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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

BRAC Lurks below Surface of European Infrastructure Initiative

  • January 8, 2015
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The European Infrastructure Consolidation announced Thursday should help DOD make its case to Congress for a new BRAC round, according to the Pentagon’s top installations official. Since the Obama administration first asked permission three years ago to conduct additional base closures, one of the most popular reasons cited by lawmakers for ignoring the request was that the department still needed to streamline its overseas footprint. On Thursday, John Conger, performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, acknowledged the effort to pare excess infrastructure partially was intended to respond to lawmakers’ concerns …

Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing Earns Temporary Reprieve in Policy Bill

  • January 7, 2015
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The Air Force will not be able deactivate the 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field, as soon it had planned as a result of language in the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill sponsored last year by then-Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). An amendment halting all C-130H and C-130J aircraft transfers until 60 days after the Air Force issues a report outlining a justification of its decision that was added to the Senate version of the measure was included in the compromise legislation enacted last month. The language also calls for the Government Accountability Office to review the Air Force report …

Great Falls Approves Partnership Charter with Air Force

  • January 7, 2015
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The Great Falls (Mont.) City Commission on Tuesday approved the charter for the Air Force Community Partnership program, an effort under way over the last year to identify possible functions for which the city or Cascade County and Malmstrom Air Force Base could share services. A task force has been considering partnership opportunities for training, public works, radio communication for emergency responders, economic development and other options, reported the Great Falls Tribune. The Cascade County Commission approved the charter on Dec. 23; leadership at Malmstrom and the 120th Airlift Wing leadership previously approved it. The charter formalizes the process for establishing partnerships between Malmstrom, Great Falls and Cascade County …

Quality-of-Life Milcon Projects Shortchanged in Budget, Appropriators Point Out

  • December 23, 2014
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Cuts in the services’ military construction budgets to free up funds for operational readiness are placing the needs of service members in peril as essential quality-of-life milcon requirements such as child development centers, physical fitness facilities and troop housing are going unfulfilled, according to the House and Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittees. “Deferral of needed QOL [quality-of-life] investment can adversely impact troop readiness and jeopardize the health and safety of service members,” according to the joint explanatory statement accompanying the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill signed into law last week by the president …

Independent Commission to Consider Army Size, Force Mix under Authorization Bill

  • December 23, 2014
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An independent commission will make recommendations regarding the proper end strength of the Army and mix between its active and reserve components by Feb. 1, 2016, under the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill President Obama signed the into law last week. H.R. 3979 follows language in the House and Senate Armed Services versions of the annual policy bill calling for an eight-member National Commission on the Future of the Army. The members are slated to be appointed by the president and Congress within 90 days …

Defense Bill Eliminates Army’s Authority to Shutter Arsenals

  • December 21, 2014
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The Army secretary no longer can rely on a pre-Civil War authority to close arsenals without congressional approval, after President Obama signed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill into law last week. The provision, originally part of the version of the legislation passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, eliminates the ability of the secretary of the Army to close any arsenal considered unnecessary. The Army has five arsenals: Picatinny, N.J.; Redstone, Ala.; Rock Island, Ill.; Rocky Mountain, Colo.; and Watervliet, N.Y. …

McCain Offers Reassurances about Role of Arizona Installations

  • December 21, 2014
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Following visits to four installations in his state last week, Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) expressed confidence they would enjoy bright futures. McCain, the incoming chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Fort Huachuca represents a key asset because of its military intelligence mission and training facility for drone operations, reported Stars and Stripes. “Frankly I see nothing but expansion for Fort Huachuca in the future because of the type of warfare that we are engaged in against radical Islam, ISIS and al-Qaida …

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.) …

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