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Posts Tagged ‘defense real estate’

Senate Bill Calls for Privatization Pilot for Commissaries

  • May 19, 2015
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At least five military commissaries would be privatized under a two-year pilot program, according to the version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday. In addition to the pilot program, the bill calls for the Governmental Accountability Office to assess the potential costs and benefits of privatizing the entire network of military grocery stores, reported Stars and Stripes. The committee has not yet released the bill text or committee report. Veterans of Foreign Wars issued a statement opposing the Senate plan because it would cut into the discounts enjoyed by military families and veterans …

Armed Services Panel Applauds Utilities Privatization, School Renovation Initiatives

  • May 10, 2015
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The House Armed Services Committee praised two initiatives that are resulting in upgraded facilities across DOD installations — utilities privatization and the construction and renovation of schools operated by local districts — in its report accompanying the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill. The department’s utilities privatization initiative has been able “to achieve greater efficiencies and reduce operating costs while recapitalizing aging utilities infrastructure with modern, reliable systems,” the committee stated. “In addition, the committee notes that utilities privatization can also enhance support to military missions,” according to the report …

Courtney Concerned about Impact of Opening up Family Housing Projects to General Public

  • May 5, 2015
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The Defense Department would need to brief the House Armed Services Committee on the potential impacts to host communities of its policy of opening family housing projects to the general public when occupancy rates drop below certain levels. The request, an amendment to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill added during last week’s committee markup, directs DOD to focus on community impacts stemming from changes in the number of non-federally connected civilian children residing in military housing. Officials also should develop recommendations to mitigate possible community impacts. A growing number of installations recently have expanded eligibility to live in family housing projects to DOD civilians, military retirees, and in some cases, the public as occupancy rates have dropped due to cuts in end strength …

Obama Defers Judgement on Key Military Compensation Reforms

  • April 30, 2015
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President Obama is withholding judgement on the most controversial recommendations of an independent panel to update military pay and benefits, he told Congress Thursday. One of the most significant reforms urged by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission would transform the existing pension plan that only pays benefit to personnel serving at least 20 years to a hybrid system that would allow troops serving at least two years to invest in a 401(k)-type plan. Interestingly, the House Armed Services Committee early Thursday morning approved language adopting the commission’s recommendation as part of its fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill …

Army Updates Rules Governing Utility Sales

  • April 29, 2015
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The Army last month released a long-awaited revision to its regulations governing the acquisition and sale of utilities services. The revised regulations, AR 420-41, took effect April 3 and incorporate significant changes in energy policy and technology occurring over the past 20 years, according to the Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville. The regulations cover Army policies and responsibilities for the acquisition and sale of utilities and related services for its domestic facilities, including electricity, natural or manufactured gas, water, sewage, thermal energy, chilled water, steam, hot water or high temperature hot water. The regulations also address renewable energy, onsite generation, demand response and energy financial incentives …

American Water Upgrades Utilities at Hill AFB

  • April 28, 2015
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After being awarded a $288 million utilities privatization contract for Hill Air Force Base in January 2014, American Water has launched an initiative to invest $3.6 million in its first three contract years to upgrade water and wastewater systems at the installation in northern Utah. “The first year efforts include a major upgrade to one of our wells, as well as other replacements and infrastructure improvements,” Mark Persico, primary contracting officer representative for the contract, told Air Force Civil Engineer Center Public Affairs. “Over the next two to three months, projects include work on three sewage lift stations, 1,900 linear feet of sewer line, 13 pressure-reducing valves and replacement of 10 fire hydrants …

Subcommittee Chairman Appears to Favor Consolidation Plan for Exchanges, Commissaries

  • April 19, 2015
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After gaining support among top DOD leaders, a plan to consolidate the military’s commissary and exchange systems now may be favored by a key lawmaker responsible for personnel policy. Rep. Joe Heck, chairman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, has been reviewing the report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which in January called for consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency into a single Defense Resale Activity …

GAO Highlights Need for DOD to Improve Tracking of Underutilized Facilities

  • April 14, 2015
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In a report presenting 66 actions the federal government could take to improve efficiency, the Government Accountability Office reiterates the need for the Defense Department to improve its processes for identifying underutilized facilities as a prerequisite for consolidating or disposing of unneeded facilities. The congressional watchdog agency cited its earlier recommendations calling for DOD to modify its procedures for updating and verifying data on the utilization of facilities, and to establish a strategic plan to manage its real property. The plan should include long-term goals, strategies and use of metrics to help the department identify potential consolidation or disposal opportunities …

Ceremony Marks Demolition of Aging Housing at Ft. Hood

  • April 8, 2015
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Fort Hood’s garrison commander took the first ceremonial swipe with an excavator on Tuesday as installation officials celebrated the beginning of an 18-month effort to demolish 518 residences built in 1953 and 1954 to house enlisted families. The project is part of a larger plan to modernize the post’s housing, reports the Killeen Daily Herald. Since assuming responsibility for family housing at Fort Hood in 2001, Lend Lease Public Partnerships has built 232 single-family homes and 974 duplexes, and renovated more than 1,600 units. Not counting the homes slated for demolition, the installation has 5,351 homes for families …

Higher Prices Won’t Offset Cuts in Commissary Subsidies, RAND Concludes

  • March 31, 2015
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The administration’s plan to offset cuts in subsidies to military grocery stores through higher prices likely won’t be successful, according to a new RAND study. Raising prices at commissaries can be expected to result in a drop in unit sales and total revenue as shoppers are likely to be relatively responsive to changes in price. As a result, the authors conclude that “raising overall price levels will likely not be a successful strategy to cover shortfalls in costs caused by the elimination of the annual U.S. Department of Defense appropriation.” And while military families who shop at commissaries would see their grocery bills increase, their extra expenses likely would be offset somewhat as they shopped elsewhere for some groceries and other items …

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