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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Milcon Bill Expected on House Floor Next Week

  • April 21, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure is expected to be brought up on the House floor next week, as the chamber gets off to its fastest start for advancing appropriations bills in decades. House leaders have not yet determined exactly when the legislation would get floor time, however. The milcon bill likely would be brought up under an open amendment process, Republican aides told CQ. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has set an ambitious goal of marking up all 12 spending bills by July 4, and for the House to finish debating all 12 by the August recess …

City Creates New Authority to Carry out Ft. Gillem Reuse

  • April 20, 2014
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The Forest Park, Ga., city council last week approved the creation of an Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to oversee the reuse of 778 acres at the former Fort Gillem. The new authority will replace the Forest Park/Fort Gillem Implementation Local Redevelopment Authority, which is expected to disband shortly and transfer its work to the URA, reported the Clayton News Daily. The URA also will adopt the city’s urban redevelopment plan. “That now gives you the authorities that you need to have as the Urban Redevelopment Authority to start taking action and doing things on behalf of the city,” authority Executive Director Fred Bryant told URA board members. Officials are preparing to close on the Fort Gillem property in the coming weeks, and plan to hold a ceremony May 2.

Moves Pose Mental Health Risks for Military Kids, Study Shows

  • April 20, 2014
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Moving to a new town or city poses significant challenges for the mental health of children in military families, especially for teenagers, according to a new study. The researchers looked at the medical records of 548,336 children between ages 6 and 17 with at least one parent in the military; almost 25 percent of the children moved during the past year …

Local Schools Need to Support Military Children, Ft. Rucker Advocate Says

  • April 20, 2014
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The chairman of the local support organization for Fort Rucker stressed the need for school districts in defense communities to support the children of military dependents, by maintaining high academic standards as well as by being sensitive to the requirements of military-connected students, during remarks last week to the Daleville (Ala.) Board of Education. Rod Wolfe, chairman of the Friends of Fort Rucker, cited a number of measures that DOD evaluates when considering base closures, including whether a school system has adopted the Common Core Curriculum, which can lessen the challenges children face after moving to a different school district …

Defense Lobbying Shifts from Capitol Hill to Pentagon

  • April 20, 2014
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Even as lobbyists gear up for markups of the defense authorization bill and spending bills, much of their attention has shifted to the Defense Department as spending caps and earmark bans limit the power of lawmakers. “We’re not doing the retail lobbying on the Hill anymore,” one lobbyist told CQ. “I’m only hiring people who know their way around the Pentagon.” The change comes as lawmakers have lost much of their influence on spending decisions …

Revised Plan Would Ease Impact of Marines’ Realignment to Guam

  • April 20, 2014
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The Navy’s revised plan for relocating 4,700 Marines from Okinawa to Guam would extend the timetable for constructing facilities to accommodate the move from seven to 13 years, eliciting praise from the government of Guam. The plan would diminish the realignment’s impact on Guam’s infrastructure and residents, as a smaller military footprint results in a lower demand for power, water and wastewater treatment, according to the draft supplemental environmental impact statement the Navy released last week …

Charlotte Nonprofit Helps Connect Veterans, Employers

  • April 17, 2014
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A Charlotte, N.C.-based organization attempting to give a boost to veterans transitioning to civilian life is raising its goals after helping more than 500 veterans connect with local employers over the past year and improving veteran recruitment efforts at 24 companies. Charlotte Bridge Home — which links separating service members with education, employment and healthcare resources at the local, state and federal level — aims to double both figures this year, reports television station WSOC. “We’re not just trying to fill slots, we want the right job for the right veteran and vice versa …

State Investment to Extend Buffer around Ft. Drum

  • April 17, 2014
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New York will spend $1 million during the 2014-2015 fiscal year to extend a buffer zone around Fort Drum, an investment that will leverage additional federal funds to help preserve at least 2,500 acres outside the North Country installation. The state will work with the Army to establish buffer areas around the post by acquiring easements on farms to prevent development neighboring the installation that could interfere with military training …

Workers Demolish ‘Blue Cube’ at Onizuka AFS

  • April 17, 2014
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Crews working at the former Onizuka Air Force Station this week began demolishing the iconic building that once housed the Air Force’s operations center for reconnaissance satellites and space missions, known as the “Blue Cube,” in the latest phase of the effort to clear the 19-acre site in Sunnyvale, Calif., for redevelopment. Demolition of the Blue Cube should be complete next week but the distinctive Silicon Valley landmark will not totally fade away …

BRAC Criteria Need to Account for Intellectual Resources, House Panel Says

  • April 17, 2014
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The Pentagon should take into account the “intellectual capabilities” of the region surrounding an installation under consideration for realignment or closure, according to the report of the House Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The committee recommends that DOD add a new factor to the final BRAC selection criteria that takes into account a region’s intellectual capabilities, especially when considering academic and technical institutions …

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