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The effort by Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) to pass a full-year fiscal 2011 defense spending bill separately came to an end Monday after the Senate voted to cut off debate on a patent reform bill. The vote, to invoke cloture, shuts down debate on unrelated amendments, meaning that Collins’ amendment could not be brought to the Senate floor for a vote …READ MORE
As the 2005 BRAC round nears its conclusion, apprehension as to when, or if, a new base closure round will be held is growing in many defense communities across the nation. To date, no official with the power to request a new round or authorize one has said he or she is contemplating doing just that. Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, in response to a question Tuesday from the Huntsville Times editorial board, said he has not heard any talk about a new round …READ MORE
By the end of the month, the Federal Aviation Administration’s new command center at Vint Hill, in Fauquier County, Va., should be fully staffed and operational, adding 270 employees to the former Vint Hill Farms Station. The center — officially the Air Traffic Control System Command Center — oversees the nation’s air traffic control system and balances air traffic demand with system capacity …READ MORE
The federal government is spending billions of dollars to operate thousands of excess and underutilized properties, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In fiscal 2009, 24 federal agencies including DOD reported 45,190 underutilized buildings that cost $1.7 billion to operate annually …READ MORE
A community advocacy group is urging the Navy to clean up soil and groundwater contamination to state standards before turning over property slated for redevelopment at the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth outside of Boston. A consultant hired by the group concluded that the Navy’s base cleanup reports were accurate, but pushed for the Navy to adopt state guidelines, rather than the less stringent standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) …READ MORE
The population of Geary County, home to Fort Riley, jumped 23 percent over the past 10 years, making it the fastest growing county in Kansas. Two other counties in northeastern Kansas surrounding the post, Riley and Pottawatomie, also experienced significant population gains from 2000 to 2010, benefiting from new personnel moving to Riley as well as an expansion at Kansas State University. Additional growth will result from construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan …READ MORE
The independent advisory panel the White House proposed last week to help slash Uncle Sam’s real estate holdings would assess the entire inventory of federal civilian real property and recommend operational efficiencies to improve management of federal property. The Civilian Property Realignment Board would be modeled after past BRAC commissions; military installations, however, would be beyond its jurisdiction, according to additional details included in the 2012 budget request President Obama released last month. The panel, which would be composed of seven members appointed by the president, would review recommendations provided by federal agencies …READ MORE
Construction is scheduled to start shortly at Redstone Arsenal on the first building at Redstone Gateway, a 468-acre, 4.6 million square-foot office, retail and hotel complex being developed under the Army’s enhanced use leasing (EUL) program. The 15-year build-out plan for the project — led by Columbia, Md.-based Corporate Office Properties Trust and Montgomery, Ala.-based Jim Wilson and Associates — calls for completing 48 buildings outside the installation’s gates and 11 secure buildings inside the arsenal’s perimeter. The Gateway project is slated to be the Army’s largest EUL effort …READ MORE