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Posts Tagged ‘BRAC’

Army Monitoring Performance of Local Schools, Report Warns

  • June 26, 2015
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Differences in school quality and student performance could be a significant selection criteria if the Army has an opportunity to recommend installations for closure, warns a new report from the Stimson Center directed at Army communities. “States and communities should consider the connection between education standards and basing decisions as part of the larger context for their education policies even though the Army’s level of priority on this issue and its plan for engaging with Congress are uncertain,” concludes the report, The Army Goes to School: The Connection between K-12 Education Standards and the Military-Base Economy. Over 300,000 children of active-duty service members in the Army are affected by educational standards which vary wildly from one school to the next …

House Vote on Conference Committee for Policy Bill Hits Snag

  • June 25, 2015
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A House vote on a motion to request a conference committee for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill was postponed Wednesday to give the Senate time to remove language that runs afoul of a constitutional requirement that legislation affecting revenue must originate in the House. The offending language is included in a portion of the Senate bill that alters the military retirement system, John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CQ Roll Call. McCain expressed confidence he could get obtain unanimous consent on the Senate floor on Thursday to remove the provisions. At this point, it doesn’t appear the snafu should slow down both chambers’ intent to reach agreement on a compromise measure quickly. McCain, along with House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), recently have expressed confidence that lawmakers could produce a conference report by sometime in July …

Army, Air Force Not Currently Planning to Bypass BRAC

  • June 24, 2015
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Despite threats from the Obama administration to resort to alternative options if Congress fails to approve its request for a new BRAC round, the Air Force and Army have no immediate plans to rely on a rarely used authority to close or realign bases outside of a BRAC round, installation officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Before taking a step to use 10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687, the Air Force would wait for direction from the Defense Department, said Col. Jonathan Webb, director of Air Force Installations Planning. It wouldn’t be prudent to sidestep the BRAC process, Webb said …

Army Faces Limited Options in Addressing Excess Capacity

  • June 24, 2015
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The Army is paying $480 million a year to maintain more than 160 million square feet of excess infrastructure, and the service has only a limited ability to trim that cost, officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. The service estimates that 18 percent of its infrastructure is excess. One tack it is taking to address the surplus is asking garrison commanders to identify their unutilized and underutilized space, and to consolidate activities into their most efficient facilities, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. Facilities in the worst condition can then be mothballed or torn down. But this initiative will not produce significant savings, Hammack said …

BRAC Round Inevitable, Experts Say

  • June 23, 2015
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Congress is likely to approve a new round of base closures within five years, as BRAC is not the political third rail it’s frequently described as, Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said Monday at the opening general session of the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. While lawmakers are naturally disinclined against authorizing the Pentagon to close additional installations, the consequences of DOD’s worsening budget situation should help persuade Congress that a BRAC round is needed, Eaglen told more than 500 Summit attendees. The Budget Control Act caps have resulted in deteriorating readiness levels for the military, an indication of less frequent training and lower spending on facility maintenance, she explained …

Levesque Has Led Transformation of Shuttered Air Station into Thriving Business Mecca

  • June 23, 2015
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Steve Levesque’s determination to tap into Americans’ entrepreneurial spirit and help a community develop a strategy to deal with the loss of a major employer turned what could have been a devastating economic blow into a major opportunity. As executive director of the Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority, Levesque was charged with preparing a master plan for the redevelopment of Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, once it closed. Since 2008, he has been executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, and has led the implementation and oversight of that master plan and guided the once-bustling installation toward civilian reuse …

OEA Plans to Support Communities Coping with Downsizing

  • June 23, 2015
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With more than a dozen communities experiencing downsizing at neighboring military installations over the past several years and further cuts in personnel looming, DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment is planning to offer financial assistance and other support to affected communities. The agency plans to issue an announcement next month in the Federal Register soliciting communities to apply for grants to address personnel reductions — including military and civilian — of at least 2,000 at local installations, OEA Director Patrick O’Brien said Monday during the OEA Town Hall session at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Communities would be eligible if they suffered the cuts over the past three years or are slated to absorb them over the next three years …

City Approves $500M Plan to Transform Alameda Point

  • June 22, 2015
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The Alameda City Council last week approved plans to revitalize a 68-acre portion of the former Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif., into a mixed-use project featuring 800 homes and 600,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. Approval of the $500 million plan from Alameda Point Partners — which also calls for 15 acres of parks and open space, and possibly a new ferry terminal — comes after the city decided to direct the project itself following two failed efforts led by master developers over the past decade. The development team includes commercial builder srmErnst, retail company Madison Marquette, residential developer Thompson Dorfman Partners and nonprofit Eden Housing …

Senate Approves Authorization Bill Early

  • June 19, 2015
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The Senate on Thursday passed a defense authorization bill for the first time in three years, an achievement that should pave the way for Congress to reach agreement on a compromise measure well before the new fiscal year. The Senate’s failure to pass the annual policy bill in each of the two previous years prevented the House and Senate from convening a formal conference committee to hash out a final version of the legislation. Instead, the chairmen and ranking members of the two Armed Services panels held informal talks to reach a compromise. “This is how the Senate should operate — regular order, on time, giving our military the certainty they need to plan and execute their missions,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain …

Monterey Steps up Effort to Defend Area Installations

  • June 19, 2015
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The city of Monterey, Calif., on Tuesday approved a contract to hire a Washington-area consultant to craft a strategy to prevent possible closure of the Presidio of Monterey or the Naval Postgraduate School. “The need will almost inevitably arise when we need to defend these institutions,” said Deputy City Manager Dino Pick, who led the effort to hire Public Private Solutions Group. David Spauer, the county’s economic development director, also supported the proposal before the city council. “This first and essential step is extremely necessary,” Spauer said, reported the Monterey Herald. “When [the analysis] is completed, it will set the groundwork we will need to talk to the Navy, to the Pentagon, other legislators, on the strength of our area and our assets …

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