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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

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 …

Army Communities Pull out All the Stops ahead of Listening Sessions

  • January 26, 2015
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The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance is asking area residents to wear green when Army officials visit next week to hear public comments about Fort Carson before the service deliberates over a second round of restructuring intended to shave its end strength to 420,000. The post could lose a maximum of 16,000 soldiers over the two rounds. “The Army is sending out some pretty significant officials,” Andy Merritt, who oversees military affairs for the alliance, told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “We certainly want to be able to make sure those guys go back with a positive view of what is going on here …

Ohio Lawmakers, Installation Officials Discuss BRAC Scenarios

  • January 26, 2015
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Four Ohio lawmakers met with military officials on Friday to gather input for a plan to defend, and possibly enhance, the state’s installations in a future round of base closures. “What is our assessment of our vulnerabilities and opportunities as we look to the future and the possibility of decreased defense spending and another possible Base Realignment and Closure,” said Rep. Mike Turner. “How does it happen? What is the scope? How do we play the best hand to make sure that Ohio wins …

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 …

South Sound Stands up for JB Lewis-McChord

  • January 25, 2015
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More than 500 residents from many of the 15 communities that surround Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., made the case for shielding the installation from further cuts during a listening session the Army held last week to gather public input before it decides how to shrink the service’s end strength by 70,000 soldiers by fiscal 2020. The installation located at the south end of Puget Sound already suffered the loss of about 5,000 soldiers during a previous round of Army downsizing. Now officials are considering eliminating up to 11,000 additional personnel during a second round of restructuring intended to cut the service’s end strength to 420,000. More than 60 people offered comments during the three-hour session. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) highlighted the support the state provides military personnel and their families as well as veterans …

Ohio Air Station Sees Community Partnerships as Key to Sustainment

  • January 25, 2015
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In an attempt to leverage limited federal funding, officials at Youngstown Air Reserve Station in northeast Ohio are considering forming partnerships with a variety of local entities, including Kent State University at Trumbull, Mercy Health System and neighboring municipalities. “It’s about taxpayer dollars in this day of dwindling budgets, we have to make sure we’re the most economically capable, viable and integrated small base out there,” said Col. James Dignan, 910th Airlift Wing commander …

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