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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

Lawmakers Look for a Way Out from Civilian Furloughs

  • July 17, 2013
  • comments: 7

Lawmakers in the House seeking to block furloughs of DOD’s civilian employees have been crafting amendments to the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill. While many House Republicans believe that sequestration hasn’t been as harmful as advertised, some members of both parties are concerned about the impact of furloughs on their constituents and on the nation’s military readiness …

Pentagon Staff Cuts to Eliminate up to 5,000 Positions

  • July 17, 2013
  • comments: 0

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement Tuesday that funding will be cut 20 percent for top staffs at the Pentagon is expected to result in the elimination of between 3,000 to 5,000 jobs. The reductions, announced during a visit to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., will affect the offices of the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the headquarters staff for each of the service chiefs, reported American Forces Press Service. The measure, which is projected to save from $1.5 billion to $2 billion over five years, will take effect from 2015 to 2019 …

Senate May Start Debating Authorization Bill prior to Summer Recess

  • July 16, 2013
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The Senate possibly could start debate on the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill before members leave town for the August recess, but other legislative priorities of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could push off consideration of the bill until September. Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) wants the chamber to take up S. 1197 before the recess, and one option is that lawmakers begin debating the measure by the last week of July, but then complete their work after they return to Washington the second week of September …

Top Pentagon Staff Face 20 Percent Cut, Hagel Says

  • July 16, 2013
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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is considering imposing a 20 percent budget cut on staff for his office and other headquarters offices in the Pentagon to address the likelihood that sequestration continues into the future. Hagel did not provide specifics about the proposed “20 percent across-the-top cut in our offices,” but indicated it would first go into effect in 2015 and would finish being carried out by 2019. The reductions would apply to Hagel’s office, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and headquarters offices for each of the services …

Air Force Structure Panel to Conduct Site Visits, Hold Hearings at Active, Guard Bases

  • July 15, 2013
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A congressionally created commission reviewing the appropriate balance between the Air Force’s regular and reserve components will visit a mix of 13 active, Air National Guard and Air Reserve bases over the next several months to gather input from military commanders as well as community leaders. During its visits at each location, the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force will tour facilities, hear mission briefings and meet airmen at wing, group and squadron levels. The commission also will hold off-base hearings with state and local community leaders and the general public …

Grounded Units Resume Flying after Congress Approves Funding Shift

  • July 15, 2013
  • comments: 1

Sixteen combat squadrons that had been grounded since April due to sequestration resumed flying Monday as the result of a reprogramming allocation for the Air Force approved by Congress. The Air Force is applying $208 million from a $1.8 billion reprogramming allocation to reinstate training and test operations for the Combat Air Forces fleet, allowing fighters, bombers and airborne warning and control aircraft to begin flying again. In April, Air Combat Command said it would eliminate 45,000 flying hours for the duration of fiscal 2013, forcing it to ground one-third of its active-duty aircraft in order to deal with automatic budget cuts …

Many Agencies, Installations Pick Friday to Take Furloughs

  • July 14, 2013
  • comments: 1

Friday was the first day of furloughs for many of the 650,000 DOD civilians forced to take one unpaid day of leave per week for 11 weeks for the remainder of the fiscal year. In Arlington, Va., the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) was closed on Friday, as it will be every Friday through Sept. 30. “Our civilian staff is not authorized to perform any official duty during these days, including communication by Blackberry or other mobile device, or e-mail. We ask your patience with us as we work through this period, and apologize in advance for any inconvenience it may cause you,” read an announcement on the agency’s website …

Defense Industry Looks to End Threat of Automatic Spending Cuts

  • July 8, 2013
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The defense industry once again is preparing a campaign to convince Congress to reverse the automatic spending cuts slated to be imposed on DOD next year, but many analysts continue to question the likelihood that a bipartisan deal to slash the deficit and reverse sequestration can be reached before the start of fiscal 2014. “The problem with sequester is it’s all about pain, and nobody’s feeling it,” a defense lobbyist told the Hill. “Nobody feels military readiness. We know it’s diminished dramatically, but nobody cares until all of a sudden those forces are called upon to fight …

Policy Bill Language Could Boost Use of EULs

  • July 8, 2013
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Installation officials no longer would need to commit base support funding for administrative expenses associated with assessing potential enhanced use leasing (EUL) projects and managing the acquisition process to select a developer, under language included in the Senate version of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill. The provision, section 2811 of S. 1197, would allow installation officials to use the proceeds from EUL projects — as well as easements — to cover the administrative costs of launching and managing new projects, a change that could make it easier for officials to consider new EUL projects …

Transportation Infrastructure Not Just an Outside-the-Gates Concern, Committee Says

  • July 7, 2013
  • comments: 1

An apparent rise in the frequency and severity of traffic accidents at some installations may stem, at least partially, from outdated on-post transportation infrastructure, according to the report from the Senate Armed Services Committee accompanying the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill it approved last month. At Fort Bragg, N.C., for example, traffic accidents have jumped by more than 400 percent and accident-related injuries have climbed by more than 200 percent since 2005 …

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