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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

California Schools Left behind in Effort to Upgrade Facilities at Military Bases

  • February 1, 2015
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California has more schools than any other state on the Pentagon’s list of on-base public schools most in need of repair, but in most cases the local school districts lack the matching funds to take advantage of congressional funding intended to address the problem. Congress has allocated almost a billion dollars in recent years to upgrade facilities or expand capacity at public schools on military installations, reported the Los Angeles Times. The grants, however, require school systems or their states to fund 20 percent of the projects’ cost. The Muroc Joint Unified School District would like to make a variety of repairs to its elementary school on Edwards AFB costing $27.8 million but so far hasn’t been able to raise the matching funds …

Corps Study Assesses Risk along North Atlantic Coast from Sea-Level Rise

  • February 1, 2015
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A new study by the Army Corps of Engineers assesses the risk along much of the Eastern seaboard from sea-level rise and other impacts of climate change. The goal of the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study was to determine how best to reduce flood and storm damage risks for people and communities along the region hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “In the last 100 years … every 20 to 30 years we’ve had a fairly significant storm that has pretty much created havoc along the coastal communities,” said Joseph Vietri, director of the National Planning Center of Expertise for Coastal Storm Risk Management. “That includes not only civilian communities, but also Department of Defense communities …

Support for Army’s Presence in Hawaii Faces Opposition

  • January 29, 2015
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At an Army listening session held near Schofield Barracks on Wednesday, the installation’s supporters easily outnumbered opponents but even the presence of only a small number of residents calling for the Army to downsize may have distracted from Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s goal of showing overwhelming support for the Army. The chamber, which organized a “Keep Hawaii’s Heroes” campaign, said that worst case scenario would strip $1.35 billion in economic activity from the Honolulu region. To demonstrate support across Oahu for the Army, the chamber pointed to the 40,000 signatures it collected on behalf of the Army’s presence in Hawaii …

To Protect Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton Leaders Focus on Big Picture

  • January 29, 2015
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Wright-Patterson Air Force Base benefited significantly from the last round of base closures and Dayton, Ohio, leaders are aiming to ensure DOD budget constraints don’t cut into those gains. In the current environment, local officials are just as concerned with preserving the installation’s current missions as securing new ones. “This is about the long-term relationship we have with the Air Force, and not a mission-by-mission effort,” Jim Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, told the Dayton Business Journal. “Of course we want some of those new missions but we’re going to stay focused on the big picture, protecting those major assets …

North Country Gears up for Army Town Hall

  • January 28, 2015
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Local leaders in northern New York are getting ready for the March 20 listening session with the Army intended to provide officials input about community support for Fort Drum before the service decides how to shrink its end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. A media campaign to alert the public about the event will kick off next week, reported the Watertown Daily Times. On the day of the meeting, the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization is planning to hold a number of small-group events for visiting officials throughout the day highlighting the community’s links to the post across a number of services, including education and health care …

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 …

Number of Installations Relying on Automated Vetting Systems Grows

  • January 27, 2015
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Installations across all the services have been expanding the automated systems they rely on to conduct background checks on visitors by connecting them to one or more federal databases. Last August, DOD launched a screening system known as the Identity Matching Engine for Security and Analysis and is pushing for more installations to connect to it, reports Military Times. Installations also are starting to link their automated visitor vetting systems to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Interstate Identification Index, a requirement under defense regulations on security access control. The Army is planning to implement its automated installation entry system at 25 installations by October …

Buckley AFB Well Positioned for Next BRAC, Commander Says

  • January 27, 2015
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The numerous assets of Buckley Air Force Base, located outside of Denver, should shield it in a future BRAC round and, possibly, help it attract new missions, the commander of the installation’s 460th Space Wing said last week during his state of the base speech. Buckley’s focus on global missile detection using satellites, its strategic western location and its availability of land for development make it a candidate for growth, Col. John Wagner said, reported the Aurora Sentinel. “I’m not concerned about a closure, I’m really trying to figure out how we can adequately accommodate expansion, because we can absorb more missions and more people, but we want to do it smartly …

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 …

European Consolidation May Not Put BRAC Request over the Top, Past DOD Officials Say

  • January 26, 2015
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The consolidation of DOD’s military facilities in Europe announced earlier this month can be expected to bolster the department’s case for conducting a new BRAC round, but likely won’t be sufficient to convince lawmakers to grant the request, say several former Pentagon officials. “I think [the changes in Europe] will help some in terms of persuading Congress to give BRAC authority,” former DOD Comptroller Robert Hale told Stars and Stripes. “It was a reason in the past to deny BRAC authority. But I have to be candid and say I don’t think it will be enough …

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