• Outsourcing, Mission Changes to Shape Installation of the Future

    Outsourcing, Mission Changes to Shape Installation of the Future1

    The Army’s real property footprint can be expected to evolve incrementally as past decisions about the role of the service’s installations continue to exert a critical influence on its infrastructure, according to an appendix in the Army’s new strategic framework for supporting its installation requirements. But several changes already are shaping the installation of the future, starting with a trend toward greater outsourcing for both installation and mission support activities. The extent to which an installation can rely on the surrounding community for support services — including housing, childcare, recreation and retail — will depend on local conditions …

  • Nonprofit Builds Lake Trail for Military Families at Naval Station Mayport0

    Starting next month, sailors and their families living at Naval Station Mayport will be able to enjoy the first phase of a community-led project to enhance access to a lake at the center of a housing development at the Jacksonville base. The $1.4 million project is the brainchild of Sharon Ellis, who started True Blue: Navy Families Benefactors in 2012 to improve the quality of life for Navy families. When the project is complete, there will be a mile-long paved walkway circling the lake, a canoe and kayak launch on the dock, and a concrete path and pavilion near a newly built playground on the lake’s west side …

  • ‘Could Scott Air Force Base Just Fly Away?’

    ‘Could Scott Air Force Base Just Fly Away?’0

    An editorial in the Belleville News-Democrat laments the stark possibility that Scott Air Force Base, Ill., could be shuttered in a future BRAC round. That potential outcome is particularly sobering given the level of dedication the base’s southwestern Illinois neighbors have shown it. “It is nice to the airmen. It makes sure the schools are top-notch to educate the military children and fixed the state system that ensured their class credits followed them. It has a healthy housing stock and worked to resolve property tax issues when base housing was developed by a private company …

  • Partnerships, Trimming Facilities Footprint Are Keys for New ACSIM

    Partnerships, Trimming Facilities Footprint Are Keys for New ACSIM0

    Unsurprisingly, many of the priorities of Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the Army’s new assistant chief of staff for installation management, are focused on ways to cope with severe funding constraints. One of her priorities is carrying out the Army’s ongoing “Reduce the Footprint” initiative, an effort to cut the overall cost of maintaining infrastructure by eliminating excess facilities. The Army spends an estimated $450 million to $500 million annually maintaining underused facilities, reports the Army News Service. “Right now we are in fiscally-constrained times. So being able to garner back dollars on reducing excess infrastructure is important,” Bingham said. “If you could imagine recouping that amount of money every year, and think about how we can invest that in the readiness of our soldiers — that’s huge …

  • House Chairman, Military Family Advocates Bicker over Changes to Commissary Operations0

    Variable pricing, and not privatization, may be the tool that helps military grocery stores operate without government subsidies, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), chairman of the House Armed Services’ Military Personnel Subcommittee, said Wednesday during a hearing on possible changes to the commissary system. “It’s what every grocery chain does across the country,” said Heck, reported Stars and Stripes. Variable pricing would allow commissaries to adjust product pricing depending on the region where they are sold. The stores now are required to sell items at cost, plus a 5 percent surcharge that is used primarily for construction and renovation of stores …

  • Army Embraces Credentialing to Provide Soldiers a Boost during Transition0

    Participation in the Army credentialing program has continued to grow over the past several years, helping soldiers leverage their training and experience for licenses and certifications that will ease their transition into civilian careers. In an effort to boost the employment options for separating personnel, the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command has begun linking credentialing opportunities to every military occupational specialty in the service, reported Army Times. In 2014, about 20,000 soldiers earned credentials in 65 specialties …