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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Funding Needed to Alleviate Gridlock outside Bases, Washington Lawmaker Testifies

  • April 16, 2015
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Many installations that experienced mission growth following the last BRAC round are still grappling with traffic congestion outside their gates, an urgent issue that requires dedicated funding from Congress, Washington Rep. Denny Heck (D) told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee during its annual “member day” hearing Wednesday. At the installation Heck represents, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a disproportionate reliance on I-5 for access to the base has resulted in gridlock on a regular basis in South Puget Sound. The problem is not unique to the region as many installations, particularly in urban areas, are still coping with the aftermath of the 2005 round of BRAC and short-term mission growth …

Tampa Leaders Look to Expand Tanker Mission at MacDill AFB

  • April 16, 2015
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Tampa leaders are working to bring KC-135 Stratotankers displaced from installations that receive the Air Force’s next generation aerial tanker to MacDill Air Force Base in an effort to demonstrate the base has the capacity to handle more aircraft. MacDill, which currently has 16 KC-135s, was passed over in 2013 to become one of the first bases to receive the KC-46A Pegasus. That competition would have brought 36 jets to MacDill, and local officials want to show that the base can support a greater number of aircraft …

Arizona Lawmaker Fighting to Save the A-10

  • April 16, 2015
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Arizona Rep. Martha McSally is working with fellow lawmakers and Republican leaders to find $500 million to keep the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 attack jets in service. One year after Congress offered the A-10 a temporary reprieve from an Air Force plan to retire the fleet, the first-term lawmaker is crafting language for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill to keep the Warthog flying. “I feel like I have made a very strong case and I believe that the leadership understands the importance of the A-10, so now we’re doing the sausage-making to make sure that happens …

Eielson AFB to Keep F-16 Squadron

  • April 15, 2015
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Eielson Air Force Base will retain its F-16 squadron even if the installation located outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, becomes the home of two new squadrons of F-35A fighters, officials announced Tuesday. The Air Force had considered moving the base’s 18th Aggressor Squadron late last year after it named Eielson as the preferred alternative for 48 F-35s slated for the Pacific region. But the service determined that Eielson was “the most operationally sound option, as well as the most cost effective,” said Mark Pohlmeier, acting deputy assistant secretary for installations …

Air Force Names Four Candidates to Host New Tanker Reserve Unit

  • April 14, 2015
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The Air Force is considering four locations to host the first Reserve-led KC-46A Pegasus unit — Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C.; Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.; and Grissom ARB, Ind. Officials on Tuesday said the service’s next generation aerial tanker KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal 2019. Air Mobility Command and Air Force Reserve Command now will conduct site surveys of each candidate. Officials will grade each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower …

Nation Can’t Afford to Punt on BRAC, Texas Lawmaker Says

  • April 13, 2015
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Count Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) as one of the few lawmakers willing to let the Pentagon launch a sixth round of base closures. For the second-term lawmaker, the logic is relatively simple — with new threats emerging across the globe, DOD should be allowed to save money from weapons and installations it no longer needs so it can afford to preserve its existing end strength. “What you shouldn’t cut are personnel,” O’Rourke, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told El Paso Inc. He certainly understands why BRAC is hugely unpopular in Congress, but lawmakers can’t afford to ignore officials saying the military has about 20 percent excess infrastructure capacity. “I don’t want to continue to subsidize bases and installations that are not performing …

Michigan Delegation Presses Case for National Guard to Host Cyber Mission

  • April 13, 2015
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Michigan’s congressional delegation is lobbying top defense officials to locate a cyber operations squadron at the 110th Attack Wing at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The lawmakers cite multiple reasons for the unit to host the squadron including the base’s existing cyber missions, a factor which would save the Air National Guard $2.2 million because much of the needed infrastructure already is in place. They also point to the state’s skilled workforce and universities as assets that would help fill positions created by a new cyber operations squadron …

New Mexico Governor Signs Bill Streamlining Base Planning Panel

  • April 13, 2015
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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez last week signed legislation reducing the size of the state Military Base Planning Commission from 17 to 12 members. The change is intended to make the panel more nimble as it strives to protect New Mexico’s military assets, and means the commission will have nine representatives from the counties neighboring installations, two at-large representatives appointed from other counties and the lieutenant governor. The original bill, Senate Bill 369, would have eliminated the slot for the lieutenant governor …

N.C. Communities Request State Funding to Support Military Facilities

  • April 12, 2015
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Five defense communities in North Carolina have joined forces to pursue $1 million from Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to support their efforts to combat encroachment, invest in regional infrastructure and form partnerships with neighboring installations. Havelock Mayor Will Lewis spearheaded the collaboration, which includes Jacksonville, home to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River; Goldsboro, home to Seymour Johnson AFB; Fayetteville, home to Fort Bragg/Pope Field; and Elizabeth City, home to the U.S. Coast Guard. “Every municipality that is next to an installation has things that they spend money on to support the citizens on that installation that we don’t really get a tax base from …

Governor to Consider Airport Subsidy to Benefit Illinois Arsenal

  • April 12, 2015
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Although his fiscal 2016 budget eliminated a $1.5 million subsidy to attract air service between the Quad Cities and Washington, D.C., Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday said he would revisit the issue. Supporters of Rock Island Arsenal believe attracting a commercial airline to provide direct service between Quad City International Airport in Moline, Ill., and Washington would help shield the installation from future cuts or closure. During a tour of the arsenal, Rauner told reporters he broached the topic with local leaders and said the subsidy would be considered in conjunction with his long-term agenda …

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