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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Amendment to Policy Bill Would Bar DOD from Assessing Climate Change

  • May 28, 2014
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The Pentagon would be prohibited from assessing climate change, under an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that House lawmakers approved last week. The language, sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), passed on a near party-line vote. “This amendment will prohibit the costs of the president’s climate change policies being forced on the Department of Defense by the Obama administration,” McKinley wrote House colleagues …

Republican Gains in Midterm Election May Not Translate into Spending Gains for DOD

  • May 28, 2014
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It’s not clear that a Republican takeover of the Senate, considered a solid prospect in the midterm election, would result in a spending boost for the Pentagon or other policy changes beneficial to the defense industry. With a Democratic president still in the White House for two more years and the House still controlled by the Republicans, gridlock likely would continue on Capitol Hill no matter who controls the Senate, reported Politico …

Wyoming Tops List of Best States for Military Retirees, Survey Says

  • May 28, 2014
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Citing its high scores in measures of economic health, quality of life and health care, a new survey ranks Wyoming as the top state for veterans to retire. Wyoming ranks first in the number of VA health facilities per 10,000 veterans and also ranks fourth highest in the number of veterans per 100 residents, reported Government Executive. Delaware ranked highest for quality of life for military retirees, New Hampshire has the best health care system for retirees and Mississippi has the best economic environment, according to the story. The survey, by WalletHub, a personal finance network, looked at a variety of factors, including housing prices, job opportunities and the number of veteran-owned businesses.

Thornberry Keeps Government’s Focus on National Security

  • May 27, 2014
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Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry has established himself as a leader in national security, and after serving as the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee since 2011, he has earned a reputation as an innovator and strategic thinker in defense policy. As part of his leadership role on the Armed Services Committee, he is leading a long-term effort to reform the Department of Defense, including a review of the way the Pentagon buys goods and services. The study’s goal is to streamline the department’s acquisition process, field better weapons and save taxpayers’ money …

Summit Session to Scrutinize Communities’ Approaches to BRAC Preparation

  • May 27, 2014
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With a future BRAC round looming on the horizon, next week’s Defense Communities National Summit in Washington will take a close look at the strategies that communities and states have employed to prepare for base closure rounds in the past. The session will focus on best practices, as well as the mistakes that should be avoided. Speakers and specific topics that will be covered include: Anne Marie Dowd, Executive Vice President, Legislative and Defense Sector, MassDevelopment — lessons learned from BRAC 2005 and Massachusetts’ $177 million bond bill …

Willow Grove LRA Selects Five Firms for Master Developer Competition

  • May 27, 2014
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The LRA for the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove last week selected five firms to vie to become the master developer of the 862-acre site located north of Philadelphia. A total of 11 firms responded to the Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority’s request for qualifications. The five finalists, which will have until Aug. 4 to respond to a request for proposals, are: Catellus Development Corp., Oakland, Calif.; Hankin Group, Exton, Pa.; a team composed of K. Hovnanian, Edison, N.J., Basser-Kaufman, Woodmere, N.Y., Oxford Properties Group of Canada and Korman Communities, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; Lennar Corp., Miami; and Toll Brothers, Horsham, Pa. …

Pentagon, BLM Reach Compromise Allowing Transmission Line to Go Ahead

  • May 27, 2014
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The developer of a 515-mile, high-voltage transmission line will need to bury five miles of the line to eliminate conflicts with training and weapons testing on the northern extension of White Sands Missile Range, N.M., under a compromise DOD worked out with the Bureau of Land Management. The compromise seemingly settles the dispute between the developer of the SunZia project and supporters of White Sands — along with DOD — over the line’s potential to impact testing and evaluation activities at the missile range …

House, Senate Panel Call for Commission on Army Force Structure

  • May 26, 2014
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An independent commission would assess the proper end strength of the Army and mix between its active and reserve components, under separate versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last week by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. A bipartisan amendment approved by the House would require the commission to explore — in addition to the Army’s size and mix — missions, force generation policies and how the structure should be modified to best fulfill mission requirements in a manner consistent with available resources …

DOD to Shed European Facilities

  • May 26, 2014
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The Pentagon will return 21 minor, non-operational sites to their host nations in Europe, an early result of its year-long review of excess infrastructure. DOD on Friday said the moves will save about $60 million annually, and will include outdated and excess family housing facilities, recreation sites and storage depots located across U.S. European Command. None of these adjustments affects existing force structure or military capabilities in Europe, according to Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. And no major installations will be affected. As the department continues to carry out its European Infrastructure Consolidation review, it will look for additional excess sites to return to their host. “It’s an ongoing process and it will continue,” Kirby said, reported Stars and Stripes. “This is sort of the first tranche of what I suspect will be other changes to come.”

Zander’s Leadership Built Air Force’s Capacity to Carry out Installation-Community Partnerships

  • May 26, 2014
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Since legislation allowing installations and their host communities to share base support services was enacted in January 2013, Steven Zander has been the driving force behind the Air Force’s effort to take advantage of the new authority. Zander’s visionary leadership of the Air Force’s Community Partnership Initiative has been the key to creating partnerships opportunities across the country, but more importantly to piloting the process for identifying, implementing and sustaining collaboration between installations and the communities that support them …

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