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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Chairman’s Mark Derides Administration’s Repeated BRAC Requests

  • May 5, 2014
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In endorsing last week’s decision by the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee to reject DOD’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017, Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) made clear the reasons he opposes additional realignments and closures. “The committee maintains its long held concern that BRAC rounds do not yield true savings but rather impose large upfront costs only then to shift property between federal agencies,” according to the committee’s summary of its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill …

Committee Chair Rejects DOD’s Compensation Reforms; Adjusts A-10 Fleet Retirement

  • May 5, 2014
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The full committee portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill rejects most of the Obama administration’s proposed reforms to military benefits, including plans to slash subsidies for commissaries and slow increases in the basic allowance for housing. The chairman’s mark rejects other cost-saving reforms in the Pentagon’s FY 2015 budget as well, including plans to retire the Navy’s 11th aircraft carrier and to hold a new BRAC round in 2017. The legislation, however, embraces in part the Air Force’s proposal to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft …

Ceremony Signals Property Transfer Coming Shortly to Ft. Gillem

  • May 4, 2014
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The city of Forest Park, Ga., and the Army held a ceremony Friday to mark the transfer of much of the land at the former Fort Gillem. The ceremony was only symbolic, however, as the city and the Army still need to complete the paperwork making the conveyance official, reported the Clayton News Daily. “It’ll be a matter of weeks, not months” said Fred Bryant, executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, who has been working for the city to secure the land since 2006 …

Installation Chiefs Brief Lawmakers on Use of Public-Private Partnerships

  • May 4, 2014
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The Congressional Caucus on Public-Private Partnerships last week hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to learn how each of the military departments have employed public-private partnerships and to find out if there are “lessons learned” other federal agencies can benefit from. One possible outcome, though, could be new legislation to support DOD. “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I see the importance of flexibility and innovation in the Department of Defense, and I think the department would benefit from expanded P3 authority …

Alameda Moves Ahead with Redevelopment of Navy Base

  • May 4, 2014
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Alameda officials last week decided to sidestep the city’s ban on multi-unit housing and seek proposals to develop two parcels on San Francisco Bay totaling 150 acres at Alameda Point, the reuse project at the former Naval Air Station Alameda. The decision represents a significant milestone in the redevelopment of the air station that has seen two master developers drop their plans for the project since it closed in 1997 …

Milcon Bill Becomes Vehicle for House to Block Cost-Cutting Measures

  • May 4, 2014
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A new BRAC round wasn’t the only cost-saving measure House lawmakers voted to block last week during debate over the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill. The House also approved an amendment barring the Defense Department from closing any commissaries. That amendment, passed by voice vote, was introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) in response to the Pentagon’s proposal to reduce the direct subsidy for commissaries by $1 billion over three years. The funding reduction would slash the average savings on groceries from 30 percent to 10 percent …

Panel Questions Potential for BRAC to Generate Savings

  • May 4, 2014
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Due to concerns that potential savings produced by base closures and realignments may never be fully realized, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is requesting a report on the “overall effectiveness” of the property disposal process, including an assessment of sales revenue and cleanup costs associated with BRAC actions, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that efficiencies associated with the BRAC process are offset with the inability to quickly dispose of excess property and the potential lack of overall savings to the federal government …

Federal Government Opposes Expansion at China Lake

  • May 1, 2014
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A senior official of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this week said the Obama administration opposes a House bill to permanently set aside 1.1 million acres used by Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Karen Mouritsen, a BLM deputy assistant director, said DOD’s needs could change in future decades, reported Stars and Stripes. In addition to placing the Navy in charge of the land, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), would add 25,000 acres to China Lake, including about 7,500 acres that were part of a bombing range and 19,000 acres along the base’s southwest boundary. McCarthy said he is trying to get the boundaries of the base, located in the Western Mojave Desert, to match its restricted air space. BLM does not support adding the 19,000-acre tract, Mouritsen said, because it’s a popular recreation area and an important wildlife corridor.

Senate Confirms Robert Work as Deputy Secretary

  • May 1, 2014
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The Senate has confirmed Robert Work, a former Navy undersecretary, to be the next deputy secretary of defense. Following the vote, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he welcomes Work’s return to the Pentagon. “Bob is an admired and tested leader, with a distinguished career of public service, including during his time as an officer in the Marine Corps and as undersecretary of the Navy …

Members to Cast Ballots for New ADC President, VP

  • May 1, 2014
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ADC members will have an opportunity to usher in new leadership for the association next month at the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, D.C., when they vote on a slate of new candidates for board president and vice president, and three new candidates to join the board of directors. Mike Cooper, chairman of the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission, has been nominated to become ADC’s next president. Craig Quigley, executive director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance, has been nominated for vice president …

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