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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Senate Panel Rebuffs Pentagon’s BRAC Request

  • May 20, 2014
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The Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee on Tuesday rejected the Obama administration’s request to hold a round of base closures in 2017 as it marked up its portion of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. “The bill does not authorize a new BRAC round. Now is not the time to spend billions of upfront dollars on another BRAC round, especially as costs for the last one have dramatically exceeded expectations, and we’re still paying for the 2005 BRAC round,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), the panel’s ranking member …

Kaine Measure Would Help Troops Pay for Civilian Credentials

  • May 19, 2014
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Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) last week introduced legislation to help service members acquire credentials that would ease their transition into the civilian workforce. The 2014 Credentialing Improvement for Troop Talent Act would allow DOD’s tuition assistance program to pay for licensing fees and additional expenses such as training materials and test fees. Currently, the program provides financial assistance for postsecondary courses and degree programs but does not cover credentialing expenses …

N.C. Lawmaker Introduces Amendment to Protect Reserve Airlift Wing

  • May 19, 2014
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North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) on Monday introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill to prevent the Air Force from deactivating the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field. The proposal was included in the service’s FY 2015 budget request, which calls for retiring the 440th’s 12 C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. “These cuts would be detrimental for the Fayetteville community — eradicating jobs and damaging the livelihood of many hard working men and women who serve Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield …

Top Installation and Energy Slots Should Be Merged, White House Says

  • May 19, 2014
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The House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill would interfere with the Pentagon’s plan to merge the positions of deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment with the assistant secretary for operational energy plans and programs, according to the White House’s response to the legislation. The statement of administration policy issued Monday by the Office of Management and Budget said it objects to language in H.R. 4435 establishing an assistant secretary of defense for installations and environment to manage military construction and environmental programs …

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 …

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