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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Ft. Huachuca Solar Project to Rely on GSA Contract

  • April 29, 2014
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An 18-megawatt solar installation being developed at Fort Huachuca, representing DOD’s largest solar array to date, will supply energy to the southeastern Arizona post through a General Services Administration (GSA) area-wide public utility contract. Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 155-acre project — a joint effort among the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, Fort Huachuca, GSA, Tucson Electric Power and developer E.ON Climate and Renewables — on Friday. Under the agreement, Tucson Electric Power will fund, own, maintain and operate the project, and contract with developer E.ON for the design, engineering, procurement and construction …

Community Issues May Be Critical to Preserving Robins AFB, Advocate Says

  • April 28, 2014
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Two areas that leaders in Middle Georgia should pursue to boost the prospects that Robins Air Force Base survives a future BRAC is reducing crime and improving the quality of its public schools. “We have to find a resolution to the growing crime issue in Middle Georgia,” said Robert McMahon, president and CEO of the 21st Century Partnership, the local support group for Robins. “That’s an issue that impacts not only the military’s perception but industry’s perception of our region, and I think we have to work that aggressively,” said McMahon …

Congress Will Find Funds to Retain 11th Carrier, Lawmakers Say

  • April 28, 2014
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Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation have pledged to secure the funds needed to refuel the USS George Washington, which would allow the Navy to retain 11 aircraft carriers. “I am not worried that the United States is going to lose a carrier because I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee, said at a press conference on Monday, reported the Hill. DOD’s latest five-year budget provides funding for only 10 carriers as it does not include $6 billion needed to refuel the George Washington …

Effort to Overturn National Guard Cuts Runs into Resistance on Capitol Hill

  • April 28, 2014
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Congress has historically been a reliable advocate for the interests of the National Guard, but in the latest dispute over the Army’s plan to trim the size of the Army National Guard and replace its fleet of Apache attack helicopters, many members on Capitol Hill are pushing back against the arguments of state National Guard leaders. A common refrain from lawmakers is that the cuts in the Army’s end strength forced by the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps are sufficiently deep that the Guard needs to bear some of the burden of the budget cuts …

White House Introduces One-Stop Jobs Tool for Veterans

  • April 27, 2014
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The White House last week launched a one-stop career portal to connect veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses with employers. The new online resource is the first interagency tool to link public and private job opportunities, detailed career and training resources, and the ability to build a resume and translate applicants’ military skills into civilian equivalents …

Army to Finish BRAC Property Transfers by 2021, Hammack Says

  • April 27, 2014
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The Army plans to complete the transfer of excess property at closed installations by 2021, according to a recent blog post by Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment.
The Army has about 73,000 acres remaining from prior BRAC rounds. That represents 25 percent of the service’s total acreage disposal requirement of 297,000 acres. “Placing this property into productive reuse helps communities rebuild the local tax base, generate revenue, and, most importantly, replace lost jobs …

Services Adopt Uniform Standards for Installation Signage

  • April 27, 2014
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The military services recently adopted a uniform set of standards for installation signage, the culmination of a three-year effort by the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC), the Army Corps of Engineers and Naval Facilities Engineering Command. The new design criteria are expected to have multiple benefits, including making the transition between installations easier for service members when they move or travel …

Ventura County Leaders Face Possibility of New BRAC Round

  • April 27, 2014
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Elected officials, business representatives and military leaders from Ventura County, Calif., discussed the economic importance of Naval Base Ventura County, potential reuse opportunities if the installation were closed and the need to advocate for the base during a public forum held Friday. The base — formed by the merger of Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island in Southern California — is critical to the local economy as it employs 17,000 people, reported the Pacific Coast Business Times. And while Navy property at Point Mugu and Port Hueneme could find productive uses for civilian purposes, county residents likely would oppose developing the sites …

Early Start on Appropriations May Not Preclude Need for CR

  • April 27, 2014
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Despite a renewed emphasis from appropriators in both chambers on passing fiscal 2015 spending bills before the new fiscal year begins, there’s a distinct possibility that one or more measures will not be passed and force Congress to rely on a continuing resolution (CR). One likely candidate for being held back is defense appropriations, primarily so congressional leaders can force movement on other spending bills, reports CQ. Also, the Pentagon may not submit its FY 2015 request for overseas contingency operations until September …

Local Officials Request State Funds to Defend Ft. Indiantown Gap

  • April 24, 2014
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With a potential BRAC round on the horizon, the commissioners for Lebanon County, Pa., are applying for state funds to organize efforts to advocate for Fort Indiantown Gap, a National Guard training center located in southeastern Pennsylvania. The county is hoping to secure a $25,000 grant from the state Military Community Protection Commission to prepare arguments for preserving the installation in the event it is targeted for closure, reported the Lebanon Daily News. “I think one of things they are looking for us to do is form a local defense group and sort of set a direction on how we are going to approach this,” Kris Troup, county planning director, told the paper. The group likely would include county commissioners, business and community leaders, and former high-ranking members of the military, Troup said.

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