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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

BRAC Dismissal Tops Long List of White House Objections to House Policy Bill

  • May 19, 2014
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Citing its rejection of the administration’s request for a new BRAC round along with a host of other cost-saving proposals, the White House on Monday threatened to veto the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The bill does not include meaningful compensation reforms and other cost saving measures, rejects many of the department’s proposed force structure changes, and restricts DOD’s ability to manage its weapon systems and infrastructure …

Nation Wastes $6B Annually on Unneeded Bases, Analyst Says

  • May 18, 2014
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By repeatedly dismissing the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures, Congress is responsible for wasting $6 billion a year on unneeded installations, according to a commentary by Loren Thompson appearing in Forbes. To arrive at that figure, Thompson takes DOD’s fiscal 2015 budget request for $40 billion for base operations, facility maintenance and military construction; pro-rates that figure to account for the 20 percent of military sites that are outside the United States and its territories; and applies the department’s estimate that about 20 percent of its infrastructure is excess …

Collins Lends Support to Active, BRAC Communities

  • May 18, 2014
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Since she was first elected in 1996, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) has been a champion of her state’s military installations and communities recovering from BRAC actions. Her longstanding support for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has resulted in the Navy spending tens of millions of dollars to upgrade its facilities. Funding to consolidate the shipyard’s structural shops was moved up to the Navy’s fiscal 2014 budget following a Navy report on improving the infrastructure needs of its four public shipyards …

Senate Committee’s Turn to Mark up Authorization Bill This Week

  • May 18, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services Committee gets its turn to address the Pentagon’s plans for trimming force structure, eliminating weapons systems, cutting military pay and compensation, and holding a new BRAC round when it marks up its version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill this week. On Tuesday, the Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee will mark up its portion of the annual defense policy measure, with the full committee taking up the legislation starting Wednesday. Many decisions committee members make this week will echo those the House made earlier this month …

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 …

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