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Posts Tagged ‘BRAC’

Budget Hearing to Focus on DOD’s Declining Investment in Facilities

  • February 26, 2015
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee next week will hold a hearing to assess the long-term impact of the steep cuts in spending on facilities spurred by the Budget Control Act. “The budget reductions, compounded by the deep cut of sequestration, have placed a significant strain on installation investment accounts and forced the acceptance of increased risk within aging infrastructure,” according to a statement from the committee …

Texas Lawmakers Advance Measure to Bolster Support for Defense Communities

  • February 26, 2015
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Texas would be able to provide more financial assistance to communities trying to support a neighboring military installation or cope with a downsizing, under legislation moving in the state Senate. On Wednesday, the Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee passed a bill raising the cap on grants from the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program from $2 million to $5 million, reported the San Antonio Express-News. Senate Bill 318 now heads to the full Senate for consideration. The cap needs to be higher because of Texas’ population growth since the program was created in 1997, said state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D), the bill’s author. It also would help Texas compete with other states fighting to preserve their military bases …

Navy Agrees to Cover Cost of Filtering Water outside Closed Philadelphia-Area Bases

  • February 25, 2015
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The Navy could spend up to $12 million to filter contaminated drinking water near two former installations in suburban Philadelphia, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, after elevated levels of perfluorinated chemicals were found last year in the wells of several nearby towns. The Navy signed an agreement with the Warminster Municipal Authority to install a carbon filtration system on three contaminated wells in the city. Horsham has asked the Navy for a similar system for five of its wells. Warrington has not yet developed a plan for addressing contamination in three of its wells, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer. Until the filters are in place, the three municipalities will continue buying water from neighboring towns, according to the story. The Navy has agreed to pay for cleanup costs but the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether there are other sources for the contamination, which stems from industrial products such as firefighting foam.

Columbus-Area Lawmakers Push Measure to Support Air Base

  • February 24, 2015
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State lawmakers from Columbus, Miss., are urging their colleagues in the Senate to push across legislation authorizing Mississippi to issue up to $25 million in bonds to fund the extension of a recreational path from the city to Columbus Air Force Base. The measure, which passed the House by a 118-2 vote last week, is an effort by area lawmakers to bolster quality of life for personnel and their families at the base. HB1453 would pay for an existing path — which includes separate tracks for walking, jogging and biking — to be extended by 14 miles. The installation is about 10 miles north of the city …

Brooks City Base to Honor Its Past through Restoration Projects

  • February 23, 2015
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Brooks City Base is undertaking two projects to help celebrate the nearly 100-year history of Brooks Field — a $560,000 restoration of the burial site of its namesake and a $2.5 million restoration of one of the facility’s original hangars. “This space is special, not just to Brooks and to San Antonio, but really to the entire United States, because of its significance with World War I,” said Leo Gomez, president and CEO of Brooks Development Authority. On Nov. 13, 1917, at the age of 22, Sidney Brooks Jr. crashed and died on final approach to Kelly Field No. 2 in San Antonio as he neared the completion of his pilot training. The Army broke ground on a new facility less than a month later, and renamed it after him on Feb. 4, 1918 …

No BRAC in Near Future, Thornberry Says

  • February 22, 2015
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Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) ruled out any chance there would be a new round of base closures in the next couple of years during comments he made last week to the Nortex Regional Planning Commission in north central Texas. The remark built on earlier comments by the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee revealing a strong reluctance to consider authorizing a BRAC round. In January, Thornberry said the nation needed to better define the future roles and missions of its military before shuttering military bases …

Monterey Residents Take Advantage of Opportunity to Reimagine Fort Ord

  • February 22, 2015
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During a two-week planning process this month, about 1,200 people from California’s Monterey Peninsula offered their input to guide development at the former Fort Ord. The series of public meetings were held to collect ideas for regional urban design guidelines the Fort Ord Reuse Authority is creating to establish standards for road design, setbacks, building height, landscaping, signage, and other matters of visual importance. The guidelines will be used in conjunction with the base reuse plan but are not a code or standard that is a legally binding requirement needed to develop a project at Fort Ord, reported the Monterey Herald. FORA Executive Officer Michael Houlemard said the guidelines’ addition to the reuse plan will cut through legal confusion …

Huntsville Officials Confident as Possible BRAC Approaches

  • February 22, 2015
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While it’s still uncertain when the next round of base closures will be held, leaders in northern Alabama believe they have taken the necessary steps to ensure Redstone Arsenal is well positioned. “We have been pretty aggressive in our efforts to get ready for BRAC so we see it both as a threat and an opportunity and we are trying to make sure that we have considered what opportunities there are and prepared ourselves to get ready,” said Mike Ward, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce …

Wittman Argues against Administration’s BRAC Request

  • February 20, 2015
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At last week’s hearing of the House Armed Services Committee with defense experts on where savings could be found in the defense budget, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the committee’s readiness panel, focused on the witnesses’ support for a new round of base closures as one avenue for cutting costs. At the outset of the hearing, Bensahel listed a new BRAC round as one of three priorities for reforming DOD spending. “The Army and the Air Force have each estimated that they have around 20 percent excess capacity. It is unconscionable to require these services to continue spending money on facilities that they do not need while the budget caps require them to cut end strength, training, and readiness, which puts American troops at risk …

VA Contemplates Holding Exercise to Trim Unneeded Facilities

  • February 18, 2015
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During a Capitol Hill hearing on its fiscal 2016 budget request, the Veterans Affairs Department last week broached the possibility of conducting a BRAC-like exercise that would allow it to shed hundreds of aging hospitals and clinics it no longer needs. “VA cannot be a sound steward of the taxpayers’ resources with the asset portfolio that we’re currently carrying,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald told the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “No business would carry such a portfolio. Veterans deserve much better. It’s time to close the VA’s old substandard and underutilized infrastructure …

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