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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

BRAC Not out of the Question in Future, Wittman Says

  • June 5, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee’s rejection over the past three years of the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures may not be permanent, according to the chair of the panel’s readiness subcommittee. “We’re not saying never do a BRAC,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) said Wednesday during the keynote lunch at the Defense Communities National Summit. But DOD should wait to conduct a new round until it first has taken a look at its long-term strategic and force structure needs. “I believe we have to take this in the proper sequence,” Wittman said …

BRAC ‘Conversation Has Begun,’ Conger Tells Summit

  • June 4, 2014
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Despite painting a bleak future for military construction and facilities sustainment funding, the Pentagon’s top installations official on Wednesday expressed some optimism regarding the timeline for a new base closure round. Congress is on a course to dismiss the Obama administration’s BRAC request for a third straight year, but some indications have emerged that lawmakers’ rejection can eventually be overcome. One hopeful sign is a provision in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures and realignments …

Isakson Helped Form Defense Communities Caucus, Ease Veterans’ Transition

  • June 3, 2014
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Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, who helped establish the Senate Defense Communities Caucus and has fought to expand employment opportunities for the nation’s military veterans, has been selected to receive ADC’s Congressional Leadership Award. Isakson launched the Senate Defense Communities Caucus along with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp one year ago. The aim of the caucus, a counterpart to a similar one established in the House in 2011, is to help communities better integrate service members into the community, support returning service members …

Spending Bill includes Extra Funds to Speed BRAC Cleanups

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee boosted the Pentagon’s budget request for past BRAC rounds by $110 million in an effort to expedite the cleanup of closed and realigned installations. The committee recommended $380 million for the base closure account in the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill it approved last month. Congress allocated $451 million for the account in the current year …

European Basing Review Nearing Completion

  • June 3, 2014
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DOD officials are expected to complete their review of European infrastructure and submit their recommendations for consolidating facilities to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel within two months, and possibly much sooner. The list of 21 minor, non-operational facilities the Pentagon said it would close last month were just the start of a planned set of closures of actual installations stemming from the European Infrastructure Consolidation review launched more than a year ago, reports Stars and Stripes. The final stages of the infrastructure review come at an awkward time, however, with the emergence of a new flashpoint in Eastern Europe following Russia’s intervention in Ukraine …

Senate Panel Bolsters DOD’s Milcon Request with Funds for Quality-of-Life Needs

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee added $465 million in quality-of-life construction projects to the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill due to concerns that needs such as troop housing, child care centers and fitness centers were overlooked in DOD’s budget request. The department’s $2.1 billion military construction request for FY 2015 represents a 40 percent decline from current year funding, a decision the committee said it understood given the need to provide additional money for readiness accounts. Still, “military construction is the foundation of military readiness, but it is too often the go-to bill payer in constrained budget environments, resulting in the sometimes indefinite deferral of many meritorious construction projects …

House Spending Bill Would Allow Air Force to Eliminate A-10s

  • June 2, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 spending bill approved Friday by the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee would allow the Air Force to retire its fleet of A-10 close air support aircraft, even while rejecting many of DOD’s austerity measures intended to cope with next year’s statutory spending cap. The Air Force’s plan to retire its fleet of 283 A-10 Warthogs, designed to save $4.2 billion over five years, is overturned in the defense authorization bills advanced by the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Last week’s move adds to the uncertainty over the A-10 for the time being …

Committee Urges DOD to Consider Local Reuse Potential for Military Property

  • June 2, 2014
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Defense officials should consider the steps the department could take to assess the local redevelopment potential for military properties and facilities, according to the report of the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. “Prior to approving new construction or upgrades, the department should consider local interest, property value and related cost savings that could result from the transfer and disposal of facilities or properties …

Senate Panel Maintains Freeze on Guam Buildup Funding

  • June 1, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill approved last month by the Senate Armed Services Committee would extend the ban on the use of U.S. or Japanese funds for facilities on Guam needed to accommodate the arrival of Marine Corps forces from Okinawa until the Defense Department completes a master plan for construction needed to support the buildup. “The bill approved by the committee makes the hard choices necessary to preserve our military readiness and uphold our obligations to our men and women in uniform and their families in a difficult fiscal environment …

Tester Helps Preserve Flying Mission at Great Falls ANG Base

  • June 1, 2014
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Since entering office seven years ago, Montana Sen. Jon Tester has been a champion of his state’s defense facilities and a valuable ally of the Montana Defense Alliance. When the Montana Air National Guard faced the prospect of losing its F-15 fighter mission, Tester led the state’s campaign to overturn the plan. While the fight was unsuccessful, the senator then focused the state’s effort on identifying a replacement mission to preserve the jobs that otherwise would be eliminated …

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