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Posts Tagged ‘mission support/community partnerships’

Governor’s Council Calls for Greater Engagement with California Installations, Communities

  • June 28, 2015
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California officials need to step up their support for military missions in the state by strengthening ties with installations and their host communities, according to a report the Governor’s Military Council released last week. Beyond committing to a sustained focus on California’s 30-plus installations, the state also should focus support to related national security activities, including the aerospace industry, defense contractors, federal laboratories and homeland security missions. DOD spends about $70 billion annually in California and employs 360,000 Californians throughout the state. “California plays an essential role in our national defense,” said Ellen Tauscher, chair of the council. “Our military’s most important testing and training ranges are located here and as defense strategy shifts to the Pacific Region and embraces new technologies, California has become more important than ever to national security …

Ohio Lawmakers Approve $5M for Military Facilities Commission

  • June 28, 2015
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The Ohio Legislature last week passed a two-year state budget with $5 million to invest in infrastructure projects at the state’s military facilities. The funds, which would create an Ohio Military Facilities Commission, are aimed at strengthening the state’s installations ahead of a looming BRAC round. “This prepares us for the inevitable consolidations and opportunities that we know are going to come up,” state Rep. Rick Perales (R) told the Dayton Business Journal. The funds would go to projects at installations across Ohio, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Rickenbacker airport in Columbus and Air National Guard bases in Springfield and Mansfield …

Army Monitoring Performance of Local Schools, Report Warns

  • June 26, 2015
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Differences in school quality and student performance could be a significant selection criteria if the Army has an opportunity to recommend installations for closure, warns a new report from the Stimson Center directed at Army communities. “States and communities should consider the connection between education standards and basing decisions as part of the larger context for their education policies even though the Army’s level of priority on this issue and its plan for engaging with Congress are uncertain,” concludes the report, The Army Goes to School: The Connection between K-12 Education Standards and the Military-Base Economy. Over 300,000 children of active-duty service members in the Army are affected by educational standards which vary wildly from one school to the next …

Support Group Spearheads Initiative to Raise Quality of Schools near Ft. Polk

  • June 26, 2015
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After Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno warned governors in October 2013 that school performance would affect the service’s future stationing decisions, Fort Polk Progress responded by forming, leading and integrating a broad and ambitious initiative to improve public school outside the Louisiana post. Fort Polk Progress, a regional community organization that supports Fort Polk’s continued presence in Vernon Parish, used its experience in collaborating with local, state and federal partners to acquire funding for its education initiative and to bring its many partners into the fold. The partnership includes the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, the Vernon Parish School District, and a variety of state agencies, educational institutions and businesses …

Army, Air Force Not Currently Planning to Bypass BRAC

  • June 24, 2015
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Despite threats from the Obama administration to resort to alternative options if Congress fails to approve its request for a new BRAC round, the Air Force and Army have no immediate plans to rely on a rarely used authority to close or realign bases outside of a BRAC round, installation officials said Tuesday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Before taking a step to use 10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687, the Air Force would wait for direction from the Defense Department, said Col. Jonathan Webb, director of Air Force Installations Planning. It wouldn’t be prudent to sidestep the BRAC process, Webb said …

Army Postpones Restructuring Announcement

  • June 23, 2015
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The Army’s announcement as to what units and organizations will be eliminated to comply with spending caps prompting the service to shrink its active-duty end strength to 450,000, and possibly to 420,000, has been postponed, officials revealed Monday at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. “I expect it within the next month,” Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost, the service’s chief of public affairs, told representatives from Army communities anxiously awaiting the pending announcement. When the announcement is made, officials will first inform a variety of affected groups, including Congress and communities, in a 24-hour period before they publicly release the news …

BRAC Round Inevitable, Experts Say

  • June 23, 2015
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Congress is likely to approve a new round of base closures within five years, as BRAC is not the political third rail it’s frequently described as, Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said Monday at the opening general session of the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. While lawmakers are naturally disinclined against authorizing the Pentagon to close additional installations, the consequences of DOD’s worsening budget situation should help persuade Congress that a BRAC round is needed, Eaglen told more than 500 Summit attendees. The Budget Control Act caps have resulted in deteriorating readiness levels for the military, an indication of less frequent training and lower spending on facility maintenance, she explained …

OEA Plans to Support Communities Coping with Downsizing

  • June 23, 2015
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With more than a dozen communities experiencing downsizing at neighboring military installations over the past several years and further cuts in personnel looming, DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment is planning to offer financial assistance and other support to affected communities. The agency plans to issue an announcement next month in the Federal Register soliciting communities to apply for grants to address personnel reductions — including military and civilian — of at least 2,000 at local installations, OEA Director Patrick O’Brien said Monday during the OEA Town Hall session at the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Communities would be eligible if they suffered the cuts over the past three years or are slated to absorb them over the next three years …

Ohio Air Reserve Station to Help Neighbor Demolish Vacant Properties

  • June 23, 2015
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Within the next month, reservists from Youngstown Air Reserve Station in northeast Ohio will help the city of Youngstown tear down 11 vacant homes. The partnership, an initiative under the Air Force Community Partnership program, will provide the city with the labor to perform the demolitions, while providing the airmen with experience they may not receive otherwise. “They do everything from HVAC to electrical, to plumbing and carpentry. This is an opportunity for them to operate heavy equipment, get training in equipment they might not normally see at the Air Reserve Station,” said Col. James Dignan, 910th Airlift Wing commander …

Monterey Steps up Effort to Defend Area Installations

  • June 19, 2015
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The city of Monterey, Calif., on Tuesday approved a contract to hire a Washington-area consultant to craft a strategy to prevent possible closure of the Presidio of Monterey or the Naval Postgraduate School. “The need will almost inevitably arise when we need to defend these institutions,” said Deputy City Manager Dino Pick, who led the effort to hire Public Private Solutions Group. David Spauer, the county’s economic development director, also supported the proposal before the city council. “This first and essential step is extremely necessary,” Spauer said, reported the Monterey Herald. “When [the analysis] is completed, it will set the groundwork we will need to talk to the Navy, to the Pentagon, other legislators, on the strength of our area and our assets …

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