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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Alabama Measure Offers Residents Chance to Support Local Armories

  • October 2, 2014
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Alabama residents will have an opportunity during November’s midterm elections to support an amendment authorizing the state to borrow up to $50 million to improve the condition of its National Guard armories. “A lot of our armories are desolate places. Some are 30 to 50 years old. It would be financially irresponsible for us to not do this and try to maintain and improve these facilities,” state Rep. Mark Tuggle told the Rotary Club last week in Tallassee. Tuggle, state Sen. Tom Whatley, and other lawmakers who sponsored the amendment believe it offers the state a good shot at shielding its armories from a future round of base closures …

Biomass Plant to Power Ft. Drum

  • October 1, 2014
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Fort Drum, N.Y., will obtain 100 percent of its on-site energy requirements under a contract the Army awarded to the owner and operator of a biomass power plant. ReEnergy Black River LLC, a subsidiary of ReEnergy Holdings LLC, will provide up to 28 megawatts of electricity from a facility that converts forest residues left over after trees are harvested into steam that runs a turbine to make electricity. The project is a joint effort between the Energy Initiatives Task Force, Fort Drum, DLA Energy and ReEnergy …

Pivot to Asia Continues despite Budget Pressure, Official Says

  • October 1, 2014
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DOD’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region remains on course despite the budget bind facing the department, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday. “We might not be able to go as fast as we would want because of budgetary pressures. We might not be able to have as many forces as we would otherwise like because we wouldn’t be able to afford them,” Work told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But the Asia Pacific rebalance continues apace …

Veterans Return to Civilian Life Unprepared, Survey Shows

  • October 1, 2014
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A majority of service members leave the military facing a variety of unmet needs resulting in a difficult transition to civilian life, according to a new University of Southern California study of veterans living in Los Angeles County. “The State of the American Veteran: The Los Angeles County Veterans Study,” by the USC School of Social Work’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families, found that more than two-thirds of more than 1,350 veterans surveyed reported difficulties adjusting to civilian life, with 69 percent of post-9/11 veterans indicating they needed time to figure out what they would do after the military. One overarching finding is that veterans’ needs cannot be met by a single organization …

Air Force Engineering Center Moved to New Installation Support Organization

  • October 1, 2014
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Six organizations, including the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, were moved under Air Force Materiel Command on Oct. 1 to help form the foundation of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center when it is formally activated in 2015. The newly created AFIMSC will consolidate installation management functions currently being performed at 10 major commands, two direct reporting units and multiple field operating agencies. The center’s support capabilities will include security forces, civil engineering, base communications, logistics readiness, installation ministry programs, services and operational contracting …

Work Upbraids Congress over Opposition to Cost-Saving Reforms

  • October 1, 2014
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The almost universal rejection by lawmakers of a series of belt-tightening reforms to military compensation and weapons systems retirements proposed by the Pentagon will create an estimated $70 billion hole in its five-year budget, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told the Council on Foreign Relations this week. The department’s fiscal 2015 budget called for slashing the subsidy for commissaries and slowing increases in the basic allowance for housing, along with retiring its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft and other weapons. “These were what we considered to be pretty reasonable approaches, but Congress said ‘No …

Chicago, Wichita Join National Effort to End Veteran Homelessness

  • September 30, 2014
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The mayors of Chicago and Wichita, Kan., last month announced plans to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, joining more than 200 local, county and state officials who have made the same pledge as part of a White House initiative. On Sept. 16, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel committed $800,000 to a $5 billion federal plan and said he wants to make sure “any veteran, having fought for the homeland, is not homeless when they come home,” reported the Huffington Post. The effort calls for opening new housing facilities on four acres of city property as well as bolstering social services programs. The mayor also said he plans to open a facility to accommodate both veterans and their families …

Aberdeen PG Faces Loss of Chemical Battalion

  • September 30, 2014
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The 22nd Chemical Battalion, a 270-soldier unit responsible for assessing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats, may be relocated from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2016 or later, the post’s garrison commander said at a public meeting last month. While the number of personnel is relatively small compared to a workforce of 22,000, such a move would represent a significant portion of Aberdeen’s military component. Service members make up only 3 percent of the workers at the installation …

Colorado Springs Leaders Work Together to Defend Military Bases

  • September 30, 2014
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Despite political differences, a delegation of 13 business and community leaders from the Pikes Peak region presented a united front this week as they visited with Pentagon officials and Capitol Hill staff in an attempt to stave off deep spending cuts to the region’s five installations. Even before the Army decides what posts will lose personnel as it figures how to shrink its active-duty end strength by 70,000 soldiers, Fort Carson and other installations in the Colorado Springs region already are coping with recent cuts. Fort Carson will lose 1,500 soldiers in the coming weeks as one of its brigade combat teams is disestablished …

Navy Seeks Partners for Renewable Energy Development in California

  • September 30, 2014
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The Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration, in partnership with the Navy, has issued a request for proposals to meet the renewable energy needs of 14 Navy installations in California. The solicitation represents the largest single purchase of renewable energy by a DOD entity, according to a Navy press release. It also marks the first significant milestone by the Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office, which Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stood up in May. The office was created to identify cost-effective renewable energy projects for Navy installations. The Navy plans to purchase power from a new renewable energy generation project for up to 25 years …

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