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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Air Force to Impose Headquarters Cuts Quickly

  • May 15, 2014
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The Air Force intends to trim its headquarters staff at a much quicker pace than the five-year timeline Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for, with offices responsible for installation support services one of the targets for consolidation, according to Air Force officials. Hagel directed the services to reduce their headquarters staff by 20 percent within five years, but the Air Force is aiming to complete much of its cuts by the end of fiscal 2015 …

Committee Asks whether DOD Is Using Property Efficiently

  • May 15, 2014
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Due to concern as to whether the Defense Department is managing its real estate holdings efficiently, the House Armed Services Committee asks the Air Force to provide a report on its need to retain a housing area formerly used by Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., according to report language accompanying the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “In an era of declining resources, the committee is concerned by decisions made by the Department of Defense to retain underutilized real property …

Senate Appropriators to Mark up Milcon Bill Next Week

  • May 14, 2014
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The Senate Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its spending bill for fiscal 2015 on May 20, with the full committee scheduled to take it up May 22. The milcon spending measure likely will go to the Senate floor in late June or early July, reported CQ Roll Call. The House approved its milcon spending bill April 30. Meanwhile, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said his panel’s bill would be marked up by the first week of July. Senate appropriators are planning to complete their work on the annual measures by the August recess. House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) has said he wants to have all the chamber’s spending bills approved by the committee by July 4 and through the House by the August recess.

Panel Interested in Feasibility of Privatized Housing Venture on Guam

  • May 13, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is directing DOD to conduct a feasibility study for relying on a public-private venture to provide military housing on Guam following the arrival of about 4,000 Marines from Okinawa beginning in the mid-2020s, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The report should address any factors that could inhibit establishment of such a venture, and assess the current backlog and projected backlogs in family housing under the department’s five-year spending plan …

Senate Committee Will Try to Preserve A-10 Fleet, Levin Says

  • May 13, 2014
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Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday that he and other senior members of the panel will try to find an offset to pay for the cost of operating the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft. The committee, however, won’t follow the lead of its counterpart in the House, which last week voted to preserve the aircraft through fiscal 2015 by allocating $635 million from DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account to cover the cost. “We’re going to try to save it …

Authorization Bill Places Pentagon on Path toward ‘Hollow’ Military

  • May 12, 2014
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By voting to block most of the Pentagon’s proposals for coping with stringent spending caps imposed through fiscal 2021, the House Armed Services Committee last week could jeopardize the military’s readiness while raising questions as to how DOD will meet the mandated budget limits starting in FY 2016. “When we are told we can’t reduce infrastructure, we can’t retire weapons systems, we can’t change pay, compensation, health care, what’s left … is readiness and modernization,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters over the weekend. “So we are going to have to raid our readiness accounts and our modernization account …

House Language Could Provide Head Start for BRAC Authorization, Conger Says

  • May 12, 2014
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Language approved by the House Armed Services Committee last week calling for a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures and realignments could provide the Pentagon a jump on a new BRAC round, according to John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment. “They have given us the preamble pieces,” Conger told American Forces Press Service. “All of which take time and if we execute them, all will allow a BRAC authorization on a shorter timetable.”

Report Needed on DOD Efforts to Sustain Services during Utilities Disruptions, Panel Says

  • May 11, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess the status of the military’s effort to maintain mission readiness during long-term disruptions of electricity, and water and wastewater services from civilian utility systems, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. While the subcommittee is encouraged that DOD is focusing on the potential of disruptions in utilities, “it is not clear what efforts the department is undertaking to ensure and promote energy security across its installations …

Joint Chiefs Split over Wisdom of Slashing Commissary Subsidy

  • May 11, 2014
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In a break from the support for the administration’s budget request typically expected from senior Pentagon leaders, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. John Amos during a Senate hearing last week criticized the plan to reduce annual federal subsidies for military grocery stores by $1 billion over three years. The plan is projected to cut average savings for shoppers from 30 percent to 10 percent. “That’s a 66 percent drop in savings for my Marines. I don’t like that,” Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee, reported Stars and Stripes. “The commissary issue itself is radioactive …

Hagel ‘Not Pleased’ with Committee Votes to Ignore DOD’s Cost-Saving Proposals

  • May 11, 2014
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was not pleased by the House Armed Services Committee’s markup last week of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters Friday. The panel overturned a variety of cost-saving proposals from the Pentagon’s latest budget request, including plans to hold a new BRAC round, trim the size of the Army and restructure the National Guard, retire the Air Force’s A-10 fleet and scale back military compensation. “I can tell you that the secretary was certainly not pleased …

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