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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Spaceport Designation at Ellington Airport Expected to Lift Houston’s Fortunes

  • July 29, 2015
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The recent selection of Ellington Airport as the nation’s 10th commercial spaceport is expected to greatly bolster Houston’s economy as a new industry grows around the former Air Force facility. The FAA granted the Houston Airport System a launch license for Ellington on June 30. The spaceport designation “is a signal to all of the aerospace businesses that Houston means business and that we are welcoming them, any and all, to come and explore the opportunities that Houston can provide for aerospace companies,” said Dan Seal, executive director of special initiatives at Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership …

Air Force Turns on First Well Treating Fuel Spill outside of Kirtland AFB

  • July 29, 2015
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Albuquerque officials are hopeful that the Air Force’s latest effort to address an underground fuel leak at Kirtland Air Force Base that could be as large as 24 million gallons will protect the city’s drinking water supply. In June, workers turned on the first of a series of wells that will pump the fuel and contaminated water out of the ground. The Air Force plans to build two more wells this fall and, depending on how the cleanup progresses, workers could construct up to five wells next year, reported Air Force Times. “There was a period of time during which we were very concerned about the apparent lack of progress and lack of clarity with respect to cleanup plans,” said David Morris, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. “So we’ve been very encouraged by recent developments, which seem to point to a renewed commitment on the part of the Air Force to address this problem …

Army Commission Continues National Tour

  • July 28, 2015
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The National Commission on the Future of the Army has maintained a brisk pace as it visits posts across the country to assess the right balance between the active Army, the National Guard and the Army Reserve. Last week, Chairman Carter Ham and Commissioner Jack Stultz visited Fort Campbell, Ky., to meet with Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Holmes, deputy adjutant general of the Tennessee National Guard, and Col. Darrell Darnbush, commander of the 278th Armor Brigade Combat Team. “We were particularly interested in the partnerships the National Guard has built with its active duty neighbors and the overall ability to conduct multi-component training,” Ham said, reported Clarksville Online. “The importance of ensuring readiness of the Total Army Force in a fiscally constrained environment is critical to sustaining the relationships (among active and reserve components) formed through 14 years of combat …

Pennsylvania Army Depot Undergoing Makeover

  • July 28, 2015
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Tobyhanna Army Depot in northeastern Pennsylvania is in the midst of a $105 million renovation designed to modernize aging buildings and updating workspaces for the digital age. With weapons less reliant on solid state components and other hardware, one aim of the makeover is outfitting the depot to better accommodate programmers and computer technicians. “Electronics technology is evolving fast and it means adding new lines of business to our mission,” depot spokesman Ed Mickley told the Times-Tribune. “More of what we are doing requires upgrades in the same way a computer gets upgraded.” The bulk of the renovation projects will provide the depot’s 3,100 workers better facilities, including more efficient, lighting, heating and cooling. Some facilities date to the World War II era. The effort also includes a new visitor control center and the demolition of housing units that already had been replaced. The initiative is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Pentagon Follows Best Practices for Facilities Planning, GAO Finds

  • July 28, 2015
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The Defense Department adheres to leading practices for capital planning when it develops funding requirements for facilities modernization, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. For example, DOD guidance establishes a system for determining funding requirements and reviewing and approving budget requests by taking into consideration the costs of proposed assets, the levels of risk involved in modernizing assets and their importance to DOD’s mission, GAO found. The guidance also requires the military services to prioritize projects. DOD guidance establishes an annual budget process for identifying and allocating resources for capital investments to achieve the department’s strategic objectives …

Force Reductions to Leave Army at ‘Razor’s Edge,’ Odierno Says

  • July 26, 2015
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The Army’s plan to shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000 soldiers over the next three years will force the nation to assume a greater level of risk as the number of hotspots across the globe rises, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Thursday. “With the increased instability around the world, 490,000 is the right number, but we can’t do it,” Odierno said during a visit to Fort Carson. “We don’t have the budget to do it.” The decision to eliminate 40,000 troops was prompted by the discretionary spending caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. Odierno, who is retiring in August, is hoping lawmakers strike a multi-year deal to raise the spending caps …

Hampton Roads Shipyard to Lay off 1,500-Plus Workers

  • July 26, 2015
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Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest industrial employer in Virginia, told employees last week it plans to lay off at least 1,500 workers through 2016 in response to a temporary drop in work. “We do not yet know the extent of the reductions, but in 2015, it will be more than 500 people. In 2016, it will likely be more than 1,000 people,” shipyard employees were told in a letter from the company’s president, Matt Mulherin. “The layoffs this fall will be followed by more in 2016 “as workload drops across the yard,” the letter said …

Fargo Leaders Highlight Assets of ‘Hooligans’

  • July 24, 2015
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Leaders from the Fargo, N.D., business community believe this week’s visit by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James strengthened the long-term outlook for the North Dakota Air National Guard’s “Happy Hooligans.” The military support group of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce touted the importance of the 119th Wing’s Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and intelligence targeting missions, and encouraged the secretary to consider the base for future manned flying missions, reported Inforum. Officials also pointed out that the National Guard unit has not experienced difficulties retaining Predator support specialists, a problem the rest of the Air Force is dealing with. Most significantly, the chamber gained James’ support for building a $7.3 million facility for the wing’s intelligence unit …

Virginia Installations Poised for Growth, Governor’s Commission Concludes

  • July 23, 2015
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There are a variety of actions Virginia officials can take — including investing in infrastructure on and outside military bases, and taking advantage of DOD’s new shared services authority — to expand the missions at its military installations, according to a recent report released by the Governor’s Commission on Military Installations and Defense Activities. The commission’s 20 recommendations are intended to leverage changes in military policy to position the commonwealth to continue innovation and leadership in its military operations. The report, which was based on a “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats” analysis, focuses on four key areas of opportunity: improving how the nation develops its military leaders; advancing research, testing, evaluation and development of emergent technologies; investing in infrastructure to foster the growth of new missions …

Army Nominee Defends Restructuring Plan

  • July 23, 2015
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The restructuring the Army announced earlier this month will leave a force that is still large enough to meet its current missions, but at a “high level” of risk, Gen. Mark Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday at a hearing on his nomination to be the next Army chief of staff. “I think from a total Army perspective, we have adequate size, but that is with significant risk,” Milley said. “That risk is incurred in terms of time to get to the fight, the time to mobilize [National Guard] units, time to get them trained and certified, and then it’s also significant risk in potential casualties,” he told the panel. Milley, currently the commander of Army Forces Command, also responded to lawmakers from states slated to absorb a portion of the 40,000-soldier reduction that will be carried out by the end of fiscal 2018 …

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