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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Planning Commission Seeks Consultants for Diversification Project after Oshkosh Layoffs

  • February 19, 2014
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The Oshkosh Region Defense Industry Diversification Initiative is a regional effort to respond to recent defense layoffs announced by the Oshkosh Corp. (OC) affecting a five-county region in East Central Wisconsin. Two project components are being released as separate RFPs: The Defense Industry Supply Chain component seeks to create a web-based directory of Oshkosh region defense contractors, businesses and suppliers that is based on substantial research and information compiled during an initial supply chain mapping activity. The Supply Chain Direct Assistance component will provide direct assistance services to expand the capabilities of the manufacturers and small businesses (supply chain) impacted by reduced OC production and procurement …

VA to Open Residential Facility Dedicated to Recent Veterans

  • February 19, 2014
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A new Department of Veterans Affairs residential treatment facility in San Diego will be devoted to helping veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan avoid homelessness. The 40-bed, 30,000-square-foot residential rehabilitation facility, set to open Monday, will serve as a test of whether there is an advantage to delivering care to younger veterans as a group. The VA will track the number of homeless veterans in San Diego as the program continues and monitor the residents’ progress after they leave the facility …

Ft. Drum to Be Powered Completely by Biomass Plant

  • February 19, 2014
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A top Army energy official on Wednesday said the service plans to purchase up to 28 megawatts of electricity from the owner and operator of a biomass power plant located at Fort Drum, N.Y. ReEnergy Holdings LLC acquired the facility in December 2011 and invested more than $34 million to convert it from a plant that burned coal to one that relied on biomass as its primary fuel to produce electricity. The company started operating the plant last June …

Lawmakers Preempt Pentagon on BRAC

  • February 19, 2014
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With DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal scheduled to be released in less than two weeks, questions from reporters as to how Congress would respond to an expected request for a new round of base closures are on the rise. In recent weeks, several lawmakers, including two Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee, responded that it is unlikely Congress would agree to a new round. When asked last week how a BRAC would affect Central Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.) told the reporter, “I’m a senior member of the Armed Services Committee from which it would come, and we’re not having a BRAC any time soon …

Partnering Is One Solution to Addressing Excess Industrial Base, Army Official Says

  • February 19, 2014
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One way to make better use of excess capacity in DOD’s industrial base following the drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan is to encourage industry to use it, according to Army and industry officials speaking on Wednesday at the Association of the U.S. Army’s winter conference. “All of our facilities are open for business,” James Dwyer, a senior civilian with Army Materiel Command, told attendees. “Why should you depreciate it, write it off, and make your stockholders buy it, when we’ve already got it and they’re there for partnering?” Dwyer said …

NAS Whiting Field Secures Additional Land Buffer

  • February 18, 2014
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Naval Air Station Whiting Field recently secured a 490-acre buffer adjacent to the base, bringing the total protected area surrounding the installation located on the Florida Panhandle to about 3,500 acres. DOD and the state of Florida provided $1.2 million to secure the site. While the project achieves two important goals — protecting the installation from encroachment and supporting conservation — Santa Rosa County Commissioner Don Salter told WUWF that an additional buffer around the field will help protect it during a future BRAC round. Separately, Whiting Field has applied for a $5 million grant offered by the 2014 REPI Challenge, which is sponsored by DOD’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program. If the installation wins, the funding would be matched by the state, allowing the Navy to purchase up to 10,000 acres north of the base.

Partnership Discussions Advance among Patrick AFB, Neighbors

  • February 18, 2014
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Brevard County is considering forming an executive steering committee to elevate informal discussions between Patrick Air Force Base and its neighbors on Florida’s Space Coast about ways to take advantage of a new DOD authority allowing installations to share base support services with the surrounding community. In addition to Brevard County, other participants include the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and Satellite Beach. Cooperative agreements could cover police, fire and emergency response at Patrick, as well as expanded recreational and library services for base personnel and their families …

Congress Should OK Pentagon’s BRAC Request, Defense Experts Say

  • February 18, 2014
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Ninety-one percent of the defense and foreign policy experts responding to a survey conducted by the National Journal believe that Congress should approve the Defense Department’s request to hold a new round of base closures. “Excess capacity exists across all the military services. Congress and communities face either a slow decline at every base, with little hope for any economic relief anywhere, or selective closures that bolster needed bases and let other areas start on the road to recovery and life after closure …

Retreat on Military Pension Cuts Raises Bar for Future Budget Reform

  • February 18, 2014
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Congress’ relatively quick reversal of a reduction in cost-of-living increases for military pensions included in last December’s budget deal almost certainly means the Pentagon will not have the upper hand when it floats future proposals to rein in its burgeoning personnel costs. After the House and Senate approved the bipartisan budget agreement late last year, some analysts expressed optimism that lawmakers’ willingness to trim the growth rate of pensions for military retirees of working age was a signal that DOD would be able to implement other cuts needed to keep compensation and benefit costs from spiraling out of control …

McKeon Attempts to Revive Unfunded Requirements Lists

  • February 18, 2014
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House Armed Services Chair Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) on Monday released the letter he sent to the service chiefs and other top commanders asking for a list of their priorities which were not included in the administration’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal, opening a new rift on the panel. “I believe these lists provide valuable insight into the priorities of our warfighters, particularly with respect to important needs which are not included in the president’s budget request but could be executed should additional resources be available during the annual authorization of appropriations for the Department of Defense …

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