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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

BRAC Out, Thornberry says

  • March 16, 2015
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Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has no plans to include a base closure round in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill his panel is slated to mark up next month, he told reporters Monday. “I’m not sure we can afford another BRAC,” Thornberry said in echoing many of the same arguments Rob Wittman (R-Va.), chairman of the committee’s Readiness panel, employed at a March 3 hearing. “Remember, BRAC costs more in the early years than it saves,” Thornberry said, reported the Hill. “We have not yet broken even from the 2005 BRAC.” The chairman also argued that DOD’s estimate that at least 20 percent of its infrastructure is excess to its needs is out-of-date …

House Panel to Mark up Authorization Bill Next Month

  • March 16, 2015
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Six subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee will begin marking up the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill the week of April 20, with the full committee completing the process on April 29, Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said Monday. The annual defense policy bill is scheduled to go to the House floor in mid-May, he said. The chairman also revealed that he would include language in the authorization bill to overhaul DOD’s acquisition process. Many experts had assumed the acquisition reform legislation would be taken up as a stand-alone bill …

Subcommittee Chairs Remain Hostile toward New BRAC Round

  • March 15, 2015
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Now that the House and Senate panels responsible for BRAC have held their hearings on the administration’s fiscal 2016 budget request, it’s clear that the two subcommittee chairs are no less opposed to green lighting the Pentagon’s request to hold a new BRAC round than they have been in the past. Last Wednesday, Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, was upfront about her views on the matter, telling the installation chiefs for DOD and each of the services that her “going-in position” was that she is opposed to BRAC. At the previous week’s House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing, Chairman Rob Wittman (R-Va.) never stated his opposition to the department’s BRAC proposal but asked questions designed to bolster arguments against the request …

Army Moving Ahead with Community-Military Partnerships under New Rules

  • March 13, 2015
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Language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill is spurring the Army to fully embrace an authority first enacted two years ago allowing installations to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with their host communities to share support services for most municipal functions. When section 331 was first introduced two years ago, Army efforts to take advantage of it were slowed over concerns that newly reached partnerships with host communities would need to adhere to the federal rules governing competitive acquisitions. The new language, however, transfers section 331 from a chapter of the U.S. Code dealing with procurement to one focused on real estate to make clear that the shared services authority can sidestep the Federal Acquisition Regulation …

Senate Panel Fails to Embrace Pentagon’s BRAC Request

  • March 12, 2015
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Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, reiterated her staunch opposition to a new BRAC round at her panel’s hearing Wednesday, a sentiment that was generally shared by the handful of members in attendance. “Even after acknowledging the shortcomings of the 2005 round, the department continues to request the same legislative framework,” Ayotte said at the outset of the hearing. “I remain opposed to BRAC and do not want to give the department the open-ended authority to pursue another BRAC round …

No Avoiding BRAC under Budget Constraints, Graham Says

  • March 11, 2015
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A new round of base closures will be needed if lawmakers keep the statutory caps on defense spending in place,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said at a hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. “At the end of the day, as much as we all love our bases, we’re going to have to address this problem,” Graham said, reported CQ. “And if we want to insist upon sequestration,” he said, “then we’d better be willing to go back home and tell people, ‘You can’t get there from here and every base that’s open today is not going to survive …

McCain Pledges to Shield A-10s from Air Force’s Retirement Plans

  • March 9, 2015
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Sen. John McCain on Friday vowed to reverse the Air Force’s recent decision to place nine A-10 close air support aircraft based at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson into backup status. Officials last year proposed retiring the entire fleet of nearly 300 A-10s to save about $4 billion. Lawmakers rejected that plan in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill but included language permitting the Air Force to place up to 36 A-10s this fiscal year into backup status, reported the Arizona Daily Star. “That was a compromise that was made last year in response to the Air Force’s misguided attempt to retire all the A-10s …

Conger Looks to Congress for Input on BRAC Process

  • March 3, 2015
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The Pentagon’s installations chief tackled head-on the latest criticism from lawmakers toward the administration’s request for a new BRAC round at Tuesday’s House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee hearing. John Conger, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, acknowledged that even though defense officials have pledged to conduct a new BRAC with a different emphasis than the last one, unless the department updates the legislation authorizing a new round, lawmakers may continue to be wary. “Let me be clear,” Conger said. “We’re open to a discussion on this point. I would like to solicit your suggestions as to specific changes in the BRAC legislation that would make it more acceptable …

Reed Joins Carter in Supporting BRAC Request

  • March 3, 2015
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Jack Reed, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, indicated at a hearing Tuesday that he may support another round of base closures. “I do believe that we need to consider efforts to allow the Defense Department to shed what may be as much as 25 percent in excess infrastructure it does not necessarily need, and use these resources for the best and higher priorities,” Reed said in his opening statement. The hearing on President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request featured Ashton Carter’s first opportunity to testify on Capitol Hill as defense secretary …

Amid Air Force Effort to Inactivate Airlift Wing, Others Question the Move

  • February 23, 2015
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The Air Force is moving forward with its plan to inactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing even before it issues a congressionally mandated report justifying the action. Over the weekend, officials opened a clearinghouse for traditional reservists in the 440th — an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field — to help them find other positions before the unit’s planned inactivation at the end of September, reported the Fayetteville Observer. Lawmakers added the justification report to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill as a prerequisite before the Air Force could shut down the 440th, a unit made up of 1,200 airmen …

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