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Posts Tagged ‘defense real estate’

Solar Project at Robins AFB Falls behind Schedule

  • July 23, 2015
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Plans to develop a 10-megawatt solar array at Robins Air Force Base through an enhanced use lease have fallen behind schedule since they were initially announced last July. At the time, Chicago-based New Generation Power planned to begin construction at a 50-acre site at the Middle Georgia installation by September, with the solar plant slated to go online by January 2015. So far, though, work has not progressed beyond clearing the forested site, reported the Telegraph. Officials from the Air Force and the developer still need to sign a final lease, said Mark Kinkade, a spokesman for the Air Force Civil Engineering Center. “Despite the extended timeline, the project is moving forward …

Army Cuts Could Place Housing Bonds at Risk, Ratings Agency Says

  • July 19, 2015
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The Army’s latest round of restructuring, which is designed to shrink the service’s end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal 2018, could pose a long-term risk for military housing bonds, Fitch Ratings said last week. The 8 percent reduction in Army personnel will not present a short-term risk, however, as only five installations affected by the changes secure Fitch-rated bonds, according to a press release. Four of the five posts are slated to lose about 5 to 6 percent of their military personnel. The fifth is set to experience a slight gain in population …

Fate of Pilot Test of Commissary Privatization Still up for Grabs

  • July 14, 2015
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A Senate effort to torpedo a provision in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization directing DOD to privatize up to five commissaries through a two-year pilot program appears to have been unsuccessful, leaving the issue to be settled in conference. During its debate of the annual policy bill last month, the Senate passed an amendment intended to strip out the language calling for the pilot. The amendment would have required the department to assess the costs and benefits of privatizing military grocery stores prior to launching the test. But because of the procedure employed to pass the amendment, the original language remains in the measure …

State Pledges $5.6M for UAS Park at Grand Forks AFB

  • July 8, 2015
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North Dakota is allocating $5.6 million to support the continued development of the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business and aviation park at Grand Forks AFB, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) said Monday. About $3 million of the funding will be used to upgrade a flight tarmac and other infrastructure that will support UAS testing and flight operations, according to a release from the governor’s office. The 217-acre project is being developed under an enhanced use lease with Grand Forks County and calls for 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office, shop, laboratory and data center space required for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development, and data analysis and management …

EUL Brings Health Care Firm’s Call Center to Ellsworth AFB

  • July 2, 2015
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A Virginia-based health care management firm is opening a call center at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., on the first floor of a building used by the Air Force’s Financial Services Center. Advance Health is leasing the space through the enhanced use leasing program. Base officials worked through the governor’s office of economic development and the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority to court Advance Health, which was looking for a more central and western location for a call center, reported the Rapid City Journal. “We have our first success with that program,” said Scott Landguth, director of the Ellsworth Development Authority …

Time to Consider Privatizing Installation Management, Officials Suggest

  • June 30, 2015
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With funding for installation support falling to historically low levels, the military services should consider using a public-private partnership model to construct and manage facilities, several officials suggested last week at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. A developer could be responsible for financing the construction of a new installation — and operating it — if DOD wanted to consolidate its facilities and update its remaining infrastructure, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. Other nations, including the United Kingdom rely more heavily on the private sector for installation support. For instance, U.K.’s Ministry of Defence is redeveloping a garrison in a project slated to result in the design and construction of 110 buildings, including living and working accommodations, and training, recreation, education and welfare facilities …

Construction, Renovation on Hold at Army Housing Projects

  • June 25, 2015
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The Army has suspended construction of new homes, along with renovation of existing units, as part of its Residential Communities Initiative until the service announces what locations will lose 40,000 soldiers. The Army’s announcement outlining how it expects to shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000, and possibly further, is expected before the end of July. At that point, officials will conduct a fresh assessment of the requirements at its housing privatization projects …

Army Faces Limited Options in Addressing Excess Capacity

  • June 24, 2015
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The Army is paying $480 million a year to maintain more than 160 million square feet of excess infrastructure, and the service has only a limited ability to trim that cost, officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. The service estimates that 18 percent of its infrastructure is excess. One tack it is taking to address the surplus is asking garrison commanders to identify their unutilized and underutilized space, and to consolidate activities into their most efficient facilities, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment. Facilities in the worst condition can then be mothballed or torn down. But this initiative will not produce significant savings, Hammack said …

Increased Collaboration with GSA Would Help Installations Find Space for Federal Agencies

  • June 22, 2015
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The Defense Department and the General Services Administration do not routinely share information about opportunities to move non-DOD federal agencies onto military installations to take advantage of unused and underutilized facilities, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. GSA does not routinely contact installations to find out whether space is available when it is trying to support federal agencies with new workspace requirements. Similarly, DOD waits for non-DOD agencies to inquire about opportunities to move onto an installation and does not generally reach out to GSA or agencies that may be looking for space, the congressional watchdog agency found …

Senate Removes Commissary Privatization Program from Defense Bill

  • June 18, 2015
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The Senate on Wednesday stripped from the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill language directing the Defense Department to privatize up to five commissaries through a two-year pilot program. Lawmakers also passed a second procedural vote to end debate on the annual policy bill, setting up a final vote for passage which likely will take place Thursday. The 84-14 vote also signaled the Democrats’ decision not to filibuster the authorization bill over its reliance on DOD’s overseas contingency operations account to exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps. Instead, Senate Democrats will resume that fight over the defense spending bill. The party is expected to block a vote, which could come today, to debate the spending measure in the Senate …

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