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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Army Welcomes New IMCOM commander

  • April 9, 2014
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The Army’s Installation Management Command (IMCOM) welcomed its new commander, Lt. Gen. David Halverson, on Tuesday during a ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Halverson, who also became the Army’s assistant chief of staff for installation management, previously served as deputy commanding general at Training and Doctrine Command. He takes over from Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, who led IMCOM since November 2011 …

BRAC Property Disposal Advances, Navy Says

  • April 9, 2014
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Using a variety of conveyance mechanisms, the Navy has disposed of 93 percent of its excess property identified in prior BRAC rounds, with less than 14,000 acres remaining, the service’s top installations official told lawmakers last week. In the testimony he submitted to the Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment, cited several milestones the Navy achieved last year: May 2013 — the Navy conveyed 1,917 acres at the former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads to the commonwealth of Puerto Rico LRA via an economic development conveyance …

Army Drawdown Would Require Large Cut in Brigades, Odierno Says

  • April 9, 2014
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If the full force of sequestration returns in fiscal 2016, the Army would be forced to eliminate up to 46 percent of its active-duty brigade combat teams, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Those cuts would be accompanied by a 22 percent reduction in brigade combat teams from the National Guard, Odierno told the panel. Those changes would result in the Army going from a mix of 51 percent active and 49 percent reserve component personnel, to a 46 percent active and 54 percent reserve-component split …

Cleanup of Legacy BRAC Sites Going Too Slowly, Lawmakers Say

  • April 9, 2014
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Prompted by concern over the pace of the cleanup of installations closed during the first four BRAC rounds, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to submit a plan to expedite and expand cleanup activities at legacy BRAC sites, according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The plan, which would be due 90 days after the spending bill is enacted, also should explain how the department “will fully utilize the funds previously appropriated …

House Panel Warns DOD against Closure Actions outside of BRAC

  • April 9, 2014
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The Defense Department should consult with lawmakers before attempting to carry out a closure or realignment outside of a BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs the Pentagon in the report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The request was prompted by the committee’s concern that “the Department of Defense will authorize the closure of military installations under Title 10 U.S.C. 2687, without adequate congressional consultation,” the report states …

Veterans to Gain Credit for Military Training from Washington Universities

  • April 8, 2014
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Washington state public universities will be required to award academic credit to veterans for military training courses, under a law signed last week by Gov. Jay Inslee (D). The new law creates a “gentle mandate” for state colleges to award academic credit to individuals that completed any military training course that meets certain criteria, according to state Sen. Steve O’Ban (R). Schools also are required to provide a copy of their policy on awarding credit to all enrolled students that list prior military service in their admissions applications …

Maryland Assembly Passes Bill Delaying Wind Project to Protect Pax River

  • April 8, 2014
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The Maryland Senate joined the House in approving legislation intended to protect Naval Air Station Patuxent River from a proposed wind farm located on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay, but the bill may not become law as it had previously been opposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). A spokeswoman for the governor told delmarvanow.com on Monday that O’Malley will review the bill, which would delay the construction of large turbines within 56 miles of the air station, before deciding whether to sign or veto it …

BRAC Is Only Way to Alleviate Excess Capacity, Hammack Tells Lawmakers

  • April 8, 2014
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The Army’s top installations official made the case for a new BRAC round during a Capitol Hill hearing last week, citing the service’s declining force structure and recent efforts to downsize its footprint in Europe. “The best and proven way to address excess and shortfalls in facility requirements in a cost-effective and fair manner is through the BRAC (base realignment and closure) Commission process,” said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment …

SASC Members Launch Effort to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • April 8, 2014
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Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee plan on holding informal discussions on ways to loosen the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps. Congress has provided partial relief to the automatic cuts in the first three years of sequestration, but starting in fiscal 2016 they are slated to be fully imposed, amounting to more than $50 billion in spending reductions annually. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said the committee is well-suited to tackle the issue because it’s bipartisan, broadly representative of both parties and more familiar with the impact of sequestration than other committees since DOD represents half of the spending cuts. Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) previously has talked about the effort. “I don’t know where it’s going. I just wanted to open up a discussion in the committee about what to do about sequester instead of just complaining about it,” King told the Hill on Tuesday.

Senators Consider House Plan to Study Army, Guard Changes

  • April 8, 2014
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Several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday signaled their support for a House bill that would create an independent commission to make recommendations about how the Army’s force structure should be allocated between the service’s active and reserve components. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), also would block the Army’s plan to transfer the National Guard’s 192 Apache attack helicopters to the active Army and replace them with 111 Black Hawk helicopters. The measure has the support of 41 Democrats and 111 Republicans …

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