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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Virginia Should Advocate for New BRAC, Commission Recommends

  • March 6, 2014
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The commonwealth of Virginia stands to gain from a new round of base closures and, as a result, it should advocate for the Pentagon to hold another BRAC, according to a 10-member commission created last year by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). “A BRAC will provide DOD the opportunity to achieve a number of efficiencies by consolidating existing activities located outside the commonwealth with existing installations and activities already in the commonwealth …

Cleanup Funding For Past BRAC Rounds Would Take Hit under FY’15 Proposal

  • March 6, 2014
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Funding to clean up installations closed during previous BRAC rounds would fall 40 percent to $270.1 million in fiscal 2015, under DOD’s latest budget request. If approved by Congress, the recommendation would continue a steep drop in funding for past base closure rounds since FY 2013. That year, Congress provided $759.6 million for cleanup and other closure costs associated with the five rounds of BRAC. This year, lawmakers allocated $451.4 million for the BRAC account …

Pentagon Paints Itself into Corner with Five-Year Spending Plan

  • March 5, 2014
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Top DOD officials had a difficult time Wednesday explaining to the Senate Armed Services Committee the logical inconsistency between a five-year budget that assumes $115 billion in relief from sequester cuts and the spending plan’s cuts in force structure they said could be avoided with the additional funding. On Tuesday, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters that officials included in its FY 2015-2019 budget a cut in the Army’s active-duty end strength to 420,000 and a reduction to 10 aircraft carrier battle groups. That spending plan assumes that a significant portion of the sequester cuts slated for FY 2016 and beyond would be reversed, allowing the military to avoid some of the most far-reaching impacts of sequestration …

Opposition Mounts on Hill to BRAC Request

  • March 5, 2014
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The Pentagon’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 is having trouble gaining traction among lawmakers, a similar reception to its requests for additional BRAC rounds in each of the past two years. The administration’s proposal stands little chance of going forward this year, Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday following his panel’s hearing on DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request. “I just don’t think we’ve seen the value of it, including the last BRAC …

Los Angeles Takes on Veteran Homelessness

  • March 5, 2014
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Los Angeles officials, local advocates and the Veterans Affairs Department have taken on the daunting task of finding housing for former service members in the city with the highest number of homeless veterans in the nation. Phoenix and Salt Lake City recently met a White House goal of eliminating homelessness among veterans by 2015, but with about 6,000 homeless veterans on any given night, the challenges in Los Angeles are an order of magnitude greater than those smaller cities …

QDR Builds on 2012 Strategic Guidance

  • March 5, 2014
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The 2014 version of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) released Tuesday in conjunction with DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request updates the defense strategic guidance the department released in 2012 while highlighting the need to rebalance the force to carry out the nation’s national security priorities. The review discusses the rationale behind many of the proposals included in DOD’s latest five-year spending plan, such as reducing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, trimming DOD staffs by 20 percent, conducting a new round of base realignment and closure, and slowing the growth in manpower costs. Regarding the justification for a new BRAC, the QDR notes the department estimates it already has more infrastructure than it needs, an imbalance that will only grow as the military reduces its force structure …

Spending Up Slightly, while Forces Come Down over Five-Year Budget

  • March 5, 2014
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The five-year budget released Tuesday by the Pentagon revealed a topline spending level that climbs a total of 13 percent at the same time the uniformed and civilian workforces decline by about five percent through fiscal 2019. DOD’s plan calls for spending $496 billion in FY 2015, a figure virtually unchanged from the current year, before jumping to $535 billion in FY 2016. The topline then would gradually rise to $559 billion in FY 2019. While spending would rise an average of 3 percent annually in current year dollars, the number of civilians and service members would fall under the Pentagon’s plan …

White House Investment Fund Would Provide Injection for DOD Facilities

  • March 4, 2014
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Facilities sustainment and military construction would receive a much-needed infusion in funds in fiscal 2015 under the $56 billion Opportunity, Growth and Security initiative included in the White House’s new budget proposal. The “wish list” of projects is not part of the administration’s base FY 2015 budget, and would require Congress to accept a package of offsets that calls for the elimination of certain tax breaks and alternative spending cuts. As a result, the initiative, which includes $26.4 billion for DOD, almost certainly will not go forward …

Milcon Would Suffer Deep Cut under FY’15 Proposal

  • March 4, 2014
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Spending on new construction would drop 36 percent under DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request, as the department’s proposal defers many military construction projects in order to fund higher priorities such as operations and readiness. As a result, the proposal funds only the “most critical facility requirements,” according to a DOD overview of the budget. The FY 2015 request calls for $5.4 billion for milcon, down from $8.4 billion allocated for FY 2014 …

Jacksonville Grant Program Supports Veterans, Transitioning Personnel

  • March 4, 2014
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The city of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise are partnering to support local organizations serving veterans and active-duty service members transitioning to civilian life. As part of a five-year partnership launched last November, the Jacksonville Military Veterans Community Partnership Grants program will focus on services that support the transition to civilian life, provide emergency financial assistance, support local career assistance, provide military spouse and family support, and encourage wraparound social services …

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