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Fort Hood ministry teams care for, counsel Soldiers, families in aftermath of tragedy
In the aftermath of the April 2, 2014, Fort Hood shooting, Chaplains and chaplain assistants coordinated coverage to provide counseling and care to the Army family.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Wounded warriors share bonds with Boston Marathon victims
Staff Sgt. Julio Larrea gazed at a front-page newspaper photo of this year's Boston Marathon, explaining that he and other Soldiers of the Army Wounded Warrior program keep in contact with those injured in last year's marathon.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Shot at point-blank range, Soldier gets back life-saving body armor
Sgt. Timothy Gilboe said he is alive not only because of the armor that stopped a bullet in its tracks, but also because of his squad leader who paid the ultimate price that day in Afghanistan three years ago.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
RDECOM facilitates technology discussions at Alaskan exercise
U.S. Army science advisors partnered with military, federal and state agencies to discuss their technology needs during an emergency response exercise, from March 27 to April 2, 2014.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Combined Resolve II to exercise Army's European Rotational Force
The U.S. Army's European Rotational Force will participate in a major exercise alongside NATO allies and partner-nation forces at the Army's Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in southeastern Germany, May 1-June 30, 2014.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
National Guard supports 2014 Boston Marathon
More than 800 Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island National Guardsmen helped local law enforcement agencies in eight cities and towns to keep the route clear for runners as they hit the road for the 118th Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Corps welcomes first tow of 2014 navigation season to St. Paul, Minn.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District welcomed the first line tow of the 2014 navigation season to St. Paul, Minn., April 16, 2014.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Privatization of Army lodging to benefit wounded warriors
The Staybridge Suites now under construction at Fort Belvoir, Va., is being designed specifically to cater to wounded warriors and their visiting family members.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Burn center addition helps patients acclimate to independent living
Personnel at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center discharged their first patient to use their Activities of Daily Living skills room designed to prepare recovering wounded warriors for independent living, March 27, 2014.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
AFSBn-Italy prepares MRAPs for transfer to Croatia
The Croatian Army received more than two dozen military vehicles from excess Army inventory at a ceremony in Croatia, April 7, 2014.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
 
A Base Realignment and Closure in 2017?
Today’s blog post is from the Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the […]

Today’s blog post is from the Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E).

As the Army reduces and reorganizes over the next five to seven years, it must gauge the current and future installation capacity that will be required for a ready and resilient Army.

The Army, under the direction of Paul Cramer, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Housing and Partnerships, has begun conducting a facility capacity analysis to determine how much excess capacity will be available at the enterprise level, as the Army decrements its end strength.

Hammack, Katherine

Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E)

The analysis of real property is to support an end-strength of 490,000 Active Component (AC) Soldiers (and the accompanying force structure).

Preliminary results indicate that inside the United States, the Army excess capacity ranges between 12 and 28 percent, depending on facility category group, with an average of approximately 18 percent.  This excess capacity totals over 167 million square feet of facilities spread across our installations.

Our estimates are that it costs about $3 per square foot to maintain occupied and/or underutilized facilities, which could cost the Army over $500 million a year in unnecessary operations and maintenance.

For some facility category types, such as small unit headquarters facilities (for example Company Operations Facilities), the Army has facility shortfalls.  We are reviewing our requirements with an eye towards finding practical, efficient solutions that meet Soldier needs and which we as an Army can afford.

Additional excess capacity will be created if the AC shrinks further, below 490,000, necessitating incremental facility capacity analyses.

We are working also to confirm our excess capacity overseas; our current focus is in the European area of responsibility.

A year ago, the Secretary of Defense directed the conduct of a European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) review for the specific purpose of reducing “expenses by eliminating excess capacity in Europe while ensuring our remaining base structure supports our operational requirements and strategic needs.”

A team led by Mark Rocke, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Strategic Integration is fully engaged in the conduct of this review.  We are employing the principles of capacity and military value analysis, developed originally for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), to guide our work.

Our target date to complete the DoD and Army analysis and evaluation is Spring 2014.  Current Army Capacity Analysis reflects 10 to 15 percent of excess capacity in Europe.

The Army has been downsizing our footprint in both Europe and Asia for many years in the post-Cold War era.  Since 2006, Army end strength in Europe has declined 45 percent, and we are on track to shrink the supporting infrastructure, overhead, and operating budgets by over 50 percent.  Similarly in Korea, the Army decreased the number of Soldiers by about a third (10,000 Soldiers) and is on pace to shrink our acreage and site footprint by about half.

Overseas, the Army has the tools and authorities we need to identify and reduce excess capacity.  Inside the United States, however, the best and proven way to address excess and shortfalls in facility requirements in a cost-effective and fair manner is through the BRAC Commission process.

The Army continues to need additional BRAC authorization to reduce excess infrastructure effectively.  As the Army’s end strength and force structure decline alongside its available funding, hundreds of millions of dollars will be wasted maintaining underutilized buildings and infrastructure.  Trying to spread a smaller budget over the same number of installations and facilities will inevitably result in rapid decline in the overall condition of Army facilities.

Without a future round of BRAC, the Army will be constrained in closing or realigning installations to reduce overhead.  This “empty space tax” on our warfighters will simply result in cuts to capabilities elsewhere in the budget.

The President’s request to authorize another round of BRAC is fully supported by the Army.  The Army has the authority to close and realign U.S. installations outside the BRAC process as long as the Congressional notification thresholds detailed in 10 USC §2687 are not triggered.  Historically, however, the Army and Congress together have concluded that using non-BRAC authority to address excess infrastructure is not as transparent or economically advantageous to local communities.

In total, the Army has disposed of almost 224,000 acres (75 percent of the total acreage disposal requirement of 297,000 acres), from prior BRAC rounds with approximately 73,000 acres (25 percent) remaining.  The current goal is for all remaining excess property to be conveyed by 2021.  Placing this property into productive reuse helps communities rebuild the local tax base, generate revenue, and, most importantly, replace lost jobs.

Community Benefits

BRAC-impacted communities have leveraged planning grants and technical assistance from the DoD Office of Economic Assistance (OEA), as well as BRAC property disposal authorities, to adjust in ways that are often not possible outside the BRAC process.

The Newport Chemical Depot in Vermillion County, Indiana was closed during the BRAC 2005 round, and successfully completed the property transfer process for 7,236 acres in a relatively short period of time.  This allowed the surrounding rural community to remain focused on redevelopment, and reduced the Army’s caretaker costs.  In 2013, Scott Pet Products, Inc., a pet supply manufacturer, opened a 50,000-square foot manufacturing and distribution facility on this closed installation, and plans to expand there, which will create new jobs.  Newport Pallet Inc. moved into an 80,000-square foot building at the site in 2010, and the General Machine and Saw Company announced plans in February 2013 to move into facilities at the re designated Vermillion Rise Mega Park.

At Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, another BRAC 2005 closure site, the Army has started transferring property to return it to productive re-use.  Construction crews are progressing ahead of schedule on a new 275,000-square foot facility to expand the capacity of the software data storage firm, CommVault.  This is the first of several planned expansions by CommVault, with the potential to create over 1,500 jobs.  The Army successfully transferred the old Paterson Army Health Clinic parcel in September 2013.  The Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) will sell it to a healthcare provider (AcuteCare).  Locally-stated plans will create up to 200 new jobs, invest approximately $15 million in renovations, and will enable the LRA to avoid about $1 million in planned demolition expenses.

The Army BRAC team, lead by IE&E and ACSIM, will have the dual mission of ensuring mission effectiveness while reducing operating costs.  We know that transforming the U.S. military into a more efficient, more effective and more adaptable operation is a large task.  Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told lawmakers “ A new round of base closures would focus on saving money and likely would cost about $6 billion.  We’ll save $2 billion a year in perpetuity, and if we don’t do that, we’re basically wasting $2 billion a year” Hale said.

I am confident that, once authorized by Congress, BRAC 2017 will be a success.


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:56:17 +0000
 
Ready for a jump

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Ready for a jump

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo -- After a successful static line airborne jump from a UH-60 Black Hawk, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Cisneros, a paratrooper with 2nd Battalion, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and a native of Round Rock, Texas, gathers his parachute at Camp Bondsteel, April 15. This is the first airborne jump that has happened in Kosovo in a decade. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Cody Barber)


Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:52:04 -0700
Air Assault

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Air Assault

An AH-64 Apache operated by the U.S. Army's 4th Battalion, 227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, and Royal Saudi Land Forces personnel from 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Group, takes off at the start of a practice air assault during Exercise Friendship and Iron Hawk 14 on April 12, 2014, near Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. Iron Hawk and Friendship 14 involved U.S. Army forces from the 42nd CAB, New York Army National Guard, and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and Saudi Arabian ground and aviation forces. Over weeks of practice the two militaries focused on improving their joint operating capabilities, integrating infantry, armor and aviation assets from both countries in the final event on April 13, 2014. The 42nd CAB, composed of National Guardsmen from New York, Michigan, Delaware, Indiana, and Kentucky, and soldiers from 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, are currently deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and conducting joint partnerships and exchanges with nations from across the region. (N.Y. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Harley Jelis/Released)


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:11:58 -0700
Airborne Jump

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Airborne Jump

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo -- Making the first airborne jump in Kosovo for over a decade, Paratroopers with 2nd Battalion, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, land at a drop zone on Camp Bondsteel, April 15. The troops conducted several "lifts" so all Soldiers could maintain proficiencies in airborne exercises. (Photo by Sgt. Cody Barber, 11th Public Affairs Detachment)


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:51:09 -0700
Incline

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Incline

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - U.S. Army Sgt. Raymond A. Acevedo, a cannon crewmember with 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), navigates the Incline Wall, April 9, 2014, during the brigade's last Best Squad Competition.

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)


Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:14:43 -0700
Training to defend

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Training to defend

U.S. Army Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division keep watch from a fighting position at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., April 18, 2014. The Soldiers were conducting defensive operations as part of a decisive action training environment exercise.

(Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Klutts, 20th Public Affairs Detachment)


Mon, 21 Apr 2014 12:12:00 -0700
 
COLA to decrease for service members in Germany
The Cost Of Living Allowance is scheduled to decrease for many service members in Germany starting May 16, 2014.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Top NCOs change out at JMRC
Command Sgt. Maj. Nicholas A. Rolling assumes responsibility as JMRC command sergeant major.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Wiesbaden focuses on SHARP, ASAP during stand-down event
WIESBADEN, Germany - Stand-up comedy, slapstick humor and a healthy dose of insightful information -- but no Power Point presentations -- made for an impactful Ready and Resilient Campaign event April 16. The stand-down focused on sexual harassment and assault and substance abuse prevention.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Combined Resolve II to exercise Army's European Rotational Force
The U.S. Army's European Rotational Force will participate in a major exercise alongside NATO allies and partner-nation forces at the Army's Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in southeastern Germany, May 1-June 30, 2014.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
AFSBn-Italy prepares MRAPs for transfer to Croatia
The Croatian Army received more than two dozen military vehicles from excess Army inventory at a ceremony in Croatia, April 7, 2014.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
US, Romanian MPs train for combined operations
U.S. and Romanian military police conducted combined training at the passenger terminal on Mihail Kogalniceanu Airbase April 15.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
After 10 years, paratroopers soar in Kosovo
Ending what has been over a decade-long absence, Multinational Battle Group-East paratroopers took to the skies in Kosovo, April 15, 2014.
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Mission plus: New York National Guard troops maximize time for lasting impact
New York National Guard engineer troops raised walls and standards during their three-week annual training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany in March. Originally assigned to construct one multi-use building in the training area, 80 Soldiers of the 1156th Engineer Company literally built above and beyond, raising two buildings and wiring them to boot. The engineer Soldiers, along with two airmen from the New York Air National Guard, went to Hohenfels as part of a Troop Construction Program (TCP).
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
U.S. Army Europe aviators train with Dutch, Hungarian partners
VARPALOTA TRAINING AREA, Hungary --- Soldiers from U.S. Army Europe's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade spent the past two weeks here, training alongside their multinational partners from two Dutch air assault battalions and Hungarian forces during exercise Saker Falcon. The exercise wrapped up April 17.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
WWII B-17 crew member returns to crash site
"You're not getting any flak; you're not getting any fighters. You're just hurrying back home, that's all it amounts too," Troy Hollar said while at Chièvres Air Base, the very base where flak batteries brought down his B-17 on April 13, 1944.
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
 
Camp Zama's community members share "Aloha"
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (April 22, 2014) -- Nineteen volunteers from the Camp Zama community traveled nearly 300 miles to Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture on April 19 to host a Hawaiian party called "luau" for the local residents, who survived the Great East Japan earthquake, here.
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
19th ESC competes for Army's Top Dining Facility title
CAMP WALKER, SOUTH KOREA-- The 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command's Mountain Inn dining facility competed for the Army's Top Dining Facility title during the 46th annual Philip A. Connelly competition April 11, here, at Camp Walker.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Battle against sexual assault begins at top
Measures to battle the "insidious" crime of sexual assault must start at the top, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today during a visit to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network to meet with the staff and receive a briefing on the Safe Helpline set up three years ago for sexual assault victims in the Defense Department.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
18th MEDCOM (DS) focuses on important topics during family fun run, walk
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii--The 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support) raised awareness of the Health Promotion and Risk Reduction/ Suicide team, the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program, and the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General's performance triad with a Family fun run, walk on Fort Shafter, April 12, 2014. This event was a fun way to inform Soldiers and Family members about Army programs and resources available to them.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
USARPAC commander joins Pacific leaders for conference in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- General Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General joined Pacific leaders at the second annual 2014 Defense Services Asia Exhibition and Conference, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 14 through 17.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
April is National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month
Across the United States, April is recognized as National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month. The Department of Defense is committed to moving toward a culture free of sexual assault and encourages all members of the military and civilians within the Department to follow the theme: "Live Our Values: Step Up To Stop Sexual Assault."
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
210th FA Bde. Soldiers participate in Best Warrior Competition
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- Soldiers from 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division compete in the division Best Warrior Competition April 8th on Camp Casey, South Korea. The five-day event includes a day and night land navigation course, a question and answer board, and combat fitness tests set to challenge the Soldiers physically and mentally. All four Soldiers from the 210th FA Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., won the competition.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- Soldiers from 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division attend the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Proclamation Signing Ceremony April 9th on Camp Casey, South Korea. During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Thomas Vandal, from Rhode Island, the 2nd Inf. Div. commander, and Lt. Col. Priscella McIver, from Newark, N.J., the Equal Opportunity and Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Program manager for Area 1 and 3 talked about the importance of the program.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Gen. Paik Sun-yup Board winners meet the man himself
YONGSAN, South Korea -- Four Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army Soldiers from 2nd Infantry Division, Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano, the senior enlisted advisor for the 2nd Inf. Div., and Command Sgt. Maj. Jeong Woo-jin, the Republic of Korea Army Support Group senior enlisted advisor for the 2nd Inf. Div., visit retired Gen. Paik Sun-yup April 15 in Yongsan, South Korea. The four KATUSA Soldiers, who won the Gen. Paik Sun-yup Board March 20, got to meet the Korean War hero and living legend in person.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
Community volunteers give Tripler Fisher House a fresh look
Brig. Gen. Dennis Doyle, Commanding General of Pacific Regional Medical Command and Tripler Army Medical Center, along with spouse, Lisa Doyle, say thank you to community volunteers who painted Tripler's Fisher House One, a "home away from home" for military families and patients receiving medical care, on Saturday April 19, 2014.
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 00:00:00 EDT
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