• Defense Bill Would Impose Limits on European Infrastructure Consolidation0

    Congress intends to reconsider the Pentagon’s plan to downsize its European footprint in light of Russia’s aggressive stance toward the West. The final version of the fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill calls for DOD to craft a strategy for stationing more troops in Europe on a permanent basis, an effort that will require officials to assess the capacity of existing locations and potential new sites, and to reevaluate locations slated to be divested under the European Infrastructure Consolidation initiative …

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  • Compromise Defense Bill Would Expand Army by 8,500 Soldiers

    Compromise Defense Bill Would Expand Army by 8,500 Soldiers0

    The armed forces would add more than 20,000 personnel, including 7,500 active-duty soldiers, under the $692 billion fiscal 2018 defense authorization bill hashed out by House and Senate negotiators. Last week’s conference agreement includes $626.4 billion in the defense base budget, which exceeds the spending cap permitted under the Budget Control Act by nearly $78 billion, raising the question as to whether all of the plans in the annual policy bill will be funded in the defense appropriations bill …

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  • DOD Outlines Process for LRAs to Request Protection under Environmental Statute

    DOD Outlines Process for LRAs to Request Protection under Environmental Statute0

    The Defense Department has proposed a rule outlining the process for local redevelopment authorities (LRAs), owners and others in control of BRAC sites to request legal representation from DOD according to a federal statute intended to protect them from liability for undiscovered contamination. The proposed rule, published in the Dec. 7 Federal Register, stems from Section 330 of the 1993 defense authorization act, which indemnifies owners of former military base property from lawsuits, judgements and other actions arising out of claims for personal injury or property damage. To date, the statute primarily has been relied on by LRAs and their insurers to recover damages from the military after they encounter previously unknown contamination …

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  • Compromise Defense Policy Bill Would Boost Force Levels

    Compromise Defense Policy Bill Would Boost Force Levels0

    The House and Senate Armed Services committees have settled on a compromise fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill that would halt planned cuts in the end strength of the Army, Air Force and Marines in the coming year, while jettisoning several provisions that were likely to draw a presidential veto. The conference report likely will be filed today. The House is expected to vote on the agreement Friday, and the Senate is expected to take it up next week, reported Military Times. Perhaps the most far-reaching impact of the legislation for defense communities is its rejection of the Pentagon’s plans to reduce the size of the Army and Marine Corps …

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  • House Leadership’s Support for Sage Grouse Provision Frustrates Policy Bill Negotiations

    House Leadership’s Support for Sage Grouse Provision Frustrates Policy Bill Negotiations0

    The greater sage grouse, a black and brown grassland bird whose habitat encompasses parts of 11 western states, has taken on an oversized role in House-Senate negotiations over a conference agreement for the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill. The House’s Republican leadership is insisting the compromise bill retain language from the House version barring the sage grouse from being placed on the endangered species list through 2025 even though the issue is only loosely connected to the use of military training grounds. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said he would not allow the final version of the annual defense policy to be considered on the chamber floor without that provision, in a bid to protect energy, mining and ranching interests, reports Defense News …

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