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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

New Roads Help Ft. Belvoir Open up to Neighbors

  • February 27, 2014
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For many Northern Virginia residents, the primary impact of the skyrocketing growth at Fort Belvoir and several satellite sites since the 2005 round of base closures has been increased traffic congestion in the eastern portion of Fairfax County. With the June opening of a new road that will allow commuters to cut through the main post and the widening of another highway that traverses the installation slated to begin shortly, traffic woes suffered by Fort Belvoir’s neighbors may begin to ease …

FY’15 Budget Won’t Include Detailed Plan for Addressing Sequestration Long-Term

  • February 27, 2014
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Defense officials have prepared a detailed plan for complying with the sequester caps in fiscal 2016 and beyond, but it will not be part of the department’s FY 2015 budget submission next week. Instead, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday when he unveiled the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan, officials will submit a budget that exceeds the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps by $115 billion through FY 2019. The department’s FY 2015 budget request for $496 billion, though, adheres to the spending cap in last December’s bipartisan budget agreement …

Republican Defense Leaders Reject Talk of Reversing Spending Cuts

  • February 27, 2014
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Pentagon officials’ hopes for securing relief from caps on defense spending in fiscal 2015 and beyond stand no chance of being realized, Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) and Rep. Buck McKeon (Calif.) told reporters Thursday. In addition to rebuffing prospects for providing relief from sequester cuts scheduled to constrain defense spending through FY 2021, the top defense policy Republicans in Congress rejected the notion that lawmakers would agree to raise sufficient revenue in FY 2015 to pay for a $26 billion investment fund President Obama will propose as part of next year’s budget request …

Crystal City Developer Pins Reuse Plans on Tech Workers

  • February 27, 2014
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The largest owner of real estate in the Northern Virginia community affected by the Pentagon’s decision to abandon leased space during the last BRAC round is looking to metropolitan Washington tech workers to fill its empty buildings in Crystal City. One initiative Vornado Realty Trust plans is to invest in the $50 million Crystal Tech Fund, which shortly will open a facility in Crystal City for investing in early-stage tech companies …

DOD to Create Innovation Centers in Michigan, Illinois

  • February 26, 2014
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The Pentagon will establish two manufacturing innovation institutes that would bring together companies, universities, federal agencies and other institutions to strengthen the nation’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, promote the development of cutting-edge products and foster economic growth, President Obama announced Tuesday, alongside governors from Michigan and Illinois. Under the plan, a group of businesses and universities in the Detroit area will focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing, and a Chicago-headquartered consortium of businesses and universities will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies …

BRAC Round Would Allow DOD to Downsize Civilian Workforce, Official Says

  • February 26, 2014
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The Defense Department has trimmed its civilian and contractor workforce as part an initiative to streamline its headquarters, but a significant reduction in the number of its civilian workers will require a new round of base closures, Acting Deputy Secretary Christine Fox said Tuesday. This year officials cut operating costs by 20 percent at headquarters offices across all services, agencies and combatant commands, saving about $5 billion. Much of the civilian workforce is employed outside Washington at installations, depots and shipyards, though, Fox said …

DOD’s Latest Spending Plan Could Spur Efforts for Further Sequestration Relief

  • February 26, 2014
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Defense hawks’ aversion to the cuts in force structure and military benefits outlined this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could prompt renewed discussions in Congress to reverse deep spending cuts scheduled to take effect between fiscal 2016 and 2021. “The first thing we’ve got to do is drive a stake in the heart of [Hagel's] ill-conceived and ill-designed proposal, and that means freeing up money” for defense spending, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of the five-year spending plan unveiled Monday. “That means we need to get BCA [2011 Budget Control Act] relief or rearrange the pie …

Ayotte Presses Nominee on DOD’s Intentions to Address Excess Capacity outside of BRAC

  • February 26, 2014
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New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) focused on the Defense Department’s plans for reducing its infrastructure in the event Congress rejects its latest request for additional base closures, during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for Robert Work for deputy defense secretary. During the Armed Services Committee hearing, Ayotte asked the nominee to clarify remarks Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel offered Monday during a preview of the department’s five-year spending plan. After noting that lawmakers rejected DOD’s BRAC requests in each of the last two years, Hagel said that “if Congress continues to block these requests even as they slash the overall budget, we will have to consider every tool at our disposal to reduce infrastructure …

State Commission Would Address Drop in Defense Spending, under Maryland Bill

  • February 26, 2014
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Maryland would establish a commission to consider ways to adapt to a reduction in spending by the Pentagon, under legislation introduced in both chambers of the General Assembly. The commission would conduct at least three public hearings and report recommendations to the governor and the legislature by June 1, 2015, reported the Gazette. Multiple organizations supported the bill — filed by state Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. (D) and co-sponsored by 15 other senators — during a hearing held by the Senate Finance Committee last week. “As the wars abroad wind down and defense downsizing begins in earnest, we want to ensure that Maryland workers and communities are protected,” Jean Athey — steering committee chair for a coalition of political, religious, labor and other groups called Fund Our Communities — told lawmakers. “To do that, the state of Maryland needs to begin planning now,” Athey said.

Texas Community Seeks Consultant to Prepare JLUS for Camp Swift

  • February 25, 2014
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The city of Bastrop, Texas, is requesting proposals from qualified firms to prepare a joint land use study (JLUS) for Camp Swift and the surrounding communities. Proposals will be received until 3 p.m. on March 21 at City Hall, 1311 Chestnut Street, Bastrop, Texas 78602. The RFP is available on the city’s website under “Public Notices.” Email requests to mmccollum@cityofbastrop.org.

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