• Support Group Spearheads Initiative to Raise Quality of Schools near Ft. Polk0

    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 …

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  • Lawmakers Honor Top Defense Communities, Leaders at ADC Awards Ceremony0

    Defense communities and their leaders take enormous pride in hosting and partnering with military installations, service members, military families and veterans. They also work hard to preserve the legacy and sustain economic growth when the mission or force structure at a local base changes. These communities, installations and leaders were represented among the recipients of the 2015 Defense Community Awards, who were honored during a special ceremony on Capitol Hill Wednesday, the final day of the 2015 Defense Communities National Summit. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) honored Louisiana and Fort Polk Progress, which won the Community Excellence Award for its long record of support for the Army and Fort Polk. “The state has spent over $25 million to fund the Fort Polk regional growth management plan, which has promoted new housing, retail and dining options for soldiers and their families …

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  • Kaine Lends a Hand to Separating Veterans0

    During his first term in the Senate, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) has made reducing unemployment among veterans, especially Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans, a personal mission. His first legislation, the 2013 Troop Talent Act, established new standards to help active-duty service members attain civilian credentials for military skills to assist their transition into the workforce. Kaine serves on the Armed Services Committee, a post has used to secure key Virginia priorities in the past two defense bills, including the refueling and overhaul of the Norfolk-based USS George Washington in the fiscal 2015 authorization bill …

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  • Blunt Shows Unwavering Support for Missouri Installations, Military Veterans0

    Sen. Roy Blunt has tirelessly supported Missouri’s role vital role in the nation’s defense during his first term in the Senate, as he has fought to sustain and expand missions at each of the state’s military installations. Blunt championed several key state defense priorities as part of the 2014 omnibus spending agreement, including $337 million to keep the Air Force’s A-10 fleet flying at Whiteman Air Force Base and elsewhere, and $1.46 billion to build 15 new Growler aircraft in St. Louis. He also worked to preserve the Missouri National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing training base in St. Joseph and the Army Aviation Flight Activity and the Missouri National Guard Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot, which are co-located in Springfield …

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  • Levesque Has Led Transformation of Shuttered Air Station into Thriving Business Mecca0

    Steve Levesque’s determination to tap into Americans’ entrepreneurial spirit and help a community develop a strategy to deal with the loss of a major employer turned what could have been a devastating economic blow into a major opportunity. As executive director of the Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority, Levesque was charged with preparing a master plan for the redevelopment of Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, once it closed. Since 2008, he has been executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, and has led the implementation and oversight of that master plan and guided the once-bustling installation toward civilian reuse …

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  • JBLM Commander Reaches outside Installation to Ease Transition for Service Members0

    One of the most challenging turning points in a service member’s career is making the transition from active duty to civilian life. The prospect is not unlike choosing — or being compelled — to shed a familiar, comfortable, even protective, skin, to assume a strange new one that is in no way guaranteed to be a smooth fit. To help military personnel at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., prepare to meet this challenge, Col. H. Charles Hodges Jr., the installation’s commander, has worked to develop resources and cultivate contacts in the surrounding community and at the state and federal levels that separating personnel can tap to pursue private or government job training and career opportunities …

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