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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

DOD, VA Health Care Partnership Adds Ft. Jackson’s Hospital

  • July 22, 2015
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A regional health care partnership that started with the medical center at Fort Gordon and two Veterans Affairs hospitals in Georgia has been extended to Fort Jackson’s Moncrief Army Community Hospital and a VA Medical Center in Columbia, S.C. The partnership started in 2012 with a $2.9 million grant from DOD and VA allowing Fort Gordon’s Eisenhower Army Medical Center and VA hospitals in Augusta and Dublin, Ga., to coordinate patient care and identify opportunities for sharing facilities, personnel and services, reported the Augusta Chronicle. Adding the two Co­lum­bia facilities should expand opportunities for collaboration, according to Col. John Lamoureux, chairman of the Georgia-Lina Federal Healthcare Executive Council and Eisenhower’s commander. “We have a shared interest in caring for our nation’s service members and veterans,” Lamoureux said of the five hospitals involved …

Former Kansas Ammo Plant in Running for Logistics Hub

  • July 22, 2015
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The former Kansas Army Ammunition Plant has been selected as one of seven finalists by the state Department of Transportation for a transload shipping center. The Great Plains Industrial Park, as the reuse project is called, was chosen from 111 proposals, reported the Joplin Globe. The transload center, which would be used for truck-to-rail and rail-to-truck transfers, would create jobs and lower shipping costs. In southeastern Kansas where Great Plains is located, a hub would benefit local industry and customers, said Ed McKechnie, chairman of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. “Anytime you can have an additional investment in the infrastructure in this part of the state, it’s an opportunity to reduce costs in people’s supply chain, make them more competitive …

Groundbreaking Held at Camp Lejeune for 13MW Solar Farm

  • July 22, 2015
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Officials from the Navy, Marine Corps, Duke Energy and eastern North Carolina held a groundbreaking last week for a 13-megawatt solar farm on a 100-acre site at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The project will cost $25 million to $30 million, and is expected to be online by the end of the year. “In a world that has a lot of uncertainty, you need flexibility,” Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, said during the event. “You get flexibility in energy supply by having different sources of energy. And this solar project is a good example of having another aspect in the mix of the places we get energy. The fact that it’s distributed energy, the fact that it’s on a secure base, adds to that aspect of security …

Member-Led Efforts to Solve Sequestration Yield Little in Results

  • July 21, 2015
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Lawmakers regularly tout their participation in behind-the-scenes talks to produce a bipartisan plan to lift the statutory spending caps on defense and domestic spending, but the reality is very little progress has been made, reports CQ. A group led by Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.), for example, has been meeting since earlier this year to resolve what McCain said was his number one priority when he took the panel’s gavel in January. Beyond talking, it’s not clear if the group has made any headway. “It would be a good idea,” McCain said of completing a plan. “But first you’ve got to agree on what to put out there. That’s why these endless discussions go on …

Services to Consider Additional Force Protection Measures in Wake of Tennessee Shootings

  • July 21, 2015
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Defense Secretary Ash Carter has approved “immediate force protection steps” following last week’s shootings in Chattanooga, Tenn., that killed four Marines and one Navy sailor. Carter also has directed the services to look at additional steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of service members and civilians at military installations, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said. “I’ve asked the services to quickly, but in a comprehensive way, assess additional things that they might recommend,” Carter told reporters Sunday while flying to Israel. “I really want to give them the chance to look at — do an assessment and come back to me with facts and recommendations. And I’ll make further decisions down the road on the basis of those service recommendations,” Carter said …

Revised Relocation of Marines Would Lessen Impact to Guam, Review Concludes

  • July 21, 2015
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The Navy last week released its environmental review for a revised realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam agreed to in 2012, signaling the likely resumption of the Navy’s effort to ready Guam to accommodate the arrival of about 5,000 Marines. As a result of the scaled-down move, the cantonment area, housing and live fire training range needed to accommodate the relocation will be confined to the military’s existing footprint on Guam, according to the final supplemental environmental impact statement. The Navy’s original plan called for the acquisition of 1,688 acres of land from either the local government or private landowners, reported the Pacific Daily News. “This is a very important step forward in the relocation effort, and the Department of Defense has worked diligently to address the core concerns that were raised by our community,” said Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo …

‘Biggest Loser’ Campaign Spurring Energy Conservation at Overseas Navy Bases

  • July 21, 2015
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The Navy is using a new automated tool to track its installations’ progress slashing energy consumption, improving efficiency and increasing their reliance on renewable energy sources. The Navy Shore Geospatial Energy Module (NSGEM) is an interactive web map that visually depicts monthly energy usage for each facility at every installation, reported Navy Installations Command. “NSGEM is very important because it provides an easy way for sailors to understand efficiency at commands across the Navy all the way down to the facility level,” said Sandrine Schultz, NIC’s energy program director. The tool also is central to the “Energy Biggest Loser” competition taking place across Navy installations in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia …

Air Force Civil Engineer Center Gains New Director

  • July 20, 2015
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Randy Brown, who most recently served as director of the Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Requirements Directorate at Air Force Materiel Command, became the new director of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center during a ceremony last week at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Brown replaces Joe Sciabica who retired last month. Before serving at Materiel Command, Brown led the Armament Directorate at Eglin AFB, Fla., where he led more than 1,000 personnel executing a portfolio valued at more than $52 billion. Many of the comments at the assumption of leadership ceremony touched on the possibilities AFCEC could look forward to under the newly created Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC). The future holds excitement and opportunities for the organization, said AFIMSC Commander Maj. Gen. Theresa Carter …

Defense Bill Talks Slowed over Military Compensation Issues

  • July 19, 2015
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Progress by House and Senate conferees negotiating a compromise version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill slowed last week due to disagreements over service members’ benefits and other key issues. As a result, the target date for the House to vote on a conference report has slipped to the week of July 27, reported CQ Roll Call. If the conferees finish work on a final version of the defense policy bill in time for the House to take it up next week, the Senate still would have time to clear a conference report the following week before starting its August recess …

Army Cuts Could Place Housing Bonds at Risk, Ratings Agency Says

  • July 19, 2015
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The Army’s latest round of restructuring, which is designed to shrink the service’s end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2018, could pose a long-term risk for military housing bonds, Fitch Ratings said last week. The 8 percent reduction in Army personnel will not present a short-term risk, however, as only five installations affected by the changes secure Fitch-rated bonds, according to a press release. Four of the five posts are slated to lose about 5 to 6 percent of their military personnel. The fifth is set to experience a slight gain in population …

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