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  • Air Force Plans to Consolidate Battlefield Training at Three or Four Sites

    Air Force Plans to Consolidate Battlefield Training at Three or Four Sites

    The Air Force’s plan to consolidate battlefield airman training likely would reduce the number of training locations from eight to three or four, according to Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, head of Air Education Training Command. “Every time we need to send an airman [somewhere], we lose a week of training,” Roberson told reporters last week during a briefing at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space & Cyber conference. Battlefield airman training currently is conducted at eight primary training locations across seven states …

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  • Nonprofit Builds Lake Trail for Military Families at Naval Station Mayport

    Starting next month, sailors and their families living at Naval Station Mayport will be able to enjoy the first phase of a community-led project to enhance access to a lake at the center of a housing development at the Jacksonville base. The $1.4 million project is the brainchild of Sharon Ellis, who started True Blue: Navy Families Benefactors in 2012 to improve the quality of life for Navy families. When the project is complete, there will be a mile-long paved walkway circling the lake, a canoe and kayak launch on the dock, and a concrete path and pavilion near a newly built playground on the lake’s west side …

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  • GAO Highlights Primary Challenges to Reducing Unneeded Federal Facilities

    GAO Highlights Primary Challenges to Reducing Unneeded Federal Facilities

    Since 2012 the federal government has taken steps to trim its inventory of underutilized properties but the current administration still faces a variety of challenges before it can make a significant dent in its portfolio of excess properties, a senior official from the Government Accountability Office told lawmakers on Friday. The five primary challenges agencies need to overcome, according to Dave Wise, GAO’s director of physical infrastructure, include: a lack of reliable data with which to measure the extent of the problem; a complex disposal process; costly environmental requirements; competing stakeholder interests; and limited accessibility of some federal properties …

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  • Services Failed to Check Backgrounds of Civilians in Military Housing, IG Finds

    Services Failed to Check Backgrounds of Civilians in Military Housing, IG Finds

    Installation officials failed to conduct complete background checks on a majority of civilians who applied to live in family housing projects at two of three bases studied by the DOD Inspector General. “As a result, DOD assumed an unnecessary safety and security risk to military personnel, their dependents, civilians and assets,” the Inspector General found. The office reviewed records at Fort Detrick, Md.; Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; and Naval Station Mayport, Fla. …

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  • LRA for Plattsburgh AFB Winds Down

    Twenty-one years after Plattsburgh Air Force Base in New York’s Champlain Valley region was shuttered, the base’s local redevelopment authority is close to putting itself out of business. If three pending sales go as scheduled, Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corp. (PARC) will have only three other properties left to market, Lee Mitchell, PARC’s chief financial officer, said last week at the corporation’s annual meeting. The three parcels total 16.3 acres and are valued at $933,000. Over the last two decades, PARC has taken advantage of $115 million in state and federal investment to refashion the site into an industrial park specializing in aerospace, rail transportation, manufacturing and other fields …

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  • Justice Department to Invest in Expanding Veterans Treatment Courts

    To expand the nation’s system of veterans treatment courts, the Justice Department last week pledged to award more than $4 million to 13 states and local jurisdictions to develop their own programs. The special courts divert veterans charged with nonviolent criminal offenses to a court-supervised process that emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation by offering support from health care professionals, veteran peer mentors and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There are now 463 such court systems in the nation, reported Military Times. Two-thirds of veterans who go through the system successfully complete their regimens, and 88 percent of courts see a reduction in arrests …

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  • Coast Guard to Make Pt. Mugu Permanent Home

    Coast Guard to Make Pt. Mugu Permanent Home

    The Coast Guard has decided to make its current operating base at Naval Base Ventura County-Point Mugu in Oxnard its permanent home in the Los Angeles area.
    The Coast Guard established an interim forward operating base at the naval installation last year in advance of the closure of its facility at Los Angeles International Airport. The service had operated there since 1962. The base will include two mission-ready helicopter units, their crews and support personnel. The move will allow the Coast Guard to sustain its air search-and-rescue operations and law enforcement activities along the Central California Coast, reported the Tri County Sentry. “The Coast Guard’s decision further solidifies Naval Base Ventura County as a strategic asset to Ventura County, California and the nation,” said Rep. Julia Brownley (D). Brownley spearheaded legislation in Congress last year that authorized the Coast Guard’s move to Point Mugu, as well as legislation that funded the needed facilities.

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  • Democrats Blast CR Filed in Senate

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday released the text of a continuing resolution (CR) that Democrats have not agreed to, raising questions as to whether lawmakers will successfully approve a stopgap by Sept. 30 to keep the government running at the start of the new fiscal year. McConnell indicated that the two parties would have until Tuesday to continue negotiating a final agreement, but Democrats blasted the “Republican-only” bill over a number of controversial policy riders and the lack of emergency funding to upgrade the water system for Flint, Mich. One rider that has attracted the ire of Democrats would continue an existing provision in law blocking a Securities and Exchange Commission rule related to the disclosure of corporations’ political spending …

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