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The decision by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to focus the Joining Forces initiative on education, employment, and mental health and wellness, came out of their visits over the past several years with military families. Education is critical concern for military children who are forced to change schools — and deal with problems related to records transfers and inconsistent grade requirements — up to six or seven times over the course of a parent’s military career …READ MORE
Military spending would be a key contributor to President Obama’s plan to reduce the national debt by $4 trillion over the next 12 years, accounting for $400 billion in savings by 2023. The president’s plan, announced in a speech Wednesday, would hold the growth in base defense spending below the rate of inflation …READ MORE
At Wednesday’s hearing of the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, several members asked the witnesses to address the question on everyone’s mind — is anyone inside the Pentagon planning a new BRAC round? Each of the installation chiefs for the services and DOD responded with some version of, “We have not asked Congress to authorize a new round, nor are we considering doing so …READ MORE
New Mexico has offered to lease about 30,000 acres of land outside the Melrose Range to the Air Force as a way to generate more revenue for public schools. The state had planned on purchasing the land with funds allocated by the legislature and donating the parcel to the Air Force …READ MORE
Southern California has been hit particularly hard by the collapse of the housing market with foreclosure rates for eight defense communities in the region ranking among the 20 highest for cities neighboring military installations. Four of those communities are outside Camp Pendleton …READ MORE
Bay County, located on the Florida Panhandle, is considering how to implement a variety of recommendations that would mitigate disputes over land use and other activities with Naval Support Activity Panama City. After completing a joint land use study (JLUS) in record time — nine months — the county has hired a firm to create action plans needed to turn each of the study’s goals into reality …READ MORE
More than one year after Congress first allocated $300 million for projects needed to accommodate the traffic growth associated with the realignment of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, officials in suburban Maryland and Virginia finally should be able to use the funds. In December 2009, the states’ congressional delegations had inserted the funds under the defense health program account as part of the fiscal 2010 defense spending bill …READ MORE
President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden launched a far-reaching campaign Tuesday calling on businesses, individuals, civic and religious groups, and communities to recognize the sacrifices made by service members and their families and to find ways to support them in their day-to-day lives. The Joining Forces initiative will focus on employment, education, and wellness, while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families …READ MORE