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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

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.

Leaders in Alabama Community Upgrade Schools ahead of Next BRAC

  • July 1, 2015
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The southeastern Alabama city of Enterprise has been investing in its local schools and upgrading the school system’s curriculum to improve the standing of Fort Rucker in a future base closure round, city leaders told the media earlier this week. “The thing that is very important is that we took a proactive approach of not waiting until BRAC occurs,” said Mayor Kenneth Boswell. “We wanted to go ahead and be prepared for BRAC so that it could not be utilized against us.” The press conference followed last week’s release of a report from the Stimson Center highlighting the importance of school quality and student achievement in public schools located at Army communities …

Hampton Roads Businesses Look to Adapt to Climate Change

  • July 1, 2015
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A broad planning effort among federal and local agencies and other stakeholders in the Hampton Roads region of southeast Virginia is aiming to produce a coordinated response to rising sea levels. Studies have projected sea levels in the area will rise between three-and-one-half feet and more than five feet by the end of the century. Much or all of Naval Station Norfolk is vulnerable to being flooded because “it’s so low and flat,” Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, told NPR. Flooding would affect the military as well as local businesses. “Any impacts that the Navy is going to feel is going to have a direct and indirect impact on the business infrastructure,” Toll said. “That goes all the way down to the small shops that are right on the water, because everybody lives here …

Officials Seek to Create Emergency Services Hub at Niagara Air Station

  • July 1, 2015
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Elected officials and other supporters of Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station secured $500,000 in state funding to launch an initiative to establish an emergency services hub at the installation to house first response agencies from across Western New York. The $500,000 grant from Empire State Development will be used as seed money to retrofit existing facilities at the air station, state Sen. Robert Ortt (R) announced Monday. The project would be located next to the base at Niagara Falls International Airport and could take $3 million and six years to complete. “This is one more development trying to make the base more attractive, more of an asset in the community, both from a military and from a local community standpoint …

DOD Working Group to Take Closer Look at Public Schools

  • June 30, 2015
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The Pentagon has formed a DOD-wide working group to address issues related to the quality of public schools that serve military kids. “They’re looking across all the military services, with respect to what the larger department might be able to do to address some of the concerns we have with public schools,” said Carla Coulson, director of installation services for the Army’s office of the assistant chief of staff for installation management, reported Military Times. Last week, a think tank highlighted the importance of school quality and student achievement in public schools located at Army communities. It used data from an Army study that began in 2013 …

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 …

Massachusetts Agency Launches Economic Diversification Study

  • June 29, 2015
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The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) has launched an economic diversification study to help the state cope with cutbacks in DOD spending by becoming less dependent on defense contracting. The organization recently was awarded a $400,000 grant from MassDevelopment, a state agency that received a $1.5 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. MassMEP will help companies reposition toward commercial markets, Jack Healy, its president, told the Telegram. A large number of manufacturers providing critical systems to the defense industry will have a difficulty surviving when their customers diminish. The grant also will expand an initiative allowing undergraduates from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to teach a training curriculum to the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Of the about 87,000 jobs in the state supported by the defense industry, 43,000 are direct jobs, Healy said. The 87,000 positions do not include research and development or Small Business Innovation Research grant jobs. The study is expected to be completed in March 2016.

Governor’s Council Calls for Greater Engagement with California Installations, Communities

  • June 28, 2015
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California officials need to step up their support for military missions in the state by strengthening ties with installations and their host communities, according to a report the Governor’s Military Council released last week. Beyond committing to a sustained focus on California’s 30-plus installations, the state also should focus support to related national security activities, including the aerospace industry, defense contractors, federal laboratories and homeland security missions. DOD spends about $70 billion annually in California and employs 360,000 Californians throughout the state. “California plays an essential role in our national defense,” said Ellen Tauscher, chair of the council. “Our military’s most important testing and training ranges are located here and as defense strategy shifts to the Pacific Region and embraces new technologies, California has become more important than ever to national security …

Ohio Lawmakers Approve $5M for Military Facilities Commission

  • June 28, 2015
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The Ohio Legislature last week passed a two-year state budget with $5 million to invest in infrastructure projects at the state’s military facilities. The funds, which would create an Ohio Military Facilities Commission, are aimed at strengthening the state’s installations ahead of a looming BRAC round. “This prepares us for the inevitable consolidations and opportunities that we know are going to come up,” state Rep. Rick Perales (R) told the Dayton Business Journal. The funds would go to projects at installations across Ohio, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Rickenbacker airport in Columbus and Air National Guard bases in Springfield and Mansfield …

Army Monitoring Performance of Local Schools, Report Warns

  • June 26, 2015
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Differences in school quality and student performance could be a significant selection criteria if the Army has an opportunity to recommend installations for closure, warns a new report from the Stimson Center directed at Army communities. “States and communities should consider the connection between education standards and basing decisions as part of the larger context for their education policies even though the Army’s level of priority on this issue and its plan for engaging with Congress are uncertain,” concludes the report, The Army Goes to School: The Connection between K-12 Education Standards and the Military-Base Economy. Over 300,000 children of active-duty service members in the Army are affected by educational standards which vary wildly from one school to the next …

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