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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Veterans Support Organization Expands Transition Initiative to California

  • January 23, 2014
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One of the largest organizations representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan is expanding an innovative program for helping recent veterans successfully transition to civilian life to California, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) announced Thursday. The Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) connects post-9/11 veterans and their families to local resources and to one-on-one support with the organization’s veteran transition managers. The program provides veterans and their families with access to an array of services, including employment, education, housing and mental health …

Omnibus Retains Restriction on Underutilized Facilities

  • January 23, 2014
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The Defense Department is barred from spending fiscal 2014 funds maintaining facilities it no longer uses, according to the omnibus spending bill signed into law last week. The language — originally added on the House floor last July to that chamber’s version of the defense spending bill — is intended to eliminate wasteful spending by the department and is not targeted at installations closed through BRAC …

Defense Committees Take on New Leadership

  • January 23, 2014
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Retirements at the end of the year by the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, along with the recent deaths of two long-time appropriators, are resulting in a rapid turnover of the leadership of four defense panels. The retirement announcement last week from Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of House Armed Services, follows the earlier retirement announcement from Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.). As a result, both committees will have new leaders in the 114th Congress …

White House to Release FY’15 Budget in Early March

  • January 23, 2014
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The White House has settled on March 4 as the date it will submit the fiscal 2015 budget request to Congress, a one-month delay caused by lawmakers’ failure to complete work on the FY 2014 budget before last week. The Office of Management and Budget began doing “passbacks” this week, the process in which the White House delivers its response to agencies’ draft budgets, reported CQ. Passbacks typically are followed by one or more rounds of negotiations …

ESPC at Rock Island Arsenal to Cut Energy Use, Greenhouse Emissions

  • January 23, 2014
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A $61 million energy efficiency contract awarded to Honeywell on Wednesday is expected to trim energy use by approximately 35 percent and generate up to $5.3 million in annual energy and operational savings at the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing Technology Center (RIA-JMTC), Ill. “This project lets us tackle our aging infrastructure head on — a difficult task in light of budget cutbacks — so we can operate as efficiently as possible and support mission readiness,” said Col. David Luders, commander for RIA-JMT …

City Has Decades before Kirtland AFB Fuel Spill Threatens Water Supply, Study Finds

  • January 22, 2014
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Albuquerque has 30 years before a huge plume from a Kirtland Air Force Base fuel spill would reach the nearest municipal drinking water well, according to preliminary results from a study by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The study also concluded that Albuquerque’s wells could be protected by a pump-and-treat remedy that extracts the contamination from the ground, reported the Albuquerque Journal. “It takes it out of crisis mode,” Tom Blaine of the New Mexico Environment Department said of the new results. The agency previously had estimated the contamination might reach the nearest municipal well in five to seven years, according to the story. The plume stems from a decades-old leak discovered in 1999 from an underground pipe at Kirtland’s aircraft fuel loading facility. The spill is estimated to be up to 24 million gallons.

Pease AFB Redevelopment Nears Completion

  • January 22, 2014
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The Pease Development Authority is approaching a major milestone as officials have revealed that only 60 acres remain available for development at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, N.H. Since the base was shuttered in 1991, over 250 companies and about 7,800 workers have made Pease International Tradeport home. “The Air Force base contributed about $100 million to the local economy each year,” said David Mullen, executive director of the Pease Development Authority. “We contribute about five times that now …

Buffer Zone at Mississippi Post to Provide Carbon Offsets for Sale

  • January 22, 2014
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In a first for the Defense Department, a 1,522-acre parcel purchased by the Mississippi Army National Guard to protect Camp Shelby from encroachment will participate in California’s carbon market and generate about $10 million by selling carbon sequestration credits. The Army National Guard purchased the property last month from the Weyerhaeuser Co. through the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program and will place it into conservation through its ACUB partner, the Compatible Lands Foundation. The Army National Guard is trying to create a buffer around Camp Shelby to preserve its ability to train there as well as the surrounding critical habitat …

DOD Considers $1B Cut to Commissary Budget

  • January 22, 2014
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The Pentagon is considering recommending that funding for military grocery stores drop by $1 billion, or 71 percent, over three years as part of its fiscal 2015 budget request, reported Military.com. A cut of that magnitude likely would lead to the widespread closure of commissaries, with stateside stores bearing the brunt of the impact. The recommendation under discussion would reduce the Defense Commissary Agency’s current budget from $1.4 billion to $400 million by FY 2017 …

Bill Would Give Indiana Communities New Tool to Support Military Installations

  • January 22, 2014
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Legislation intended to provide communities an additional tool to support a neighboring military installation advanced last week in the Indiana Senate. The measure would allow local redevelopment commissions to spend money to support, promote or expand federal facilities, reported the Journal Gazette. It would allow communities to improve a base’s infrastructure, including roads and buildings, said State Sen. Jim Banks (R). Banks cited the possibility that Fort Wayne could take advantage of the legislation to bolster its case for retaining the Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing. “This is our opportunity to tell the federal government we are serious about keeping that investment in our state,” Banks said. Senate Bill 260 now moves to the full Senate.

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