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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Garrison Commanders Grapple with Budget Constraints

  • April 7, 2015
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At a two-day conference for Army garrison commanders and command sergeants major last month, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, addressed the challenge of running an installation amid tight fiscal constraints. “We have to weigh risks daily,” Hammack said. “What’s acceptable loss? Compare loss of life to buildings that decay a little faster … grass that grows a little higher? Gen. Halverson and I are okay with the grass growing higher if it means that the troops are trained, ready and properly equipped …

Navy Issues Impact Statement for Training Facilities on Marianas

  • April 7, 2015
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The Navy on Monday released a draft environmental impact statement for the construction of live-fire ranges, training courses and maneuver areas in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) needed to support the realignment of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam. “Establishing unit and combined level [range training areas] in the CNMI would support ongoing operational requirements, changes to U.S. force structure, geographic repositioning of forces and U.S. training relationships with allied nations,” according to the April 6 Federal Register notice. The Navy’s preferred alternatives for the training facilities are on the islands of Tinian and Pagan …

Texas Communities Await Verdict on Sequestration, Army Downsizing

  • April 6, 2015
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Local officials throughout Texas are increasingly alarmed about the prospect that stringent caps on Pentagon spending first imposed in 2013 will remain in place through the end of the decade. Already, defense communities in Texas have been hurt by the furlough of civilian workers, the loss of active-duty personnel and attrition in civilian personnel, reported the San Antonio Express-News. On the immediate horizon is an Army determination expected this summer on how it will allocate the elimination of up to 70,000 active-duty troops by fiscal 2020. Forts Hood and Bliss, and Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston potentially could lose thousands of soldiers and civilian workers, but advocates for each of those posts believe the strong level of support provided by their host communities should shield them from the worst cuts …

OEA to Support Communities Facing Encroachment from Commercial Energy Development

  • April 5, 2015
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Communities interested in intervening when a commercial energy project could interfere with military activities now can apply for planning assistance from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to limit potential conflicts with installations, ranges, training routes or special use airspace. States, counties, municipalities and other public entities, along with tribal nations, are eligible for community adjustment planning assistance under the program to ensure an energy project does not jeopardize DOD’s test, training and military operations. Examples of conflicts with military activity include low-level flight obstructions caused by wind turbines or solar power towers, electromagnetic interference from high-voltage electrical transmission lines, and glint and glare from photovoltaic arrays and solar power towers near military airfields …

Developer Suspends Maryland Wind Project that Posed Risk to Pax River

  • April 5, 2015
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The developer of a proposed wind farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore said it was placing the project in “indefinite suspension” after it could not overcome concerns by the state’s congressional delegation that the project would interfere with a radar system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The Great Bay Wind project, located across the Chesapeake Bay from the air station, had survived a move last year by Maryland lawmakers to delay its construction until MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory could evaluate ways to mitigate the turbines’ impact on the radar system after then- Gov. Martin O’Malley vetoed the bill. In response, however, Sen. Barbara Mikulski — who was chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee — added language to the committee report of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill barring the Navy from reaching a deal with Pioneer Green Energy to turn off the turbines during radar testing at Pax River until MIT completes its study …

DOD Intervention Needed to Fully Leverage Partnership Authorities, Paper Says

  • April 5, 2015
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The military services are increasingly relying on public-private and public-public partnerships (P4s) to enhance the military value of bases and deliver many support services more efficiently, but the Defense Department will need to clarify its authorities and establish implementation procedures to fully promote P4s, according to a new paper published by the National Defense University.
“While P4 is not a new concept, it has never received as much attention as it does today as a tool or technique to accomplish DOD missions,” writes author Samuel Bendett. “More practitioners are now being exposed to P4s, and it is expected they will consider them equal to or in lieu of traditional procurement …

Medical Training Mission at JB San Antonio Should Shield Post from Worst Cuts

  • April 1, 2015
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At the last of 30 listening sessions held in defense communities across the nation, Army officials acknowledged that cuts of up to 70,000 soldiers from the service’s active-duty end strength now under consideration would greatly diminish its capabilities. “As we’re getting ready to make cuts, we’re going to have to cut straight into muscle and bone,” Col. Tom O’Donoghue told a crowd of 1,200 people who turned up Tuesday to support Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Over the next several months, the Army will determine how to apportion personnel cuts as its force shrinks from 490,000 to 450,000 and, possibly, to 420,000 …

N.C. Delegation Requests Language to Grant Reprieve to Ft. Bragg Airlift Wing

  • April 1, 2015
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In the latest move to save Fort Bragg’s 440th Airlift Wing, five members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are trying to add language to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill to block the Air Force from dismantling or relocating the Reserve unit based at Pope Field. Last week, the lawmakers wrote the leaders of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to include a provision stating that no funds can be “used to inactivate, relocate or otherwise disrupt the mission, personnel or aircraft” of the unit, which flies C-130H cargo airplanes. The delegation argues that disbanding the wing would hurt the training of Army airborne and special operations forces, and cost more money by forcing the Army to rely on out-of-state units to carry out routine missions and training exercises …

Grissom Prepared for Takeoff

  • April 1, 2015
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The newly formed Grissom Regional Defense Alliance has declared that the active and redevelopment missions at the north-central Indiana site are ready to grow. Grissom Air Reserve Base is prepared to take on more military personnel, while Grissom Aeroplex, the business park adjacent to the base, is poised to attract major defense and aerospace companies. The alliance was formed last month as a subcommittee of the Miami County Economic Development Authority. The alliance has started a campaign to increase activity at the base and the business park that could transform the area into a bigger economic powerhouse …

Services Cite Installation Support as Priority in ‘Wish Lists’

  • March 31, 2015
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The Pentagon’s list of priorities that failed to make the fiscal 2016 budget request is heavy on weapons modernization and readiness needs, but it also includes installations support and quality-of-life programs. In his letter to the congressional defense committees accompanying the department’s “wish list,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter warned lawmakers that these items — costing more than $20 billion — should not be funded unless Congress matches the amount requested in in the president’s regular budget proposal. “Any extra program inserted into our budget submission will come at the expense of other programs we deemed more important, with ripple effects across the rest of the budget …

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