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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Mechanism to Block Executive Order through Appropriations Remains Elusive

  • November 20, 2014
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The Republican camp struggled to agree on a strategy to take advantage of fiscal 2015 spending legislation to block President Obama’s executive action shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation. House appropriators say there is no practical way to defund the president’s action through spending bills, as the agency responsible for determining immigration status and work permits is funded through fees rather than congressional appropriations …

Eastern Pennsylvania Lawmaker to Take Reins of Milcon Spending Panel

  • November 20, 2014
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Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent (R) will take over the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in the new Congress, Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) announced Thursday. Dent, whose district stretches from Harrisburg to Allentown, previously served on the state-foreign operations panel, not military construction. His district includes Fort Indiantown Gap, an active National Guard Training Center which serves as the headquarters for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the primary training site for the Pennsylvania National Guard and home to the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery …

FY’15 Omnibus Talks Advance toward Funding Deadline

  • November 20, 2014
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Even as conservatives are uncertain how they will leverage must-pass spending legislation to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration, House and Senate appropriators continue to make progress hammering out a fiscal 2015 omnibus bill that would include funding for the entire federal government. Appropriators are planning on completing a year-end spending bill in time for the House and Senate to clear it before the current continuing resolution (CR) runs out on Dec. 11, reported CQ. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, told the publication that a House-Senate meeting over the FY 2015 defense spending bill has reached agreement on a compromise measure, except for a handful of issues …

Four Bases to Vie for Air Force’s New Installation Support Center

  • November 20, 2014
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The Air Force this week announced four installations — Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Scott AFB, Ill., and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio — as candidate locations to host the headquarters for the new Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center. The Air Force plans to announce preferred and reasonable alternatives and continue the environmental impact analysis process through early 2015. Officials from Air Force Materiel Command will begin to conduct site surveys of each candidate base to assess a range of operational and facility requirements …

Expansion of Training Area to Bolster Ellsworth AFB

  • November 20, 2014
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A massive expansion of a training area used by B-52 and B-1 bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., is close to obtaining federal approval following a six-year review process, Sen. John Thune said this week. Expansion of the Powder River Training Complex will improve the Air Force’s training capability. Consolidation of far-flung training flights also could save the service an estimated $20 million annually in fuel costs, reported the Billings Gazette. The expansion will quadruple the size of the existing airspace to an area of about 20 million acres northwest of Rapid City and spanning parts of South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota …

Emerging Threats Upend Assumptions behind Sequestration, Odierno Says

  • November 19, 2014
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Reductions in the size of the Army forced by the Budget Control Act spending caps need to be reconsidered given the emergence of multiple global threats over the past year, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Wednesday. Many of the assumptions made when officials decided to shrink the size of the active-duty Army — initially to 490,000 and now to about 440,000 — have not played out as planned. “We made assumptions that we wouldn’t be using Army forces in Europe the way we used to. We made assumptions that we wouldn’t go back into Iraq. We are back in Iraq. Here we are worried about Russia again …

Armed Services Leaders Split over Military Compensation Reforms

  • November 19, 2014
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Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees negotiating a compromise fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill remain at an impasse over two DOD proposals intended to save billions of dollars in military benefit costs through FY 2019. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the outgoing chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday it’s worth “fighting for” the reforms advocated by Pentagon leaders. One would slow the growth in the basic allowance for housing below the rate of inflation over the next three years so that the benefit only covers 95 percent of average rental costs. The other would increase pharmacy co-pays for prescriptions filled outside of military treatment facilities …

Incoming Armed Services Chairs Decry Strict Spending Caps

  • November 19, 2014
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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who will lead the House Armed Services Committee starting in January, on Wednesday urged his fellow lawmakers to reverse the stringent spending caps imposed on the Pentagon by the Budget Control Act. “Obviously that’s a big issue. [The] Armed Services Committee cannot solve that problem, but it needs to be solved and so working with others, we’re going to do our best to try to solve it,” Thornberry told reporters, according to the Hill. After being selected by the House Republican Steering Committee for the chairmanship on Tuesday, the House Republican conference affirmed his selection on Wednesday …

Ft. Bragg Opens Housing to Retirees, DOD Civilians

  • November 19, 2014
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In a move intended to boost an occupancy rate falling due to troop cuts and housing construction in surrounding neighborhoods, Corvias Military Living will allow military retirees, DOD civilians and the families of fallen soldiers to live in family housing at Fort Bragg, located outside of Fayetteville, N.C. Fort Bragg officials announced the decision Monday and said the installation has room for between 300 and 350 families that previously were not eligible, reported the Fayetteville Observer. “The ability to live on post at Fort Bragg is a true privilege for members of the military community,” said Col. Jeffrey Sanborn, Fort Bragg’s garrison commander …

N.C. County Seeks Consultant to Perform JLUS at MCAS Cherry Point

  • November 19, 2014
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Carteret County, N.C.., is seeking proposals from qualified firms to prepare a joint land use study for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, ALF Bogue, OLF Atlantic, BT-11, BT-9 and the surrounding communities. The effort is funded by DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment which provides grants to state and local governments to conduct a JLUS to support the long-term sustainability and operability of military installation complexes. Interested firms must demonstrate knowledge and experience in community planning, development and land use issues, ecosystem management/impact analysis, fiscal impact analysis, economic development, and military installation management and operations. A final JLUS report will be completed by Dec. 31, 2015. Responses are due by Dec. 19, 2014, at 4 p.m. The complete request for proposal may be found on the Carteret County website. All questions regarding this RFP shall be in written form and directed to Eugene Foxworth at eugene.foxworth@carteretcountync.gov.

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