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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Air Force Secretary Embraces Thrust of Commission Report

  • February 9, 2014
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In comments Friday indicating the Air Force agrees with the major points of the final report of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, Secretary Deborah Lee James said the service plans to increase its dependence on its reserve components. “Going forward, there’s no doubt in my mind that our Air Force is going to rely more, not less, on our National Guard and Reserve forces,” James said, reported the Air Force News Service. “This makes sense from not only from a mission standpoint, but from an economic standpoint …

Nonprofit Group to Help Wounded Veterans Gain Independence

  • February 6, 2014
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Wounded Warrior Project has committed $30 million to two initiatives aimed at ensuring the most seriously wounded service members have the ability to live as rewarding and independent a life as possible. This year the organization is setting aside $10 million for 250 veterans with brain injuries, missing limbs and other potentially limiting injuries to achieve independence through additional medical care, therapy and assistance programs. About $20 million will be placed in a trust that will ensure independent living for 40 veteran families for at least 20 years …

Navy Postpones Move of Two Squadrons at NAS Oceana

  • February 6, 2014
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The Navy has postponed the relocation of two squadrons of F/A-18 Super Hornets from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va., until at least 2016, a move that would have resulted in an estimated $42 million annual hit to the Hampton Roads economy. The squadrons initially were designated to be shifted to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., but in 2006 their destination was changed to the West Coast as part of the military’s pivot to Asia, reported the Virginian-Pilot. The fighter jets now are slated to move to Naval Air Station Lemoore in central California. The two squadrons are part of a total of 10 squadrons of Super Hornets that have been based at Oceana since 2008. The Navy has no plans to replace the two squadrons at Oceana after they move, according to the story.

Services Explore ‘MilGrids’ to Link Renewable Energy Assets

  • February 6, 2014
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Microgrids are the next piece in the puzzle as the military services strive to increase their reliance on renewable energy and improve their installations’ energy security, according to a commentary in Smart Grid News. “Renewables might be part of the solution, but now we are talking about “systems of systems” — command and control, storage, traditional backup generation, energy conservation, renewable energy, grid-connected vs islanded, market participation, etc.,” writes Stuart McCafferty, president of GridIntellect …

Environmental Groups File Lawsuit Threatening Ft. Huachuca over Water Use

  • February 6, 2014
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Several environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit to force the Army to comply with an earlier ruling requiring it to determine whether operations at Fort Huachuca are depleting the San Pedro River, an action that ultimately could force officials to curtail missions at the southeastern Arizona post. The lawsuit is the latest move in a battle the environmental groups have fought for more than a decade to protect the San Pedro’s upper basin and two endangered species that live there. The suit seeks to force the Army to issue a new “biological opinion” to assess whether the installation’s reliance on groundwater pumping threatens the water umbel, a semi-aquatic plant, and the southwestern willow flycatcher …

Legal Concerns Slow Implementation of New Partnerships Authority, Hammack Says

  • February 6, 2014
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Unanswered legal questions surrounding the new statute allowing installations and communities to share base support services have hampered Army efforts to take advantage of the authority, according to Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. The Army is eager to take advantage of sec. 331, the authority in the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill that allows installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with a local government to provide, receive or share support services for most municipal functions. So far, Army headquarters is encouraging installations to work with their host communities to identify the potential opportunities and capabilities each has to offer …

Engineering, IT Best Bets for Veteran Job Seekers

  • February 6, 2014
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Young veterans leave the service with a wide range of experience, preparing them for careers in the engineering and IT fields, health care and other services, according to a new list of the 10 Best Jobs for Veterans. The list focuses on positions that don’t require a lot of additional training for veterans. Emergency medical technician, paralegal and legal assistants, training and development manager, and construction program manager are some of the best positions for veterans, allowing candidates to tap their unique training and leadership skills …

Virginia County Needs Risk Assessment, Strategic Planning for Research Park Initiative

  • February 5, 2014
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The Stafford County (Va.) Economic Development Authority, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Stafford Technology and Research Park initiative, has issued an RFP seeking written proposals from qualified firms to provide risk assessment and strategic planning services. The Stafford Technology and Research Park initiative is designed to facilitate public-private efforts to attract research and development spending and investment in the Quantico region, advance job creation that strengthens the mission of Marine Corps Base Quantico and enhance the region’s quality of life. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. on Feb. 28. For the full RFP, visit the Economic Development Authority website. For further information, contact the authority at 540/658-8681.

Ft. Bragg Relies on ESPCs, Other Initiatives to Reach Net Zero Goals

  • February 5, 2014
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Fort Bragg has used energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and other mechanisms to save the installation millions of dollars and put it on track achieve net zero status. “Fort Bragg has financed over $100 million in improvements with annual savings exceeding $13 million,” Gregory Bean, the post’s director of public works, told the Fayetteville Observer. “Through performance contracts and other mechanisms, we are leveraging public and private expertise toward the Army’s Net Zero energy goals …

Exercise Allows Think Tanks to Prepare Alternative Defense Budgets

  • February 5, 2014
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Four Washington think tanks offered their own takes on the Pentagon’s new long-term budget during an event Wednesday hosted by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). All four groups — CSBA, along with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the American Enterprise Institute — were forced to trim personnel and weapons systems under a budget scenario that followed the sequester caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. All four focused significant cuts in end strength on the Army …

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