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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

DOD Plan Points the Way toward Sustainability

  • November 2, 2014
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The Pentagon on Friday released a long-term plan for mitigating the risk posed by climate change effects including flooding, surging sea levels, severe weather and extreme temperatures that calls for “managing the unavoidable and preparing for the possible.” “There are plenty of things we can do to mitigate the risk, but in order to mitigate risk, you have to recognize that it exists,” said John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment. Conger added that he considers the military’s ability to cope with expected environmental changes his top concern. The report explains how climate change could directly affect installations and operations, noting “some of the department’s low-lying coastal installations are threatened by coastal erosion and inundation due to sea level rise …

Association Executives Press Levin to Reverse Spending Cuts

  • November 2, 2014
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Two Washington advocacy groups last week wrote Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urging him to lift spending caps that will harm Army readiness and jeopardize its ability to protect the nation. “The continued effects of sequestration on the Department of Defense will cause the Army, Active, Guard and Reserve to fall into unreadiness,” wrote Gordon Sullivan, president and CEO of Association of the U.S. Army, and Gus Hargett, president of the National Guard Association of the United States. Unless Congress steps in, the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps will reduce the Army to 420,000 active soldiers, 315,000 National Guard members and 185,000 in the Army Reserve, “the smallest ground forces since 1940 …

Utah Launches One-Stop Shop for Veteran Entrepreneurs

  • November 2, 2014
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State and local leaders, along with representatives from veteran service providers, businesses and the U.S. Small Business Administration last week announced a new partnership designed to connect veteran entrepreneurs with training, education, loans, marketing and business guidance, college credit for military service and other support. The Utah Veteran Owned Business Partnership will provide Utah veterans — a population which stood at 150,000 in 2013 — a one-stop shop to help them transition to civilian life, reported Deseret News. “What we’re trying to do is make it easy for them to find those services and connect with them so they can spend their time and energy bringing jobs to the economy and progressing,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams …

Reed May Decline Top Democratic Post on Senate Armed Services

  • October 30, 2014
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Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed (D) has not yet decided whether he wants the top Democratic spot on the Senate Armed Services Committee or the Banking Committee in the next Congress. With the retirement of Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), now Armed Services chairman, and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Banking chair, Reed will be the most senior Democrat on both committees. Reed had been widely expected to take the top spot on Armed Services, but now he appears to be considering the Banking post as a possibility …

BRAC Authority Needs Updating, Heritage Executive Says

  • October 30, 2014
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When Washington gets around to crafting the authority for a new round of base closures, there are a number of guidelines defense officials and lawmakers should consider, according to a recent commentary in National Interest. The Pentagon should integrate its processes for rightsizing its infrastructure overseas and domestically, writes James Jay Carafano, vice president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “What the future American basing structure in Europe looks like ought to be just as important as how many bases the DOD keeps in Texas …

Sequestration Presents Greater Threat than BRAC, Virginia Defense Affairs Secretary Says

  • October 30, 2014
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Virginia’s military installations are more likely to gain new missions than contract in a future BRAC round, John Harvey Jr., the commonwealth’s secretary of veterans and defense affairs, said this week. “Virginia has an awful lot to offer, and I think we have a lot to gain from a BRAC process,” Harvey told the Quantico/Belvoir Regional Business Alliance. One factor in Virginia’s favor is that the state’s installations are well-suited for all three of the military’s growth areas — special operations, cybersecurity and intelligence, reported InsideNOVA. “This is an extraordinarily attractive place for the services to be, for their people to be …

Pittsburgh-Area Groups Attempt to Coordinate Veterans Services

  • October 30, 2014
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The Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the Heinz Endowments have launched an initiative to coordinate the 180 organizations in the Pittsburgh region that provide services to veterans and their families. The effort’s aim, jumpstarted by a $50,000 planning grant from Heinz Endowments, is to create a coordinated network of service providers. The grant initially will be used to conduct a needs analysis of available resources and services. Participating organizations next will develop a provider network that leverages services from all sectors to address the needs of Pittsburgh’s veteran community …

Energy Department Funds Testing of Wave Energy Devices at Hawaiian Base

  • October 30, 2014
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The Department of Energy is providing $10 million to two companies to test wave energy conversion technologies in the late stages of development at a Navy site off the waters of Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The two companies, Ocean Energy USA and Northwest Energy Innovations, will test their marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) technologies for one year in new deep water test berths, according to a press release. The tests will collect performance, reliability and cost data. MHK technologies convert the energy of waves, tides, rivers, and ocean currents into electricity …

Forbes to Pursue Armed Services Chair

  • October 29, 2014
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) has decided to challenge frontrunner Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to chair the House Armed Services Committee in the 114th Congress, a Forbes spokesman said Wednesday. Forbes faces an uphill battle for the powerful post as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the outgoing chairman, has indicated he favors Thornberry, reported the Hill. Thornberry has served as the panel’s vice chairman since McKeon assumed the top spot four years ago. Forbes chairs the panel’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee; he previously was chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which is responsible for overseeing installations and BRAC policy …

DOD Budget Picture Remains Unfavorable, Comptroller Says

  • October 29, 2014
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Congress most likely won’t provide any long-term budget guidance until next spring when lawmakers will need to deal with the expiration of the debt ceiling, Pentagon Comptroller Mike McCord said this week. McCord said he’s not looking for lawmakers to act on the Budget Control Act spending caps when they return to Washington following next week’s elections, reported Defense One. “We don’t really expect that there’s going to be some kind of a budget deal. It doesn’t seem that likely in the lame duck session …

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