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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Industrial Facilities Could Step Up Partnering under Senate Policy Bill

  • June 19, 2011
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The Defense Department could designate all military industrial facilities — not just military depots — as Centers of Industrial and Technical Excellence, allowing them to more efficiently enter into public-private partnerships, under the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill the Senate Armed Services Committee approved last week.

The measure also would increase the number of cooperative agreements Army industrial facilities could enter into with non-Army entities and extend from 2014 to 2025 that program’s expiration date, according to a detailed summary of the legislation the committee released Friday. The bill and committee report are expected to become available later this week.

The committee included several provisions to bolster the military’s effort to adopt renewable energy. One would mirror language in the House version that would require DOD to establish interim goals for the use of renewable energy to make it easier for the department to meet the statutory goal of acquiring at least 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Another provision would clarify the Pentagon’s authority to accept financial contributions to offset the cost of mitigation measures needed in the event the development of wind turbines or high power lines interferes with military operations.

Lawmakers also are interested in energy security. The legislation calls for installation commanders to develop plans to respond to a disruption in energy supplies from a local utility.

Strictures Placed on East Asia Moves

As reported earlier, the most far-reaching portion of the bill would prohibit the military from spending funds on the realignment of Marine forces from Okinawa to Guam until the Marine Corps commandant provides an updated force laydown. The defense secretary also would be required to submit a master plan detailing construction costs and the schedule of all projects needed to carry out the commandment’s plan. The government would need to make progress relocating Marine Corps Air Station Futenma as well.

The committee would require DOD to study the feasibility of relocating Air Force assets at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa and moving Marine Corps aviation assets at Futenma to Kadena, rather than building an expensive replacement elsewhere on Okinawa.

The measure would prohibit the use of funds to normalize tours in South Korea until the Army secretary provides Congress a master plan including all costs and schedules to complete the program. DOD would need to perform an analysis of alternatives justifying the operational need for service members stationed in Korea to bring their families with them.

The committee recommends more than $1 billion be stripped from the president’s budget request for military construction and family housing, including about $150 million in projects requested for the realignment in Guam because the projects are not yet necessary. The bill eliminates more than $500 million in incrementally funded projects to reduce waste through more efficient cash flow of large projects.

The committee recommends cutting $33 million added to the budget for the Office of Economic Adjustment for facilities in Guam as the projects are not yet needed.

The full Senate is expected to consider the measure before the August recess.

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