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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Defense Bill Returns Wisconsin Ammo Plant Parcel to Indian Tribe

  • December 18, 2014
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After an extended delay due to bureaucratic infighting, the tribe whose land was used to construct the Badger Army Ammunition Plant near Baraboo, Wis., will get its land back from the federal government courtesy of language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The Ho-Chunk Nation will receive 1,553 acres at the shuttered facility, after the Army declared the plant excess to its needs in 1997. “I have been working on this since I first entered Congress, so I take great pride in bringing people together, giving the community a voice, and getting the job done …

Authorization Bill Loosens Restrictions on Guam Buildup Spending

  • December 16, 2014
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A freeze on spending construction funds from the Pentagon and the government of Japan on projects in Guam needed to accommodate an influx of Marines would be lifted under the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. In recent years, leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee had barred the United States from spending money needed to prepare Guam for the realignment of about 5,000 Marines from Okinawa due to concerns over the lack of a DOD implementation plan for the buildup. Japan so far has contributed $1 billion out of the $3 billion it pledged to support the move …

Republicans to Add Five Freshman Senators to Armed Services Panel

  • December 16, 2014
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Five newly elected Republican senators will join the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 114th Congress as the GOP gains extra seats and several members leave the panel. Meanwhile, Jack Reed (R.I.) will become the committee’s ranking member, Senate Democrats announced Friday. The GOP freshmen being added include: Tom Cotton (Ark.); Joni Ernst (Iowa); Mike Rounds (S.D.); Dan Sullivan (Alaska) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) …

Ohio Guard Wing Earns Reprieve in Defense Bill

  • December 16, 2014
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Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base, Ohio, received good news in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill as the result of language allowing the Air Force to fund avionics upgrades to the Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing. The wing’s eight C -130H Hercules transport aircraft need the enhanced communications gear — called Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast-Out (ADS-B) — to continue flying outside the U.S. mainland beyond 2020, reported the Mansfield News Journal. The provision allows the Air Force to tap alternative programs and funding to modernize the C-130H fleet but doesn’t require the service to go ahead …

Senate Sends Defense Bill to President

  • December 14, 2014
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The Senate approved the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill Friday and sent it to the president’s desk, marking the 53rd straight year Congress has approved the annual defense policy bill. The measure, which allocates $496 billion for DOD’s base budget and $64 billion for overseas contingency operations, rejects or scales back many of the Pentagon’s major cost-saving reforms affecting military compensation and force structure. The bill, H.R. 3979, makes only a moderate concession to the Air Force proposal to retire its fleet of 283 A-10 close air support aircraft …

Deed Signing Marks First Transfer at Walter Reed

  • December 11, 2014
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Officials from the District of Columbia and the Army held a ceremonial signing Wednesday of a deed transferring a building at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, marking the first transfer of land at the hospital campus to the city. After demolishing the building, the District plans to construct a $12 million fire station. “My administration has worked closely with the Army to acquire Walter Reed so that we can begin transforming this historic campus into a vibrant destination that meets the needs and desires of the neighboring community …

Authorization Bill on Track to Pass Senate Friday

  • December 11, 2014
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The Senate most likely will clear the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill sometime Friday before sending it to President Obama’s desk for his signature. On Thursday, the chamber voted to limit debate on the annual policy measure, H.R. 3979, triggering 30 hours of debate prior to a final vote. The debate could be cut short through an agreement to expedite the final vote, but Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has vowed to object to such requests, reported CQ. Coburn pledged to block the legislation over the inclusion of almost 100 public lands provisions — including conveyances, expansions of the National Park system and changes in how public lands are managed — in the authorization bill, but his options are limited, beyond slowing the process …

Wittman Remains at Helm of House Readiness Panel

  • December 11, 2014
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Three of the seven panels that make up the House Armed Services Committee will pass the gavel to new chairmen in the 114th Congress, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman-elect of the committee, announced Thursday. Keeping his post, however, as chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which oversees installations and BRAC policy, will be Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.). Wittman, who was first elected to Congress in December 2007, took over the subcommittee at the beginning of the 113th Congress …

Commissaries Earn Reprieve in Omnibus

  • December 10, 2014
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The massive omnibus spending bill unveiled Tuesday would restore most of the $100 million cut in the federal subsidy for military grocery stores included in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, a move that should ensure commissary operations remain at current levels. The FY 2015 omnibus, which would fund almost all government agencies through next September, would restore $90 million of the proposed reduction, reports Stars and Stripes. As a result, service members, their family members and veterans should not see a reduction in the discounts offered at the stores …

Defense Panels Request Update on Security Reviews

  • December 10, 2014
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The Defense Department will need to update the congressional defense committees on the actions it has taken following recent reviews of physical security standards at DOD facilities, under the final version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill. The reviews of security standards were conducted in response to the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in September 2013 and at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009. The report is due April 30 and should include: a summary of the recommendations that came out of the recent security standards reviews; a description of the actions taken to address each recommendation …

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