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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Army Set to Announce Cuts in Force Structure

  • July 8, 2015
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The Army’s announcement as to how it will shrink its active-duty end strength by 40,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2017 is expected Thursday, with congressional delegations and defense committees likely being notified on Wednesday, according to defense community officials and Washington insiders. The Army has not commented on the pending announcement, however. Two weeks ago the service had been expected to identify which installations and units would suffer personnel cuts needed to comply with the statutory spending caps, but officials postponed the announcement. The service’s chief of public affairs told community representatives at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit that a decision to trim the number of troops from 490,000 — the Army’s end strength target for the end of the current fiscal year — to 450,000 by FY 2017 already had been made. Somewhat less certain, said Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, is the service’s plan to shrink its active-duty forces to 420,000 …

Pending Army Cuts Underscore Changing Attitudes about BRAC

  • July 8, 2015
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With the Army expected this week to identify up to 30 installations that could lose thousands of personnel, defense communities are bracing for the worst. “We’re on pins and needles,” Carl McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, told the Washington Post. “To not create a Detroit-like scenario, we cannot lose soldiers. We’ll feel every soldier we lose,” McLaughlin said. A worst case outcome for Fort Drum would mean the loss of 16,000 soldiers and civilians at the post in New York’s North Country. Counting spouses and children, a third of Jefferson County’s population could disappear …

Wright-Patterson AFB’s Neighbors Intent on Forging Partnerships

  • July 8, 2015
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One week after the Dayton Development Coalition and the state of Ohio accepted ADC’s Community Excellence Award, local leaders continued to reach out to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to identify partnership opportunities that will either help it trim spending or enhance its services. “For the base, the conversation has been on how we can avoid costs or generate revenue,” Col. John Devillier, the 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, said at a meeting with community representatives. “That means a new way of thinking about how we interact …

Filmmaker’s Offer Prompts SouthField Developer to Renovate Navy Hangar

  • July 8, 2015
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In a reversal of plans, LStar Management, which assumed control of the redevelopment of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station in May, has decided to renovate an old Navy hangar for filmmakers after it was approached by a company interested in using the space to make a movie. Instead of demolishing the 33,000-square-foot hangar as part of its plan for turning the Boston-area site into SouthField, the project’s latest master developer has been readying the hangar for the movie maker, reported Wicked Local Weymouth. The first phase of the renovation will cost about a half-million dollars and covers remediation of the soil and lead paint, and the replacement of 400 broken windows, said LStar managing partner Kyle Corkum. A second phase would upgrade an office attached to the hangar …

State Pledges $5.6M for UAS Park at Grand Forks AFB

  • July 8, 2015
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North Dakota is allocating $5.6 million to support the continued development of the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business and aviation park at Grand Forks AFB, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) said Monday. About $3 million of the funding will be used to upgrade a flight tarmac and other infrastructure that will support UAS testing and flight operations, according to a release from the governor’s office. The 217-acre project is being developed under an enhanced use lease with Grand Forks County and calls for 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office, shop, laboratory and data center space required for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development, and data analysis and management …

Obama Reiterates Threat to Veto Defense Bill

  • July 7, 2015
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During a rare visit to the Pentagon, President Obama on Monday reiterated his threat to veto the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill because it relies on a budget framework that would shortchange the nation’s future by restraining spending on non-military aspects of national security such as education and research. “We’re not going to eat our seed corn,” Obama said, reported CQ. The military has the best troops in the world in part because “we’ve got a strong economy and we’ve got a well-educated population and we’ve got an incredible research operation and universities,” the president said. “We shortchange those, we’re going to be less secure,” he said …

Pentagon Official’s Visit Intended to Reignite Partnership Initiative at Great Falls

  • July 7, 2015
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Officials from the Air Force and Great Falls, Mont., hope efforts to find mutually beneficial partnerships between Malmstrom AFB and its host community will be revitalized following a recent visit by Steve Zander, director of the Air Force Community Partnership Program. Representatives from the base and the city — along with county, education and health officials — began meeting last year to look for ways to take advantage of the new DOD authority allowing installations and communities to share support services for municipal functions and other activities. Initial ideas generated included establishing a clearinghouse for training opportunities, opening up the city’s parks and recreation department to the base, allowing the city to conduct water testing for the Air Force, integrating public works, enhancing radio communications and finding a new use for underutilized real estate at Malmstrom …

Fanning Likely Successor to McHugh as Army Secretary

  • July 7, 2015
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Personnel changes at the Pentagon announced last week could be viewed as a signal that Eric Fanning, who had been Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s chief of staff, will replace John McHugh as secretary of the Army, reports the Washington Post. On Thursday, Carter announced that Fanning will be the next acting undersecretary of the Army. “His deep well of knowledge and vast experience in the Pentagon, honed during his tenure as deputy undersecretary of the Navy and acting secretary of the Air Force, have been crucial assets for my front office,” Carter said in a written statement …

Guidance on Prevailing Wage Rate Rule to Benefit Redevelopment at Ft. Monmouth

  • July 7, 2015
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Recent guidance from New Jersey’s attorney general’s office concluding that the state’s prevailing wage rate rules do not universally apply to new construction at Fort Monmouth should help the LRA reach sales and redevelopment agreements with developers for a variety of projects at the former post. Prevailing wage requirements will apply only if a project includes public work or if the developer receives financial assistance from the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) or any state entity, reported Word on the Shore. “The updated language reflects how FMERA now reviews contracts and projects on a case-by-case basis to determine the applicability of prevailing wage requirements in each case,” said Rachel Goemaat, spokesperson for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority …

Installations in Eastern States Sweep Pentagon Awards

  • July 7, 2015
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Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday announced the 2015 recipients of the Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence: Army: Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; Marine Corps: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Navy: Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.; Air Force: Joint Base Andrews, Md.; and Defense Logistics Agency: DLA Distribution Center Susquehanna, Pa. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations, Pentagon officials said. “Excellent installations enable better mission performance and enhance the quality of life for military men and women and their families …

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