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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Michigan Delegation Presses Case for National Guard to Host Cyber Mission

  • April 13, 2015
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Michigan’s congressional delegation is lobbying top defense officials to locate a cyber operations squadron at the 110th Attack Wing at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The lawmakers cite multiple reasons for the unit to host the squadron including the base’s existing cyber missions, a factor which would save the Air National Guard $2.2 million because much of the needed infrastructure already is in place. They also point to the state’s skilled workforce and universities as assets that would help fill positions created by a new cyber operations squadron …

Pentagon Pushing Plan to Consolidate Exchanges, Commissaries, Sources Say

  • April 12, 2015
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Defense Department leaders appear to be moving ahead with a plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange systems, according to multiple sources. The move comes in response to a recommendation from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission in January. Consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency into a single Defense Resale Activity would generate savings by combining many of the back-end office and support functions such as logistics and staffing, the panel concluded …

House Panel to Mark up Milcon Spending Bill Next Week

  • April 9, 2015
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House Appropriations subcommittees are expected to mark up two fiscal 2016 spending bills next week including military construction-veterans affairs, reported CQ. With the FY 2016 budget resolutions passed last month by the House and Senate sticking to the Budget Control Act caps for defense and non-defense spending, a combined $1.017 trillion, the allocation for the milcon spending measure shouldn’t vary much from the current year’s level …

Not Clear What Hoops DOD Needs to Jump through to Gain BRAC Approval

  • April 8, 2015
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It’s no secret that most lawmakers are adamantly opposed to additional base closures and even after the Obama administration in February made its fourth request since 2012 for permission to hold a new BRAC round, it’s not clear that the Pentagon has made any headway with Congress. In fact, it’s difficult to find any lawmaker who will stand up for BRAC. In a story about the growing imbalance between DOD’s infrastructure and its force structure, Federal News Radio contacted six lawmakers who previously had said they would consider the department’s request to consolidate its infrastructure. None, however, agreed to comment for the story …

McCain to Seek Sixth Senate Term

  • April 7, 2015
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John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced Tuesday he will run for a sixth term in the Senate, paving the way for Congress’ most ardent defense hawk to remain at the helm of the chamber’s Armed Services Committee beyond 2016. McCain, who will be 80 on Election Day in 2016, likely will face a more conservative opponent in the Republican primary but with his long-standing popularity and strong fundraising ability, it will be difficult to topple him, reported Stars and Stripes. “The reality is I think it is going to be very hard to push him out,” said Gordon Adams, a professor of foreign policy at American University …

Carter Reaffirms Administration’s Commitment to Asia-Pacific

  • April 6, 2015
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The United States is entering a new stage in its pivot toward the Asia-Pacific region, with the Obama administration devoting increased attention to that sphere, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday during a speech at Arizona State University. One component of the shift is military, with DOD’s newest and most capable weapons systems going first to the region. When movements are completed, 60 percent of the U.S. fleet will be in the Pacific-Indian Ocean area, Carter said. U.S. Marines already have a rotational presence in Australia and U.S. and Filipino authorities are working on ways to strengthen military-to-military cooperation …

Reliance on War Funding Account Allows Congress, DOD to Postpone Defense Reforms

  • April 6, 2015
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The ability of Congress and the Pentagon to stash spending in the military’s war funding account and sidestep the statutory spending limits sabotages the budget caps’ role in forcing officials to confront difficult decisions, a panel of experts said Friday at an event hosted by the Stimson Center. The department’s overseas operations account is “a budgetary disaster which leads you to expect resources to continue to be available when they probably will not be,” said Gordon Adams, who managed national security budgets at the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration …

Senior Army Official Named to Top DOD Readiness Post

  • April 6, 2015
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Brad Carson, currently undersecretary of the Army and the Army’s chief management officer, was appointed by President Obama as the acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, the department’s senior official responsible for issues related to military and civilian personnel, including quality of life. Carson replaces Jessica Wright, who said in December she would step down. Carson assumes the post at a time of renewed debate about the future of military compensation and personnel policies …

House Panels to Mark up Authorization Bill in Two Weeks

  • April 5, 2015
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Six subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee will mark up their portions of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill from April 22-23, with the full committee markup scheduled for April 29. The Readiness Subcommittee, which is responsible for installation policy including BRAC, will mark up its portion of the annual policy bill on April 22 at 4 p.m. All of the markups will be streamed live on the committee’s YouTube Channel, according to the committee’s announcement. The committee will post draft bills for each subcommittee and the full committee on its website prior to the markups. Last month, Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said the legislation is scheduled to go to the House floor in mid-May.

Navy League Spearheads Campaign to Shore up Military Funding

  • April 1, 2015
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The Navy League is launching a grassroots campaign to generate public support for bolstering the budget of the Navy and the Marine Corps. The initiative comes as the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps are slated to be fully imposed for the first time since the legislation was enacted and the military is grappling with a variety of global threats even as it no longer is engaged in combat operations in Iraq and is in the midst of drawing down from Afghanistan. “Since 2001, the pace of Navy and Marine Corps operations has not slowed down,” said Sheila McNeill, who is chairing the national campaign and is a former Navy League president …

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