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Posts Tagged ‘encroachment’

Florida Grants to Help Communities Strengthen Local Installations

  • July 5, 2015
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Thirteen defense communities in Florida will receive more than $3 million to enhance 19 installations through a variety of activities, Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced last week. The bulk of the funding, $2.5 million, was awarded through Florida’s Defense Infrastructure and Reinvestment Grant Programs, according to a release from the governor’s office. Eleven counties received a total of $850,000 in defense reinvestment grants, which support relationships between military installations and their community and promote economic diversification strategies in defense-dependent communities. Nine counties were awarded a total of $1.6 million in defense infrastructure grants for encroachment, transportation and access, utilities, communications, environment and security projects …

Planning Board Postpones Votes on Zoning Changes outside Moody AFB

  • July 2, 2015
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The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission this week tabled several zoning changes involving property outside Moody Air Force Base due to concerns the amendments could jeopardize future missions at the installation in south central Georgia. The two most significant proposals would increase the allowable density for properties handed down to family members and remove a noise impact area, reported the Valdosta Daily Times. Moody needs to overcome several hurdles in the coming years, including the loss of its primary mission hosting the A-10 Warthog close air support aircraft and a looming BRAC round, said Michael Lee, president of the South Georgia Military Affairs Council. The installation and the surrounding area need to have the flexibility to accommodate whatever mission Moody is assigned, he said. Shrinking the noise impact area could send the wrong message to the Air Force. “Let’s not gamble on Moody’s future,” Lee said.

SunZia Proposes Shifting Transmission Line North of White Sands

  • June 30, 2015
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The developer of a 515-mile, high-voltage transmission line from New Mexico to Arizona has proposed rerouting a portion of the project that crosses the northern tip of White Sands Missile Range in an attempt to avoid the need to bury a portion of the line. The project gained the federal government’s approval in January after DOD and the Bureau of Land Management reached a compromise calling for the developer of the SunZia project to bury five miles of the line to eliminate conflicts with training and weapons testing on White Sands’ northern extension. But since January, SunZia has begun discussions with the New Mexico State Land Office and DOD about shifting the transmission line north of White Sands to move most of it out of the range’s call-up zone …

Eastern Washington Leaders Raise Alarm over Casino Project

  • June 19, 2015
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Lawmakers in Eastern Washington and other advocates for Fairchild Air Force Base are hoping to convince Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) to block the Spokane Tribe’s plan to build a resort and casino under the path of training flights from the installation, after the U.S. Interior Department this week approved the project following a two-year review. Any possible encroachment issue could hurt Fairchild in a future BRAC round, area leaders said. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) told the Spokesman-Review she plans to call Inslee and urge him to reject the plan. The Republican congresswoman said she supports the tribe’s efforts for economic development but opposes the location because, in her opinion, “Fairchild comes first …

Local Officials, Businesses Unified in Protecting Nellis AFB

  • June 7, 2015
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Las Vegas is not exactly the kind of place that frowns on new development, but elected officials, businesses and residents in the region have made shielding Nellis Air Force Base from encroachment a top priority. “If you want to do something in that area, you’re going to get schooled real quick,” Lisa Beckley, head of the military affairs committee of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, said of proposals that could threaten flying operations at the installation located on the city’s northeast side …

Air Force Academy Addresses Neighbors’ Noise Concerns

  • June 4, 2015
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Officials at the Air Force Academy have adjusted the schedule and flight paths for cadet’s flight training to lesson noise experienced over northern Colorado Springs neighborhoods. Cadets now will start morning flights with a corkscrew ascent over the academy’s airfield, allowing the T-53 trainer aircraft to reach a higher altitude before they pass over homes, reported the Colorado Springs Gazette. The noise complaints from the academy’s neighbors began after the school shifted its flight patterns in 2013 to avoid commercial aircraft headed for the Colorado Springs and Denver airports. Flights at low altitudes during the rest of the day may continue to pose a problem for residents. “All that remains to be seen,” a homeowner neighboring the academy told the Gazette. Flight training for cadets isn’t designed for pilot candidates, but rather is intended to familiarize all cadets with the skills required to fly for the Air Force.

Colorado Should Focus on Encroachment, Local Infrastructure to Fend off BRAC, Report Says

  • May 27, 2015
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While Colorado has numerous assets that can be expected to work in its favor in the event of a new BRAC round, state officials need to act with urgency to promote the state’s value to DOD, according to a report released by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday. “The specter of sequestration beginning in FY16 is a shadow hanging over most internal DOD planning and programming deliberations,” the 82-page report says. “Colorado should be proactively monitoring the Washington political climate on DOD budget reductions, force structure realignments and strategy changes.” One focus of the report is the need to protect the state’s installations and training ranges from encroachment, reported the Colorado Springs Gazette. One thorny issue state officials need to address is the 238,000-acre Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, a training site for Fort Carson that the Army has tried in the past to expand over the opposition of local ranchers …

Rise in Land Use Conflicts Worries Randolph AFB Officials

  • May 21, 2015
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Planned development around Randolph Air Force Base, located on San Antonio’s Northeast Side, poses a threat to the training missions conducted at one of the service’s busiest airfields, base officials told Bexar County lawmakers this week. While safety is the Air Force’s overriding concern in trying to minimize land use conflicts with surrounding housing developments, aircraft noise and bird strikes are significant issues as well. Pilot training “is inherently dangerous. Even though we have an extremely safe record, incidents do occur,” said Lt. Col. Robin Baldwin, the encroachment public outreach officer at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph …

Protection for Sage Grouse Could Jeopardize Training Facilities, House Committee Says

  • April 28, 2015
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Language in the House version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill would bar the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from increasing federal protection for the greater sage grouse, over concerns that listing the grassland bird as threatened or endangered would restrict the use of military training grounds and firing ranges in the western United States. A decision by the wildlife service to list the greater sage grouse likely would restrict military access to training grounds and firing ranges, reduce the number of exercises and limit the number of overflights and ground movements, the Army and Air Force has said, reported Stars and Stripes. The grouse’s habitat encompasses parts of 11 western states. Energy development and other activities threaten the black and brown bird by reducing the sagebrush it relies on for cover …

How is DOD Assessing the Risks Posed by Turbines, Panel Asks

  • April 22, 2015
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With the number of wind farm projects with the potential to interfere with military training and testing activities on the rise, the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee is eager to learn how the Defense Department assesses the risk to military missions posed by wind energy development. Defense officials have reached agreements over mitigation measures in a number of instances in which proposed wind farms were located close to installations, training ranges or low-level training routes, according to report language attached to the subcommittee’s portion of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill …

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