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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

DOD Takings Steps to Lessen Utility Risks, but Challenges Remain with Cybersecurity Guidance

  • July 24, 2015
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The military services are taking steps to mitigate the risks posed by utility disruptions which have resulted in operational and fiscal impacts due to hazards such as mechanical failure and extreme weather, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. Installations have installed backup generators and conducted vulnerability assessments of their utility systems to prepare for future disruptions. DOD reported 180 utility disruptions lasting eight hours or longer in fiscal 2013, with an average financial impact of about $220,000 per day …

Fargo Leaders Highlight Assets of ‘Hooligans’

  • July 24, 2015
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Leaders from the Fargo, N.D., business community believe this week’s visit by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James strengthened the long-term outlook for the North Dakota Air National Guard’s “Happy Hooligans.” The military support group of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce touted the importance of the 119th Wing’s Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and intelligence targeting missions, and encouraged the secretary to consider the base for future manned flying missions, reported Inforum. Officials also pointed out that the National Guard unit has not experienced difficulties retaining Predator support specialists, a problem the rest of the Air Force is dealing with. Most significantly, the chamber gained James’ support for building a $7.3 million facility for the wing’s intelligence unit …

Public Service Commission Approves Solar Project at Georgia Marine Corps Base

  • July 24, 2015
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The Georgia Public Service Commission this week approved the construction of a 46-megawatt solar plant at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, marking the fifth Georgia military installation slated to host a new solar farm. The Marine Corps is still negotiating a final deal with Georgia Power, which will construct the facility at the southwestern Georgia installation and distribute the power generated to its customers, reported the Albany Herald. Contracts for solar facilities at Forts Gordon, Stewart and Benning, and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay have already been approved. Georgia Power will construct all of those projects. The Marine Corps plant will be completed by the end of 2016 and have a 35-year life …

Conference Agreement on Defense Bill May Be Delayed

  • July 23, 2015
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Lawmakers’ goal to hash out a compromise version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill before Congress’ August recess may be in jeopardy, according to multiple sources on Capitol Hill. As recently as last Friday, the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees were hoping to complete negotiations in time for the House to take up a conference report next week, with the Senate clearing it the following week. But even as talks among House-Senate conferees continue this week, several congressional staff members have told Inside Defense that lawmakers may not agree on compromise legislation until they return to Washington in September …

Virginia Installations Poised for Growth, Governor’s Commission Concludes

  • July 23, 2015
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There are a variety of actions Virginia officials can take — including investing in infrastructure on and outside military bases, and taking advantage of DOD’s new shared services authority — to expand the missions at its military installations, according to a recent report released by the Governor’s Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities. The commission’s 20 recommendations are intended to leverage changes in military policy to position the commonwealth to continue innovation and leadership in its military operations. The report, which was based on a “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats” analysis, focuses on four key areas of opportunity: improving how the nation develops its military leaders; advancing research, testing, evaluation and development of emergent technologies; investing in infrastructure to foster the growth of new missions …

Army Nominee Defends Restructuring Plan

  • July 23, 2015
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The restructuring the Army announced earlier this month will leave a force that is still large enough to meet its current missions, but at a “high level” of risk, Gen. Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday at a hearing on his nomination to be the next Army chief of staff. “I think from a total Army perspective, we have adequate size, but that is with significant risk,” Milley said. “That risk is incurred in terms of time to get to the fight, the time to mobilize [National Guard] units, time to get them trained and certified, and then it’s also significant risk in potential casualties,” he told the panel. Milley, currently the commander of Army Forces Command, also responded to lawmakers from states slated to absorb a portion of the 40,000-soldier reduction that will be carried out by the end of fiscal 2018 …

Anchorage’s Civilian Economy Could Use Several Thousand Veterans

  • July 23, 2015
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While the Army’s plan to cut 2,600 soldiers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will have some negative effects on Anchorage’s economy, transitioning personnel who elect to stay in the area will boost the local labor pool and have an opportunity to significantly benefit the region, according to a commentary published in the Alaska Dispatch News. Anchorage employers from a range of sectors have said they have job openings that are difficult to fill because of a lack of qualified candidates, write Bill Popp, president and CEO of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp., and Julie Saupe, president and CEO of Visit Anchorage. The city has only 8,500 unemployed workers. “The troops and their families who are facing the upcoming military drawdown are professional, skilled workers, and we have the jobs for them right here in Anchorage and Alaska. The Army’s loss is Alaska’s gain …

Solar Project at Robins AFB Falls behind Schedule

  • July 23, 2015
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Plans to develop a 10-megawatt solar array at Robins Air Force Base through an enhanced use lease have fallen behind schedule since they were initially announced last July. At the time, Chicago-based New Generation Power planned to begin construction at a 50-acre site at the Middle Georgia installation by September, with the solar plant slated to go online by January 2015. So far, though, work has not progressed beyond clearing the forested site, reported the Telegraph. Officials from the Air Force and the developer still need to sign a final lease, said Mark Kinkade, a spokesman for the Air Force Civil Engineering Center. “Despite the extended timeline, the project is moving forward …

Democrats Step up Pressure to Negotiate Higher Spending Caps

  • July 22, 2015
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President Obama on Tuesday reiterated his call for Republicans to negotiate higher spending levels for domestic agencies as well as the Pentagon if he is to sign any fiscal 2016 appropriations bills. “I’m calling on Republican leaders in Congress to come to the table with Democrats, sit down, negotiate a budget that protects our national security and our economic security,” Obama said at a VFW convention in Pittsburgh. “I’ve said I will veto any budget that locks in the sequester. It is not good for our country,” he said …

House Republicans Continue Support for Base in Azores

  • July 22, 2015
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House Republicans are reviewing a DOD decision to build an intelligence center in the United Kingdom as part of an ongoing effort to maintain the U.S. presence at Lajes Air Force Base, located on the Portuguese island of Terceira in the Azores. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, requested DOD documents used in making the decision to build the intelligence center at Royal Air Force Base Croughton, located outside of London, to find out why the military chose the U.K. location over Lajes, a Portuguese Air Force installation …

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