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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Panel Questions Potential for BRAC to Generate Savings

  • May 4, 2014
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Due to concerns that potential savings produced by base closures and realignments may never be fully realized, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is requesting a report on the “overall effectiveness” of the property disposal process, including an assessment of sales revenue and cleanup costs associated with BRAC actions, according to report language accompanying the panel’s portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The committee is concerned that efficiencies associated with the BRAC process are offset with the inability to quickly dispose of excess property and the potential lack of overall savings to the federal government …

Federal Government Opposes Expansion at China Lake

  • May 1, 2014
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A senior official of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this week said the Obama administration opposes a House bill to permanently set aside 1.1 million acres used by Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Karen Mouritsen, a BLM deputy assistant director, said DOD’s needs could change in future decades, reported Stars and Stripes. In addition to placing the Navy in charge of the land, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), would add 25,000 acres to China Lake, including about 7,500 acres that were part of a bombing range and 19,000 acres along the base’s southwest boundary. McCarthy said he is trying to get the boundaries of the base, located in the Western Mojave Desert, to match its restricted air space. BLM does not support adding the 19,000-acre tract, Mouritsen said, because it’s a popular recreation area and an important wildlife corridor.

Senate Confirms Robert Work as Deputy Secretary

  • May 1, 2014
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The Senate has confirmed Robert Work, a former Navy undersecretary, to be the next deputy secretary of defense. Following the vote, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he welcomes Work’s return to the Pentagon. “Bob is an admired and tested leader, with a distinguished career of public service, including during his time as an officer in the Marine Corps and as undersecretary of the Navy …

Wittman Highlights Readiness Shortfall at Markup

  • May 1, 2014
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Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, underscored the military’s gap in readiness stemming from the strict spending caps enacted in 2011 along with the prospect of deeper cuts in training starting in fiscal 2016, at the outset of the panel’s markup of its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. Wittman cited a number of facts to illustrate the military’s shortfall: the Air Force has restored only 50 percent of its pilots back to appropriate training levels after slashing flying hours last year …

Smith to Offer BRAC Authorization Amendment on House Floor

  • May 1, 2014
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Adam Smith (D-Wash.), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to offer an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a new base closure round when the legislation reaches the chamber floor. Smith, speaking Thursday at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said he doesn’t plan to offer the amendment next week when the Armed Services Committee marks up the annual defense policy bill because it would “get crushed …

Measure Would Bolster Energy Security at Installations

  • May 1, 2014
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Legislation introduced in the House and Senate Wednesday would make it easier for installations to invest in measures to increase their energy security. The DOD Energy Security Act, sponsored Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), would establish the secure energy innovation program and require DOD to develop metrics to illustrate the costs and risks associated with a prolonged lack of access to power …

House Tacks on Provision Prohibiting BRAC Round to Milcon Spending Bill

  • April 30, 2014
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The House approved an amendment to the fiscal 2015 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill Wednesday blocking DOD from proposing, planning for or carrying out a new round of base closures. The chamber passed the underlying legislation by a 416-1 vote, getting Congress off to the earliest start to the appropriations process since 1974. The milcon spending bill would provide $6.6 billion for military construction and family housing programs next year, a figure which matches the administration’s request but represents a $3.3 billion decline from the FY 2014 allocation. The measure would provide $270.1 million for the cleanup of BRAC sites, matching the Obama administration’s budget request, but representing a $181.3 million drop from current year funding. The bill would allocate $45 billion for medical services from the Department of Veterans Affairs, including mental health care, job training and suicide prevention efforts, reported the Hill.

Changes in Authorization Bill Intended to Overcome Concerns about Section 331

  • April 30, 2014
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New language in the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill scheduled to be marked up Thursday by the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is intended to resolve the military services’ concerns about implementing section 331, the authority allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with a local government to provide, receive or share support services for most municipal functions. One hurdle to the services taking advantage of section 331 since it was enacted in January 2013 as part of the FY 2013 defense authorization bill has been concerns that the new authority conflicts with existing acquisition rules and regulations …

Policy Bill Would Resurrect DOD’s Top Installations Post

  • April 30, 2014
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The Pentagon’s top installations and environment position would remain in place, albeit with a different title, according to language in the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up today. In December, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for merging the deputy undersecretary of defense (DUSD) for installations and environment with the assistant secretary for operational energy plans and programs as part of an effort to streamline the department’s overhead …

House Panel Sets Table for Future BRAC Round

  • April 30, 2014
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee unsurprisingly rejects the Pentagon’s request to hold a BRAC round in 2017 according to the portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill it is scheduled to mark up this morning, but at the same time the panel calls for DOD to prepare a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures. The analysis would compare 20-year force structure plans for each of the services with an inventory of their installations to determine the level of excess infrastructure throughout the department …

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