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Posts Tagged ‘BRAC’

Installation Chiefs Turn up the Heat to Make Case for BRAC

  • March 3, 2015
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The military’s installation chiefs made an impassioned plea to lawmakers on Tuesday for permission to hold a BRAC round in 2017, fine tuning their previous arguments and making clear the consequences if Congress rejects the Pentagon’s request for a new round of base closures for the fourth year in a row. Two of the witnesses came to the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing with new estimates of the amount of excess infrastructure capacity their services are saddled with. An analysis based on fiscal 2013 data concluded the Army has an 18 percent facility excess, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. That figure was based on an active-duty end strength of 490,000, which the Army will reach by the end of the year …

Conger Looks to Congress for Input on BRAC Process

  • March 3, 2015
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The Pentagon’s installations chief tackled head-on the latest criticism from lawmakers toward the administration’s request for a new BRAC round at Tuesday’s House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing. John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, acknowledged that even though defense officials have pledged to conduct a new BRAC with a different emphasis than the last one, unless the department updates the legislation authorizing a new round, lawmakers may continue to be wary. “Let me be clear,” Conger said. “We’re open to a discussion on this point. I would like to solicit your suggestions as to specific changes in the BRAC legislation that would make it more acceptable …

Reed Joins Carter in Supporting BRAC Request

  • March 3, 2015
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Jack Reed, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, indicated at a hearing Tuesday that he may support another round of base closures. “I do believe that we need to consider efforts to allow the Defense Department to shed what may be as much as 25 percent in excess infrastructure it does not necessarily need, and use these resources for the best and higher priorities,” Reed said in his opening statement. The hearing on President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request featured Ashton Carter’s first opportunity to testify on Capitol Hill as defense secretary …

SouthField Developer Woos Lawmakers to Fund Parkway Extension

  • March 1, 2015
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Eight Massachusetts state senators toured the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth last week as part of an effort by master developer Starwood Land Ventures to attract state money for a new route to access its SouthField reuse project. The road would complete the 2.75-mile William Delahunt Parkway. That road’s first phase opened in August 2013 at a cost of $42.5 million, providing access to SouthField from Rockland, which lies east of the former air station. The second phase would extend the parkway to the western side of the project. Providing more direct access to SouthField is the key to jump starting commercial development, Starwood Vice President Matthew Barry told the lawmakers Feb. 25 …

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 …

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