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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Budget Deal Will Be Difficult to Justify, Sessions Says

  • January 14, 2015
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Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Budget committees, says the bar will be relatively high for fiscal conservatives to sign off on an agreement to relax the Budget Control Act cap on defense spending. “I believe if people want to raise the defense cap, then they’re going to have to justify it,” Sessions told DefenseNews. “We’re going to have to talk about it, and we’re going to have to go to more than just general rhetoric but specific justifications because it doesn’t do any good to have … the Budget Control Act if we’re not going to adhere to it but [for] a year or two …

Illinois’ Kirk to Head Senate Milcon Spending Panel

  • January 13, 2015
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With Republicans assuming control of the Senate, Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) will chair the Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in the 114th Congress. Kirk previously had been the panel’s ranking member. Illinois has three major installations — Naval Station Great Lakes, Scott Air Force Base and Rock Island Arsenal. Last week, the committee’s Democrats announced that Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) will be the milcon panel’s ranking member. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who will serve as the full committee chairman, has not formally announced the cardinals for each of the 12 panels, but the Republican conference ratified the selections, reported CQ. Cochran also will take the gavel for the defense appropriations subcommittee, with Dick Durbin (Ill.) remaining the senior Democrat on the panel.

ADC Overhauls Process, Criteria for Board Nominations

  • January 13, 2015
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ADC this year is revamping the process for nominating members to its board of directors and introducing new criteria for selecting candidates. The moves are intended to establish more formal policies for selecting directors, while ensuring the board features “the best and brightest” of the association’s members. Most significantly, the nominations committee no longer will focus on maintaining an equal balance among members from base redevelopment communities (LRAs), active defense communities and the private sector. The nominations committee, which is being chaired by past president Bob Murdock, now will strive to ensure that a simple majority of the board is from the public sector …

Business Center Has Been Helping North Carolina’s Defense Sector Grow since 2005

  • January 13, 2015
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The North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) last week celebrated its 10th year of helping firms in the state capture defense contracts. NCMBC is the only statewide military business center in the nation, said Executive Director Scott Dorney. “No other state dedicates the resources that North Carolina does to growing the military economy, expanding our tax base and creating jobs for people across the state — while supporting our military with the critical products that they need to train, fight and win America’s conflicts …

New Orleans Goes Extra Step in Ending Veteran Homelessness

  • January 13, 2015
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New Orleans has ended veteran homelessness altogether, going a step beyond other major cities that have only ended chronic homelessness among veterans, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Last July, Landrieu pledged that the city would find homes for all veterans living on the streets, a figure estimated at 193, reported the Independent. Last week, the mayor announced the city had found housing for 227 homeless veterans. More than 300 local, county and state officials have joined a White House initiative to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, with several already declaring victory, including Phoenix and Salt Lake City …

Army May Not Return Oregon Chemical Depot Site to LRA

  • January 13, 2015
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The Army is reconsidering a plan to transfer thousands of acres at the former Umatilla Chemical Depot in northern Oregon to the site’s local redevelopment authority at no cost. The Columbia Development Authority, formerly the Umatilla Army Depot Reuse Authority, had planned on obtaining up to 9,500 acres via a no-cost economic development conveyance, with 3,000 acres designated for industrial development. The LRA doesn’t have the resources to purchase the site, reported the East Oregonian. “It was a pretty significant reversal from what we had been told up until last month,” project manager Don Chance told the authority’s board …

Two More Posts Open Family Housing to Military Retirees, Civilians

  • January 12, 2015
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Two Army installations recently have opened their family housing to military retirees and DOD civilians in an effort to raise occupancy rates. Last month, Corvias Military Living started allowing military retirees, DOD civilians and the families of slain soldiers to apply to live on Fort Bragg, N.C. Last week, housing officials there said they would accept DOD civilians who are single and service members at the rank of sergeant in an on-base apartment complex, reported the Fayetteville Observer. Those apartments previously were available only to service members with a rank of E-6 or higher …

Help ADC Craft its 2015 Agenda for Federal Outreach

  • January 12, 2015
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If you fancy yourself an aficionado of inside-the-Beltway goings-on and are interested in helping ADC develop its policy strategy for 2015, consider joining the association’s Federal Outreach Advisory Committee (FOAC). FOAC develops ADC’s yearly legislative and policy priorities and advises the House and Senate Defense Community Caucuses. FOAC is divided into two subcommittees — one for active base communities and one for base redevelopment communities. To join FOAC, you must be an active ADC member in good standing and be willing to participate in regular conference calls. If you are interesting in submitting a nomination to join, contact Paul Kalomiris at (202) 822-5256 x440 or pkalomiris@defensecommunities.org. Paul rejoined the ADC staff in December after serving in multiple capacities over the past 15 years. He now serves as senior policy adviser.

Landfill Gas Plant Helps Power JB Elmendorf-Richardson

  • January 12, 2015
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While solar power may not be viable in Alaska, officials at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage are generating a significant share of their energy needs through renewable sources. A landfill gas plant on the installation generates more than 56,000 megawatt-hours, or 26 percent of the installation’s electrical load, relying on the Anchorage municipal solid waste landfill adjacent to the base, reported the joint base’s public affairs office. The plant, which primarily uses methane, is allowing the installation to exceed a federal goal of obtaining 7.5 percent of its electric consumption from renewable sources …

Iowa Strives to Attract Veterans

  • January 12, 2015
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Veterans living in Iowa are eligible for a variety of tax breaks and other benefits following enactment last year of the Home Base Iowa Act, legislation designed to convince veterans to move to the state. Under the program, veterans are eligible to receive: a waiver of state income tax on military pensions; a $5,000 grant toward the purchase of a home; in-state tuition for public colleges and universities; and the ability to more easily obtain civilian licenses for skills learned in the military. “What we’re doing in Iowa can be an example of what other states can do,” Gov. Terry Branstad (R) told Military Times. “We look at it as a win-win for the veteran, for the companies and also for the communities in which they locate.”

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