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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

DOD’s Latest Spending Plan Could Spur Efforts for Further Sequestration Relief

  • February 26, 2014
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Defense hawks’ aversion to the cuts in force structure and military benefits outlined this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could prompt renewed discussions in Congress to reverse deep spending cuts scheduled to take effect between fiscal 2016 and 2021. “The first thing we’ve got to do is drive a stake in the heart of [Hagel's] ill-conceived and ill-designed proposal, and that means freeing up money” for defense spending, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of the five-year spending plan unveiled Monday. “That means we need to get BCA [2011 Budget Control Act] relief or rearrange the pie …

Ayotte Presses Nominee on DOD’s Intentions to Address Excess Capacity outside of BRAC

  • February 26, 2014
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New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) focused on the Defense Department’s plans for reducing its infrastructure in the event Congress rejects its latest request for additional base closures, during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing for Robert Work for deputy defense secretary. During the Armed Services Committee hearing, Ayotte asked the nominee to clarify remarks Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel offered Monday during a preview of the department’s five-year spending plan. After noting that lawmakers rejected DOD’s BRAC requests in each of the last two years, Hagel said that “if Congress continues to block these requests even as they slash the overall budget, we will have to consider every tool at our disposal to reduce infrastructure …

State Commission Would Address Drop in Defense Spending, under Maryland Bill

  • February 26, 2014
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Maryland would establish a commission to consider ways to adapt to a reduction in spending by the Pentagon, under legislation introduced in both chambers of the General Assembly. The commission would conduct at least three public hearings and report recommendations to the governor and the legislature by June 1, 2015, reported the Gazette. Multiple organizations supported the bill — filed by state Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. (D) and co-sponsored by 15 other senators — during a hearing held by the Senate Finance Committee last week. “As the wars abroad wind down and defense downsizing begins in earnest, we want to ensure that Maryland workers and communities are protected,” Jean Athey — steering committee chair for a coalition of political, religious, labor and other groups called Fund Our Communities — told lawmakers. “To do that, the state of Maryland needs to begin planning now,” Athey said.

Texas Community Seeks Consultant to Prepare JLUS for Camp Swift

  • February 25, 2014
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The city of Bastrop, Texas, is requesting proposals from qualified firms to prepare a joint land use study (JLUS) for Camp Swift and the surrounding communities. Proposals will be received until 3 p.m. on March 21 at City Hall, 1311 Chestnut Street, Bastrop, Texas 78602. The RFP is available on the city’s website under “Public Notices.” Email requests to mmccollum@cityofbastrop.org.

Operation Enduring Opportunity Seeks Veterans for Franchising

  • February 25, 2014
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The International Franchise Association has set a goal of recruiting and training 80,000 veterans to become franchise owners in a campaign it is calling Operation Enduring Opportunity. One in seven franchises in the United States is owned by a veteran, according to VetFran, a program founded by the association. Veterans make good franchise owners because of their leadership abilities and their experience running standardized systems inherent to franchise operations …

McCain Places Hold on Deputy Secretary Nominee

  • February 25, 2014
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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has placed a hold on Robert Work, President Obama’s nominee for deputy defense secretary, after he characterized the Navy’s littoral combat ship program as being “on solid ground” during his confirmation hearing Tuesday. “I think this is very normal with Navy ship building,” Work said of a program that would be cut from 52 ships to 32 under the five-year budget proposal Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled the previous day …

Governors Fight Proposed Cuts to Army National Guard

  • February 25, 2014
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Despite recommending a smaller proportional cut on personnel in the Amy National Guard than on the active Army in its five-year budget, the Obama administration is taking flak from the nation’s governors for targeting soldiers and aircraft in the Guard. There’s “unanimity” against cuts among state executives gathered in Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association’s winter meeting, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) told reporters Monday …

Pentagon Spending Plan Quickly Generates Capitol Hill Opposition

  • February 25, 2014
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Republican lawmakers largely denounced the cuts in force structure and changes in military benefits outlined Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, while Democrats mainly questioned some of the proposals in DOD’s five-year spending plan. “We are going to kill it, not let it happen,” vowed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “I just think it is taking the Army down to a level where you restrain your ability to fight the war that comes your way. The best way to fight a war is deterrence, and I think readiness at the number you are talking about, I just don’t think [the Army] is equipped for the threats you face …

Medical College at Chaffee Crossing Would Bring Huge Investment to Region

  • February 25, 2014
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The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority last week agreed to donate 200 acres of land on the former Army post for a school of osteopathic medicine, a project that is expected to significantly boost the economy of the region surrounding Fort Smith, Ark. As part of the deal, the board of the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation committed $58 million to build the school and anticipates additional funding from other sources. “We are very excited to be a part of the plans to build this osteopathic medical university,” said Ivy Owen, the LRA’s executive director, reported the City Wire. “Their plans dovetail nicely with our plans for this area. The wooded, open space, walkable-style campus is exactly what we want for Chaffee Crossing.” The new college would be one of only 31 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States.

Partnership Ideas for Wright-Patterson Cover Wide Array of Services

  • February 25, 2014
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At a workshop last week, local leaders discussed a variety of services that could be shared between Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and its neighbors in and around Dayton, Ohio, including maintenance of streets and equipment, recreation and provision of water and sewer. At the outset of the workshop, Col. Cassie Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, highlighted one critical need for the base — child development centers. “We consistently have a waiting list of more than 100 kids. This is a huge need for us …

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