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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Local Officials Support Encroachment Study for NAS Meridian

  • September 4, 2014
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The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors this week approved a resolution favoring the county’s participation in a joint land use study to ensure growth surrounding Naval Air Station Meridian remains compatible with the pilot training mission at the base in east central Mississippi. The installation’s primary concerns are noise from jets taking off and landing and the safety of residences located close to its runways, according to Jim Copeland, the installation’s community plans and liaison officer …

State Awards $4M to Hampton Roads Communities to Fight Encroachment

  • September 4, 2014
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Three cities in southeastern Virginia will share $4.1 million in state funds to prevent development from interfering with operations at Naval Air Station Oceana, Joint Base Langley-Eustis and Navy Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress. The grants were made through the state’s federal action contingency trust (FACT) fund, which was established by the General Assembly to counter federal actions that adversely affect the state. Earlier this year, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) refined the program’s criteria to include communities that have been harmed by encroachment at military installations …

Pennsylvania Governor Fights Army Plan to Eliminate National Guard Unit

  • September 4, 2014
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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has made it clear he will oppose a contingency plan by the Army to shut down a unit of the National Guard. The plan to eliminate the 55th Armored Brigade Combat Team is not in the current budget; it would not go into effect unless the Army is forced to adhere to the Budget Control Act spending caps in fiscal 2016, reported the Times-Leader. But it’s still a concern, Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, the state’s adjutant general, told the paper. In a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh, Corbett said he opposes the unit’s elimination and urged officials to cancel the “ill-advised reduction.” With that letter, the closure threat should have subsided, Craig said. “The governor knows elimination of any unit has to have his consent. That’s the law. U.S. Code Titles 10 and 32 spell that out,” he said.

House Looks to Move Clean CR

  • September 4, 2014
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The short-term continuing resolution (CR) the House takes up next week to keep the government running after Sept. 30 will largely be free of pet provisions requested by lawmakers. As the only legislation Congress is likely to advance before the November elections, the stopgap will attract numerous requests from members to include favored projects or other policy riders, but only a handful of special provisions are likely to be included, reports CQ. House Republicans likely will include several “anomalies” in the CR, including a short-term extension of the Export-Import Bank and, possibly, extra funds to fight wildfires and to handle border security …

Pentagon Spending Plans Far Exceed Budget Caps, Analyst Says

  • September 4, 2014
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When defense officials rolled out the department’s five-year spending plan in March, they acknowledged it exceeded the 2011 Budget Control Act limits by $116 billion and would require congressional action to relax the caps. The actual cost of funding the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015-2019 budget may require $200 billion to $300 billion in additional spending, however, due to a number of assumptions that are unlikely to be realized, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. One shortcoming of the five-year plan is its failure to fund the force structure called for in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review and 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance …

Turbines Power Groundwater Cleanup at Massachusetts Base

  • September 3, 2014
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Three wind turbines at Joint Base Cape Cod, Mass., are powering the equipment used to purify a dozen groundwater contamination sites, shaving the Air Force’s energy bill by as much as $2.5 million annually. The project requires a tremendous amount of energy as it is consists of 4,300 monitoring wells, 27 miles of pipeline and nine water treatment plants, reported Air Force Civil Engineer Center Public Affairs. The agency has spent nearly two decades remediating the groundwater at the installation …

State Funds Fuel School Construction in Huntsville

  • September 3, 2014
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Madison County, Ala., has been taking advantage of its share of state bond funds intended to help school districts affected by BRAC growth at Redstone Arsenal. Last month, the county school system completed the $2.3 million purchase of a parcel planned to house a new high school and celebrated the opening of a new intermediate school, reported the Redstone Rocket. The school’s opening allowed officials to lessen overcrowding at an elementary school and reduce the number of grades handled at two other schools …

Pentagon Initiative Smooths Service Members’ Path into Civilian Careers

  • September 3, 2014
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A DOD initiative is making it easier for separating service members to obtain civilian credentials in a range of fields so they can quickly enter the civilian workforce. So far, the department has implemented pilot credentialing programs in seven major professions — truck driving, medical, supply, automotive mechanics, aircraft mechanics, information technology and manufacturing. In fields in which military training nearly matches private sector requirements, such as welding, service members can step right into a civilian job with only a little bit of gap training, said Frank DiGiovanni, the department’s director of force readiness and training …

Net Zero Energy Installations Poised to Reach Sustainability Goals

  • September 3, 2014
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All nine of the pilot installations participating in the Army’s Net Zero Energy initiative have already made substantial progress in identifying, developing, and executing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the first several years of the program, according to the fiscal 2013 Net Zero Energy Roadmap and Program Summary. The summary also concludes that each of the nine pilot installations has great potential for energy efficiency. The 55-page document includes data on each site’s energy baseline and efficiency, energy audit, completed and planned renewable energy projects and Net Zero Energy roadmap. “I am amazed at the progress Army installations have already made to reduce energy and water consumption, as well as waste generation …

Governor Resurrects Group to Protect Washington Bases

  • September 3, 2014
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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Wednesday renewed a coalition of groups to help shield the state’s installations from further downsizing stemming from Pentagon budget cuts. The Washington Military Alliance — which will have members from economic development offices, chambers of commerce and the military — will help protect defense jobs, contracts and infrastructure in the state. The group will meet quarterly and will serve as a policy adviser to state officials, reported the Spokesman-Review. “It’s really all about protecting the military assets we have,” said Rich Hadley, who was named to lead the alliance …

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