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Posts Tagged ‘encroachment’

Utah Lawmakers Endorse Test Range Expansion

  • March 1, 2015
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A resolution endorsing an Air Force plan to expand the Utah Test and Training Range is progressing in the Utah Senate. The Senate’s Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee last week approved the resolution endorsing the extension of the range’s boundaries covering about 700,000 acres in parts of three counties in northwest Utah. The land would be acquired by the Air Force and DOD, reported the Standard. The expansion is needed to create a buffer to protect the range from encroachment from surrounding communities and to improve the military’s capability to test the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II …

Virginia Lawmakers to Consider Funding Encroachment Efforts at Hampton Roads Bases

  • February 26, 2015
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Virginia lawmakers are considering adding $2.4 million to the state budget to protect the Navy’s Fentress Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake and Langley Air Force Base in Hampton from urban encroachment. Fentress would receive $2.1 million and Langley $250,000 under the budget amendments. Chesapeake and Langley have committed to matching the funds, reported the Virginian-Pilot. Chesapeake approved its program last year but has not yet started buying properties, said Deputy City Attorney Andrew Fox. The city plans to spend $2.5 million in municipal funds on the initiative. Officials now are evaluating about 6,000 acres and likely will target property that could be used for high-density development …

Initiative to Fight Encroachment at Robins AFB Advances

  • February 2, 2015
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The state of Georgia has bought 107 housing units outside of Robins Air Force Base in an effort to limit encroachment, and officials continue to negotiate with property owners on additional purchases. Despite the state’s progress so far targeting mobile home parks to lower residential density in northern Houston County adjacent to the installation, some local lawmakers want the state to accelerate its timetable. “It’s not fast enough until we get it done,” said State House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal (R), who is concerned the effort won’t be completed before the next BRAC round. Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said he was confident the pace of home purchases by the state would pick up …

Race to Add Buffer Space Won’t Help a Base Make Its Case, Experts Say

  • January 27, 2015
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The pressure of a looming BRAC round has prompted many defense communities to expand buffer zones around local installations to protect them from encroachment, but the efforts likely won’t impress Pentagon officials developing closure recommendations, according to several experts. “I think it’s a misguided competition,” Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told the Pensacola News Journal. “A buffer zone may reduce noise complaints, but I don’t think it’s going to make a big difference to the DOD …

SunZia Transmission Line Gains Federal Approval despite Local Opposition

  • January 26, 2015
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With the full support of the Defense Department, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Saturday announced her agency had granted final approval to a 515-mile, high-voltage transmission line from New Mexico to Arizona that crosses the northern tip of White Sands Missile Range. Last year, 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. On Saturday, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, joined Jewell at Sandia National Laboratories to signal the Pentagon’s stance that the project would not interfere with operations at the missile range …

Air Force Refines Encroachment Program

  • January 25, 2015
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Recent moves by the Air Force are helping to bolster its encroachment management program, including issuing new guidance for a comprehensive initiative to limit incompatible development outsides its installations and establishing the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) as the program office for the service-wide effort. In October, officials assigned the center’s planning and integration directorate the task of providing reach-back support to installations, major commands and direct reporting units on all aspects of encroachment, AFCEC reported. “The overall purpose of the AFEM [Air Force encroachment management] program is to reach across the entire installation community to solve problems and preserve the Air Force mission capability,” said Charles Cyr, chief of the directorate’s regional development planning branch …

Regional Airport Expansion Would Not Hamper Robins AFB, Officials Say

  • January 20, 2015
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A proposal to expand the main runway at Middle Georgia Regional Airport would be unlikely to interfere with operations at nearby Robins Air Force Base, according to local officials. “It would take a tremendous amount of increase in traffic to create any issues at all. I don’t see that happening,” Doug Faour, manager of the Middle Georgia Regional Airport, told the Macon Telegraph. “What I see is the runway extension bringing jobs that are positively going to affect everybody …

Decision to Expand Training Area over Northern Plains Would Bolster Ellsworth AFB

  • January 19, 2015
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The Air Force on Friday approved a plan to expand military training airspace over parts of four states in the northern Plains, a move that would enhance the military value of Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., but that has been opposed by lawmakers in other states over the impact of low-level flights on agriculture and the safety of general aviation. The Air Force’s proposal would more than triple the area of the 28,000-acre Powder River Training Complex, which is located over portions of the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming. “After nearly nine years working with the Air Force on this important expansion project, I’m pleased we’ve entered the final step to ensuring our Air Force pilots and personnel have the adequate airspace to perform the critical training they need in conditions that more closely resemble combat missions,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) …

Texas County Supports Measure Alerting Homebuyers about Impacts of Neighboring Installations

  • January 7, 2015
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County commissioners of Guadalupe County, Texas, located on the eastern side of Randolph Air Force Base, last week adopted a resolution supporting legislation requiring homebuyers to be informed about the possible impacts of living near a military installation. The vote followed a presentation by officials from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph about the air base’s economic and operational impacts on Guadalupe County, which lies outside of San Antonio, reported the Seguin Gazette. Randolph features a twin-runway, twin-control tower configuration and records a total of 212,000 takeoffs and landings each year …

No Draft Required: States Increasingly Volunteer to Support Military Installations, ADC Report Reveals

  • December 19, 2014
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State support for military installations has grown steadily over the past two decades, marked by a sharp increase in the number of states forming organizations dedicated to the preservation and promotion of their bases, along with an expansion in the amount and kinds of support invested, according to a new report from the Association of Defense Communities. Only a few states had military affairs organizations prior to 1990, but now 34 states have such organizations. Much of the growth has occurred since the 2005 round of base closures, with the looming threat to military installations resulting from stringent spending caps on the Pentagon’s budget and significant excess capacity in DOD’s infrastructure accounting for the heightened awareness on the state level of the importance of defense facilities …

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