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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Private Sector Is Better Positioned than Feds to Improve Veterans’ Employment, Recruiter Says

  • June 18, 2014
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Federal support for programs to boost veterans’ employment has been “inefficient at best and ineffective or counterproductive at worst,” according to a commentary in Forbes. The effectiveness of DOD and Labor Department transition classes for separating military personnel has been universally criticized, while “various government departments have funded the creation of duplicative online job boards, insulting and limiting military occupational specialty software translators and elaborate but underutilized ‘labor exchanges,’” writes Peter Gudmundsson, CEO of RecruitMilitary …

Medical School to Establish Campus at Brooks City-Base

  • June 18, 2014
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The University of the Incarnate Word has reached agreement with Brooks City-Base to locate a new school of osteopathic medicine at the property on San Antonio’s South Side. The school, which is scheduled to open in 2016, will be followed by a number of other developments by the university at Brooks, including the relocation of some of the university’s nursing programs, and the establishment of a physician assistant school, school of physical therapy and an engineering school …

Massachusetts Breaks Ground on Road Project to Benefit Army Research Center

  • June 18, 2014
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State, local and military officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to celebrate a $2.5 million road improvement project designed to improve traffic flow on a major access route to the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center outside of Boston. The project, scheduled to finish next summer, will repave Kansas Street, improve intersections, enhance drainage, install a new water main and create a new multi-use path, reports MetroWest Daily News. It is being funded by the state government and includes a $1.5 million MassWorks grant intended to support housing, economic development and job creation …

OEA Studies Adapt to Climate Change

  • June 17, 2014
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With alarm over the potential impacts of climate change to military infrastructure and their host communities growing louder, joint land use studies (JLUS) conducted by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) are now looking at strategies for communities to address sea-level rise and other environmental changes. Joint land use studies have been used in dozens of communities across DOD to help local officials stem urban encroachment and promote compatible development. The studies will continue to maintain that focus, but now communities can consider adding climate adaptation planning to the analysis …

White House Opposes Defense Spending Bill over BRAC, Compensation Reform

  • June 17, 2014
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The White House on Tuesday said it “strongly opposes” House passage of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill over its failure to include a variety of cost-saving reforms, but fell short of issuing a veto threat. “Without congressional support for meaningful compensation reforms and other cost-saving measures, force structure changes, and flexibility to manage weapon systems and infrastructure, there is an increased risk to the department’s ability to implement the president’s defense strategy, which will contribute to a military that will be less capable of responding effectively to future challenges …

Phase Two of Kitsap Housing PPV to Redevelop 600 Homes for Sailors

  • June 17, 2014
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The Navy and Forest City, its partner for privatized family housing at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Wash., have signed an agreement for the $60 million, second phase of redevelopment at the installation. The agreement calls for the public-private venture (PPV), Northwest Military Communities LLC, to “revitalize outdated and underutilized units and right-size the overall housing inventory and bedroom mix,” according to a press release. The project, slated to take four years, will result in 624 privatized homes for enlisted active-duty service members at ranks E1-E7. Upon completion of this phase, there will be a total of about 3,370 homes privatized in Navy Region Northwest with Northwest Military Communities, which also includes Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Los Angeles Initiative Sets Goal of Hiring 10,000 Veterans

  • June 16, 2014
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The city of Los Angeles last week launched a regional hiring initiative aimed at getting 10,000 veterans jobs by 2017 through the pledges of more than 100 companies and support from 40 nonprofit and public sector organizations. The city will commit $9 million over the next five years to link veterans with jobs, and ensure they account for 10 percent of those being served at the city’s new workforce development centers, set to open next month …

Community Still Waiting for Final Transfer from 1995 Realignment of Pennsylvania Depot

  • June 16, 2014
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The need to finish cleaning up about 150 acres at Letterkenny Army Depot has delayed the disposal of a parcel that was slated for realignment during the 1995 round of base closures. The 1995 BRAC round originally realigned almost 1,500 acres from Letterkenny, located in south central Pennsylvania, but the Army asked to retain about 350 acres due to the increased workload associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, reported the Chambersburg Public Opinion. So far the Army has spent $30 million cleaning up property at the depot contaminated from degreasers stored or disposed of during the 1950s and 1960s. The Army has completed five of seven planned phases for transferring the realigned acreage. A date for completing the last property transfers to the community has not yet been established, according to the story.

Development at Seneca Army Depot Threatens Preservation of White Deer Herd

  • June 16, 2014
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As plans for the development of the former Seneca Army Depot in New York’s Finger Lakes District advance, a group of local preservationists is warning that the property’s unique herd of all-white deer may scatter. The herd of about 200 deer now roam throughout the depot’s remaining 7,000 acres of undeveloped land, hemmed in by 24 miles of fencing, reports Syracuse.com. The neighboring towns of Romulus and Varick are discussing imposing new zoning so the land can be used for residential, commercial and agricultural development …

DOD Funding Needed to Accelerate Transportation Projects, Appropriators Say

  • June 16, 2014
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The Pentagon should allocate funding for transportation projects outside the gates of military installations to help host communities accommodate increases in traffic stemming from mission growth, according to the report from the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. “By including mission growth transportation projects as eligible infrastructure projects for federal defense funding, important improvements can be made while creating jobs and strengthening national security …

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