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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Budget Hearing to Focus on DOD’s Declining Investment in Facilities

  • February 26, 2015
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The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee next week will hold a hearing to assess the long-term impact of the steep cuts in spending on facilities spurred by the Budget Control Act. “The budget reductions, compounded by the deep cut of sequestration, have placed a significant strain on installation investment accounts and forced the acceptance of increased risk within aging infrastructure,” according to a statement from the committee …

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 …

Army Bracing for Further Cuts under Budget Caps, McHugh Says

  • February 26, 2015
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If the statutory spending caps are fully imposed in fiscal 2016, all Army personnel and activities will be affected, Army Secretary John McHugh told reporters Wednesday. “There will virtually be no corner of the Army that will be untouched,” he said. “Obviously, the primary concern that we discuss in these very uncertain times are the readiness ratings for soldiers and whatever tomorrow’s missions might be.” McHugh ranked the budget as one of his top three priorities, along with any activity involving deployed forces, and combating sexual assault and sexual harassment …

Texas Lawmakers Advance Measure to Bolster Support for Defense Communities

  • February 26, 2015
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Texas would be able to provide more financial assistance to communities trying to support a neighboring military installation or cope with a downsizing, under legislation moving in the state Senate. On Wednesday, the Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee passed a bill raising the cap on grants from the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant program from $2 million to $5 million, reported the San Antonio Express-News. Senate Bill 318 now heads to the full Senate for consideration. The cap needs to be higher because of Texas’ population growth since the program was created in 1997, said state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D), the bill’s author. It also would help Texas compete with other states fighting to preserve their military bases …

Leaders Highlight Alaska’s Strategic Advantages at Army Listening Sessions

  • February 26, 2015
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Almost 1,000 residents showed up at listening sessions in Anchorage and Fairbanks this week to tell the Army why Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Fort Wainwright should be spared cuts as the service determines how to realign its forces to eliminate up to 70,000 active-duty soldiers by fiscal 2020. At both public meetings, local leaders emphasized the state’s strategic location, vast training space, community support for the military and the quality of local schools. Alaska has more veterans per capita than any other state because it’s a great place to live, said Gov. Bill Walker (I). When considering Alaska’s strategic importance, one needs to look at Alaska from the top down, as on a globe, not a two-dimensional map, Walker said …

State of Readiness Approaches Troublesome Levels, Briefing Reveals

  • February 24, 2015
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The overall readiness of the nation’s military has been severely degraded, with units scheduled for deployment receiving a disproportionate share of available resources, Pentagon officials told the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee during a recent closed-door briefing. “While justifiable, this imbalance will eventually yield an unviable and technologically inferior fighting force and challenges our ability to win decisively against growing adversaries,” according to one of the briefing charts from the unclassified presentation obtained by CQ. Relief stemming from the two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal reached in December 2013 has helped restore some of the readiness decline but absent further relief from the Budget Control Act spending caps, readiness levels will continue to erode …

Columbus-Area Lawmakers Push Measure to Support Air Base

  • February 24, 2015
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State lawmakers from Columbus, Miss., are urging their colleagues in the Senate to push across legislation authorizing Mississippi to issue up to $25 million in bonds to fund the extension of a recreational path from the city to Columbus Air Force Base. The measure, which passed the House by a 118-2 vote last week, is an effort by area lawmakers to bolster quality of life for personnel and their families at the base. HB1453 would pay for an existing path — which includes separate tracks for walking, jogging and biking — to be extended by 14 miles. The installation is about 10 miles north of the city …

Wiregrass Region Attends Listening Session to Support ‘Home of Army Aviation’

  • February 24, 2015
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An overflow crowd of more than 1,600 residents turned out Monday to support Fort Rucker for an Army listening session held to gather input as the Army figures out how to shrink its active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 420,000 by fiscal 2020. Many attendees wore shirts with pictures of helicopters and the words “Fort Rucker: the heartbeat of the Wiregrass.” The Army is contemplating cutting a maximum of 2,500 soldiers and civilian employees from the southeastern Alabama post, losses that would affect the surrounding region, including Enterprise, Daleville, Ozark and Dothan. “When you look at the impact of 3,000 direct jobs and 15,000 indirectly throughout the Wiregrass, that is devastating,” Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell …

Amid Air Force Effort to Inactivate Airlift Wing, Others Question the Move

  • February 23, 2015
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The Air Force is moving forward with its plan to inactivate Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing even before it issues a congressionally mandated report justifying the action. Over the weekend, officials opened a clearinghouse for traditional reservists in the 440th — an Air Force Reserve unit based at Fort Bragg’s Pope Field — to help them find other positions before the unit’s planned inactivation at the end of September, reported the Fayetteville Observer. Lawmakers added the justification report to the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill as a prerequisite before the Air Force could shut down the 440th, a unit made up of 1,200 airmen …

Finding Consensus on Best Approach to Reforming Commissary Benefit Proves Elusive

  • February 22, 2015
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Neither the Pentagon’s plan for slashing the federal subsidy for military grocery stores nor a congressional commission’s recommendations for gaining efficiencies in the commissary system will prove successful, according to two recent analyses. Last month, the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission called for consolidating DOD’s three exchange services with the Defense Commissary Agency as a way to maintain the benefits of all base stores. Consolidating those four organizations into a new Defense Resale Activity, though, would cost $466 million and take from six to nine years to carry out, according to a position paper from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. The upfront costs wouldn’t be recouped through efficiencies for 85 years, AAFES concluded …

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