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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Plans to Attract Defense Firms to Eastern Oklahoma Advance

  • August 4, 2015
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Plans to foster the defense industry in McAlester moved ahead last week after the city council voted to accept a $193,257 award from the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission. Leroy Alsup, the city’s community and economic development director, proposed dedicating $93,000 of the award to a planned defense industrial park that may be located next to the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in eastern Oklahoma, reported McAlester News. The city is waiting for the Army to update the plant’s strategic plan before determining where the industrial park would go, Alsup said. A site outside the plant’s gates would make sense if a defense company were willing to move to McAlester …

Northern California Community Needs JLUS for Travis AFB

  • August 4, 2015
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Solano County, Calif., is seeking proposals from qualified firms to prepare a joint land use study (JLUS) for Travis Air Force Base, including the associated special use airspace and C-17 assault landing zone. The DOD OEA provides grants to state and local governments to conduct a JLUS planning process to support the long-term sustainability and operability of the military installation complex. Solano County has received an OEA grant to assist in the preparation of a JLUS for Travis AFB located in Fairfield, Calif. The county will be the project sponsor. Interested firms must demonstrate knowledge and experience in community planning, development and land use issues, fiscal impact analysis, economic development, and military installation management and operations. Proposals should be submitted to: Jim Leland, principal planner, Solano County Department of Resource Management, 675 Texas Street, Fairfield, CA 94533, no later than 5 p.m. Pacific Time, on Aug. 31. The request for proposals can be viewed on the county website …

McCain, Thornberry to Continue Talks over Defense Bill

  • July 31, 2015
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Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain and his House counterpart, Mac Thornberry, are expected to continue negotiations over the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill during Congress’ August recess with the goal of completing a conference report in September. “We’re not going to stay in town, but there are phones and all kinds of ways of communicating and engaging,” McCain said. The two committee leaders planned to meet Thursday night to see if they could make progress on some of the most contentious issues separating the two sides, reported CQ Roll Call. Differences over military benefits have proven to be among the negotiation’s most difficult hurdles, as the Senate version embraces cost-saving proposals to slow the rate of increase in service members’ basic allowance for housing and raise Tricare prescription co-pays that the House rejects …

Congress Will Aim to Approve CR after August Recess

  • July 31, 2015
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One of Congress’ primary goals when it returns to Capitol Hill in September will be clearing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Leaders of both chambers have now acknowledged what has become readily apparent with the appropriations process at a standstill in the House and Senate. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said discussions about a stopgap funding bill for fiscal 2016 will take place in September. “When we come back after August we’ll discuss the way forward on getting the government funded,” McConnell said, reported CQ Roll Call. He dismissed the prospect of hashing out a budget agreement with the White House sooner …

Atlanta to Launch Planning Process for Remaining Acreage at Ft. McPherson

  • July 31, 2015
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With the sale of about two-thirds of the former Fort McPherson to filmmaker Tyler Perry complete, the city of Atlanta soon will begin crafting a redevelopment plan for the remaining 145 acres at the southwest Atlanta site. The master planning process will come under the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Cities Initiative and encompass property outside the post, including the Oakland City MARTA station just north of it and the western extension of the Atlanta BeltLine, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The BeltLine is a far-reaching transportation and economic redevelopment project that will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown Atlanta …

Veterans Court Movement Gains Momentum

  • July 31, 2015
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If there was any doubt as to how far the push for communities to offer veterans treatment courts has come, this week’s national convention at Maryland’s National Harbor provided a resounding answer. About 1,000 judges, mentors, advocates and graduates of veterans courts attended the conference, which devoted a day for court supporters to lobby senators to match $15.5 million in funding recommended by the House for veterans court programs, reported Stars and Stripes. “This is an exciting time for the veterans treatment court movement,” said Melissa Fitzgerald, senior director for Alexandria, Va.-based Justice for Vets, an advocacy group trying to increase the number of veterans courts around the country. “The courts are working and they’re returning healthy veterans to their families and their communities …

Army Picks Developer for Ft. Campbell Solar Project

  • July 31, 2015
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The Army selected Baltimore, Md.-based Bithenergy to construct a 3.1-megawatt solar array at Fort Campbell, Ky., the first step in a process expected to culminate in a contract award, officials announced Wednesday. The Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville picked the firm from its multiple award task order contract’s (MATOC) small business solar pool. The Army plans to award Bithenergy a 27-year power purchase agreement for the solar photovoltaic array to be built on 25 acres at the post that had been used as a landfill, according to a Corps press release. Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability, said the announcement “represents a positive milestone for the Army in that this demonstrates installation-level ability to utilize the MATOC …

Editor’s Note: Modified August Schedule for 360

  • July 31, 2015
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With Congress leaving town and the humidity rising, 360 will follow a truncated schedule in August, publishing only on Tuesdays and Fridays. 360 will resume daily publication on Sept. 1.

Army Commission Departs to Europe

  • July 30, 2015
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The National Commission on the Future of the Army visited U.S. Army Europe headquarters in Wiesbaden on Tuesday and was scheduled to hold further meetings in Grafenwöhr on Wednesday to review the future role of U.S. forces across the Atlantic. “Certainly, one of the things we’ve looked at is how quickly can the U.S. respond and what is the right balance of forces in Europe, both assigned and rotational,” said Carter Ham, the commission’s chairman and a former leader of U.S. Africa Command and Army Europe. The commission will look at the structure and size of the Army, determine the proper mix between the active and reserve components, and assess how government policies will affect mission requirements …

Maryland Town Looks for Development Strategies to Raise Quality of Life for Navy Engineers

  • July 30, 2015
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In an effort to help Naval Support Facility Indian Head retain the younger members of its highly educated workforce, the town of Indian Head, Md., is looking for ways to offer amenities desired by millennials. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, the largest tenant command at Indian Head, has not experienced difficulties attracting qualified engineers. It plans on hiring up to 250 engineers this year. The command’s problem is that new engineers are leaving after an average of 11 months. “And that’s something as a community we’ve got to address,” Brian Klaas, co-chairman of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce’s Military Alliance Council, said at the group’s meeting on Monday …

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