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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Installations in Eastern States Sweep Pentagon Awards

  • July 7, 2015
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Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday announced the 2015 recipients of the Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence: Army: Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; Marine Corps: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Navy: Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.; Air Force: Joint Base Andrews, Md.; and Defense Logistics Agency: DLA Distribution Center Susquehanna, Pa. The award recognizes outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations, Pentagon officials said. “Excellent installations enable better mission performance and enhance the quality of life for military men and women and their families …

Army Study Spurs Local Leaders to Improve School Quality

  • July 5, 2015
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The bulk of public school systems serving Army children fall broadly within the middle range when compared to other schools within their state, according to an Army-sponsored review of the quality of public schools and student achievement. The Army never released the 2014 study by WestEd, but officials have discussed the results with local school districts, Military Times reported last week. The study evaluates 393 public schools that serve 200 or more Army children on factors such as academic performance, attendance, student-teacher ratio, quality of teachers, graduation rate, and participation rates and performance on the ACT and SAT tests. WestEd researchers only compared the performance of schools serving Army dependents against state-wide norms, so it doesn’t help the Army or military families compare school systems across the nation …

Florida Grants to Help Communities Strengthen Local Installations

  • July 5, 2015
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Thirteen defense communities in Florida will receive more than $3 million to enhance 19 installations through a variety of activities, Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced last week. The bulk of the funding, $2.5 million, was awarded through Florida’s Defense Infrastructure and Reinvestment Grant Programs, according to a release from the governor’s office. Eleven counties received a total of $850,000 in defense reinvestment grants, which support relationships between military installations and their community and promote economic diversification strategies in defense-dependent communities. Nine counties were awarded a total of $1.6 million in defense infrastructure grants for encroachment, transportation and access, utilities, communications, environment and security projects …

Planning Board Postpones Votes on Zoning Changes outside Moody AFB

  • July 2, 2015
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The Greater Lowndes Planning Commission this week tabled several zoning changes involving property outside Moody Air Force Base due to concerns the amendments could jeopardize future missions at the installation in south central Georgia. The two most significant proposals would increase the allowable density for properties handed down to family members and remove a noise impact area, reported the Valdosta Daily Times. Moody needs to overcome several hurdles in the coming years, including the loss of its primary mission hosting the A-10 Warthog close air support aircraft and a looming BRAC round, said Michael Lee, president of the South Georgia Military Affairs Council. The installation and the surrounding area need to have the flexibility to accommodate whatever mission Moody is assigned, he said. Shrinking the noise impact area could send the wrong message to the Air Force. “Let’s not gamble on Moody’s future,” Lee said.

Leaders in Alabama Community Upgrade Schools ahead of Next BRAC

  • July 1, 2015
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The southeastern Alabama city of Enterprise has been investing in its local schools and upgrading the school system’s curriculum to improve the standing of Fort Rucker in a future base closure round, city leaders told the media earlier this week. “The thing that is very important is that we took a proactive approach of not waiting until BRAC occurs,” said Mayor Kenneth Boswell. “We wanted to go ahead and be prepared for BRAC so that it could not be utilized against us.” The press conference followed last week’s release of a report from the Stimson Center highlighting the importance of school quality and student achievement in public schools located at Army communities …

Hampton Roads Businesses Look to Adapt to Climate Change

  • July 1, 2015
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A broad planning effort among federal and local agencies and other stakeholders in the Hampton Roads region of southeast Virginia is aiming to produce a coordinated response to rising sea levels. Studies have projected sea levels in the area will rise between three-and-one-half feet and more than five feet by the end of the century. Much or all of Naval Station Norfolk is vulnerable to being flooded because “it’s so low and flat,” Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, told NPR. Flooding would affect the military as well as local businesses. “Any impacts that the Navy is going to feel is going to have a direct and indirect impact on the business infrastructure,” Toll said. “That goes all the way down to the small shops that are right on the water, because everybody lives here …

Officials Seek to Create Emergency Services Hub at Niagara Air Station

  • July 1, 2015
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Elected officials and other supporters of Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station secured $500,000 in state funding to launch an initiative to establish an emergency services hub at the installation to house first response agencies from across Western New York. The $500,000 grant from Empire State Development will be used as seed money to retrofit existing facilities at the air station, state Sen. Robert Ortt (R) announced Monday. The project would be located next to the base at Niagara Falls International Airport and could take $3 million and six years to complete. “This is one more development trying to make the base more attractive, more of an asset in the community, both from a military and from a local community standpoint …

DOD Working Group to Take Closer Look at Public Schools

  • June 30, 2015
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The Pentagon has formed a DOD-wide working group to address issues related to the quality of public schools that serve military kids. “They’re looking across all the military services, with respect to what the larger department might be able to do to address some of the concerns we have with public schools,” said Carla Coulson, director of installation services for the Army’s office of the assistant chief of staff for installation management, reported Military Times. Last week, a think tank highlighted the importance of school quality and student achievement in public schools located at Army communities. It used data from an Army study that began in 2013 …

SunZia Proposes Shifting Transmission Line North of White Sands

  • June 30, 2015
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The developer of a 515-mile, high-voltage transmission line from New Mexico to Arizona has proposed rerouting a portion of the project that crosses the northern tip of White Sands Missile Range in an attempt to avoid the need to bury a portion of the line. The project gained the federal government’s approval in January after 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. But since January, SunZia has begun discussions with the New Mexico State Land Office and DOD about shifting the transmission line north of White Sands to move most of it out of the range’s call-up zone …

Massachusetts Agency Launches Economic Diversification Study

  • June 29, 2015
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The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) has launched an economic diversification study to help the state cope with cutbacks in DOD spending by becoming less dependent on defense contracting. The organization recently was awarded a $400,000 grant from MassDevelopment, a state agency that received a $1.5 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. MassMEP will help companies reposition toward commercial markets, Jack Healy, its president, told the Telegram. A large number of manufacturers providing critical systems to the defense industry will have a difficulty surviving when their customers diminish. The grant also will expand an initiative allowing undergraduates from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to teach a training curriculum to the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Of the about 87,000 jobs in the state supported by the defense industry, 43,000 are direct jobs, Healy said. The 87,000 positions do not include research and development or Small Business Innovation Research grant jobs. The study is expected to be completed in March 2016.

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