 2014
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The Defense Department’s fiscal 2015 military construction request is 40 percent lower than it was in FY 2014, prompting the Senate Armed Services Committee to ask the department to assess the risk to readiness it is accepting by deferring many of its construction requirements. The panel said it was worried about the likely impact of curtailing milcon spending on the number of facilities in poor to failing condition, according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that milcon cuts will ultimately lead to lasting negative impacts to our military’s readiness and their ability to effectively respond to crisis abroad and at home …

Senate Looks to Regain Momentum on Spending Bills

  • June 25, 2014
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Senate appropriators and the chamber’s leadership continue to discuss ways to bring a package of three domestic spending bills back to the floor after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week withdrew the fiscal 2015 “minibus” from consideration due to a dispute with Republicans over amendments. So far, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said she is not considering sending individual spending measures to the floor as a way to advance the fiscal 2015 appropriations process …

Former McClellan AFB Ready for Next Property Transfer

  • June 24, 2014
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McClellan Business Park, the redevelopment project at the former McClellan Air Force Base in northern California, shortly will accept ownership of an additional 198 acres of land from the Air Force. The business park already has been managing leasing for much of the tract, but a formal title transfer will make the job easier, said Alan Hersh, senior vice president for the project. Officially, the Air Force will hand the site over to Sacramento County before it goes to the business park. The property most likely will be used for aviation and industrial activities. All base property is scheduled to be turned over to the business park by 2019, reports the Sacramento Business Journal.

OEA Grant to Support County’s Response to Cutbacks at Ohio Manufacturing Facility

  • June 24, 2014
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Allen County, Ohio, will receive a $219,680 grant from the Office of Economic Adjustment to help it respond to layoffs at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center prompted by reductions in defense procurement, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. The economic adjustment assistance funds are part of a larger $244,680 project helping the region expand job creation opportunities and assist businesses and workers harmed by defense cutbacks at the facility, formerly the Lima Tank Plant …

Candidates Highlight Their Ability to Protect Bases in Looming BRAC Round

  • June 24, 2014
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A staple of campaigns across the country has been claims by incumbents and challengers as to how they are the better candidate to ensure a local installation survives the threat of additional base closures. In the Republican race for the Senate in Mississippi, incumbent Thad Cochran has relied on exactly that kind of argument to gain an advantage against his tea party rival. “Sen. Cochran has the power and experience to protect the Gulf Coast …

Officials Find Savings from Joint Basing at Lewis-McChord

  • June 24, 2014
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While cost savings from DOD’s joint basing initiative have been slow to appear, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Wash., is citing more than $9 million in savings since Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base formally merged in October 2010. The savings have come from a variety of sources: $3.3 million in fuel savings annually for the 62nd Airlift Wing through increased use of the Army’s Yakima Training Center in Central Washington; $350,000 a year in maintenance by merging the two services’ fire departments …

Policy Bill Debate Still Not on Senate Calendar

  • June 24, 2014
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Senate leaders still have not scheduled time to debate the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill on the chamber floor, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday. Levin said Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) understands the importance of the measure, but at this point, “I have no way of knowing when the leader’s going to find a place for it.” The chairman is hoping to avoid a repeat of last year when the Senate didn’t take up the bill until November …

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