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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Defense Bill Not Guaranteed Smooth Path to Passage

  • December 3, 2014
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The House is scheduled to take up the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill today, after the House Rules Committee on Wednesday passed a rule to expedite its passage. While the House is expected to approve the compromise legislation unveiled earlier this week, its path in the Senate has been complicated by a decision by congressional leaders to append a package of almost 100 public lands provisions to the defense bill. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) has vowed to block the Senate’s attempt to pass the legislation next week over the land swaps …

House Spending Plan May Need Democratic Support

  • December 3, 2014
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With House conservatives critical of their leaders’ plan to wrap up fiscal 2015 appropriations bills, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may need to rely on Democrats to advance the package. House leaders want to move an omnibus made up of individual spending bills for 11 appropriations panels along with a continuing resolution for the Department of Homeland Security that lasts for only several months. By including only short-term funding for immigration-related agencies, Republican leaders say their approach will buy the party time to come up with a viable way to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration …

Great Falls, Malmstrom AFB Consider Water Testing Collaboration

  • December 3, 2014
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Leaders from Great Falls, Mont., and neighboring Malmstrom AFB met this week to discuss shared services partnerships that could improve efficiency for both entities, including joint water testing. The meeting was a follow-up to an initial discussion in March that was held as part of the Air Force Community Partnership Program. Malmstrom is at the end of the city’s water supply line, but the two are operated as separate systems, reported the Great Falls Tribune. The two groups have identified redundant steps that could be eliminated, and now are crafting an agreement to combine the systems so they could be treated as a joint entity under state and federal regulations …

South Dakota Authority Needs Consultant for JLUS at Ellsworth AFB

  • December 3, 2014
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The South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority (SDEDA) in Rapid City, S.D., is seeking proposals from qualified firms to prepare a joint land use study for the communities surrounding Ellsworth Air Force Base. The effort is funded by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment which provides grants to state and local governments to conduct a JLUS to support the long-term sustainability and operability of military installation complexes. Interested firms must demonstrate knowledge and experience in community planning, development and land use issues, impact/analysis concerning air installation compatible use zones, economic development, and military installation management and operations …

DOD Likely to Continue Pursuit of BRAC under Carter

  • December 3, 2014
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Ashton Carter, who administration officials said Tuesday will be nominated shortly by President Obama to replace Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, likely will continue the Pentagon’s recent requests for a new BRAC round as one of a series of reforms needed to accommodate stringent spending caps. Closing excess bases needs to be a component of DOD’s effort to find efficiencies that spare military capabilities, Carter argued during several speeches he made as deputy defense secretary, a position the 60-year-old physicist held from October 2011 until December 2013 …

Reid to Support House Plan for Avoiding Government Shutdown

  • December 2, 2014
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said he would support the House Republican plan to fund all government agencies, except for the Department of Homeland Security, through a year-long omnibus. House approval of individual spending bills for 11 appropriations panels with a continuing resolution for Homeland Security that lasts for only several months — earning the strategy the moniker, “CRomnibus” — would be a policy win, Reid said, reported the Hill. “That would be a big accomplishment if we could get a bill over here that would fund all the appropriations subcommittees except for one …

House, Senate Give up Ground Reluctantly on DOD Reforms

  • December 2, 2014
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House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders reached agreement on a compromise version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill that offers the Pentagon only moderate concessions on many of its cost-saving reforms affecting military compensation and force structure. On one of the issues that held up a deal until Monday, committee leaders agreed to slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing (BAH) so it covers only 99 percent of costs, reported Stars and Stripes. DOD had proposed slowing increases in the BAH until it covered only 95 percent of costs …

Defense Budget Insufficient to Meet Strategic Guidance, Independent Panel Concludes

  • December 2, 2014
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The defense budget is inadequate to meet the Pentagon’s strategic requirements, even in the absence of threats which emerged over the past year, two members of an independent panel formed to assess the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Michèle Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, said the Budget Control Act spending caps pose “a threat to national security” and could jeopardize the lives of service members if another conflict were to arise. Congress should approve the department’s proposals to slash spending through a new BRAC round and reform military compensation …

Local, State Officials Move ahead with Plans to Purchase Properties outside Robins AFB

  • December 2, 2014
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The state of Georgia is targeting mobile home parks in attempt to lower residential density as it ramps up its effort to purchase properties surrounding the airfield at Robins Air Force Base. The state effort, which is focused on northern Houston County, follows a similar initiative in southern Bibb County to purchase properties near Robins affected by aircraft noise, reports the Telegraph. The state, Bibb, Houston and Peach counties, and DOD are spending a total of $29.8 million to limit encroachment around the base in Middle Georgia …

House, Senate Resolve Impasse over Authorization Bill

  • December 1, 2014
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Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees reached agreement on a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, after breaking an impasse over two Pentagon proposals intended to trim the cost of military compensation. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced the breakthrough on Monday, but did not say how the issues had been resolved. “We compromised,” Levin told reporters Monday evening. “It takes two, not just to tango, but to compromise.” He indicated details would be released on Tuesday …

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