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Posts Tagged ‘Congress/DOD’

DOD to Review Services Acquisition Process, Official Says

  • June 8, 2014
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The Pentagon’s process for acquiring weapons systems garners a lot of attention, but DOD’s procurement of services soon will undergo scrutiny as well. “We spend $360 billion a year to acquire things and services, and services is about $180 billion of that spend,” Alan Estevez, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told attendees last week at the Defense Communities National Summit. DOD has developed a highly structured process for buying aircraft, satellites and other equipment, but services procurement so far has eluded having a highly regulated system imposed on it …

Senate Appropriators Question whether European Basing Study Will Generate Savings

  • June 8, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee is concerned that any monetary savings generated by DOD’s effort to consolidate its European footprint could be offset by large expenditures on military construction in an echo of the lesson most lawmakers have drawn from the last round of base closures. In the report accompanying the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill it passed last month, the panel questions the department’s intention to build a joint intelligence analysis center at Royal Air Force Base Croughton in the United Kingdom estimated to cost in excess of $300 million. The department asks for $92.2 million in its FY 2015 budget request for the project’s first phase …

BRAC Not Right around the Corner, House Staffer Says

  • June 8, 2014
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Citing unanswered questions about the level of surplus DOD infrastructure and the extent to which the military’s force structure will come down, if at all, a staff member for the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) expressed doubt Friday that Congress would approve a new round of base closures in the near term. The Pentagon has requested permission each of the past three years to conduct a BRAC round so it can shed some of its estimated 24 percent excess capacity. But Dave Sienicki, a professional staff member on the majority side of HASC, told the audience at the Defense Communities National Summit that he was skeptical of that figure because the department hasn’t assessed its excess capacity since 1999. “[That figure] doesn’t make sense to me …

Policy Bill Would Eliminate Army’s Authority to Close Arsenals

  • June 6, 2014
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The Army secretary would lose a pre-Civil War authority to shutter arsenals without congressional approval, under the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill passed last month by the Senate Armed Services Committee. With both chambers poised to reject the Obama administration’s request for a new round of base closures for the third straight year, the provision would further restrict the military’s ability to pare down its infrastructure …

‘Money Isn’t Coming Back Soon,’ Analyst Says

  • June 6, 2014
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The steady decline in defense spending on both products and services almost certainly isn’t turning around anytime soon, according to a panel of defense industry experts appearing Thursday at the Defense Communities National Summit. DOD’s total obligations were down 16 percent from fiscal 2012 to 2013, said David Berteau, senior vice president and director of the national security program on industry and resources at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Contract spending dropped 25 percent since 2008, while spending on pay and benefits rose over that five-year period …

BRAC Not out of the Question in Future, Wittman Says

  • June 5, 2014
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The House Armed Services Committee’s rejection over the past three years of the Pentagon’s request for additional base closures may not be permanent, according to the chair of the panel’s readiness subcommittee. “We’re not saying never do a BRAC,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) said Wednesday during the keynote lunch at the Defense Communities National Summit. But DOD should wait to conduct a new round until it first has taken a look at its long-term strategic and force structure needs. “I believe we have to take this in the proper sequence,” Wittman said …

BRAC ‘Conversation Has Begun,’ Conger Tells Summit

  • June 4, 2014
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Despite painting a bleak future for military construction and facilities sustainment funding, the Pentagon’s top installations official on Wednesday expressed some optimism regarding the timeline for a new base closure round. Congress is on a course to dismiss the Obama administration’s BRAC request for a third straight year, but some indications have emerged that lawmakers’ rejection can eventually be overcome. One hopeful sign is a provision in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of the need for additional base closures and realignments …

Isakson Helped Form Defense Communities Caucus, Ease Veterans’ Transition

  • June 3, 2014
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Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, who helped establish the Senate Defense Communities Caucus and has fought to expand employment opportunities for the nation’s military veterans, has been selected to receive ADC’s Congressional Leadership Award. Isakson launched the Senate Defense Communities Caucus along with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp one year ago. The aim of the caucus, a counterpart to a similar one established in the House in 2011, is to help communities better integrate service members into the community, support returning service members …

Spending Bill includes Extra Funds to Speed BRAC Cleanups

  • June 3, 2014
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The Senate Appropriations Committee boosted the Pentagon’s budget request for past BRAC rounds by $110 million in an effort to expedite the cleanup of closed and realigned installations. The committee recommended $380 million for the base closure account in the fiscal 2015 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill it approved last month. Congress allocated $451 million for the account in the current year …

European Basing Review Nearing Completion

  • June 3, 2014
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DOD officials are expected to complete their review of European infrastructure and submit their recommendations for consolidating facilities to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel within two months, and possibly much sooner. The list of 21 minor, non-operational facilities the Pentagon said it would close last month were just the start of a planned set of closures of actual installations stemming from the European Infrastructure Consolidation review launched more than a year ago, reports Stars and Stripes. The final stages of the infrastructure review come at an awkward time, however, with the emergence of a new flashpoint in Eastern Europe following Russia’s intervention in Ukraine …

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