Department of Defense

Lawmaker fights to stop wind farms

August 25, 2018

 
Wind farm. Allies for Cherry Point's Tomorrow.

From Lauren Ohnesorge of Triangle Business Journal:

NC Senator Harry Brown, representing Jones and Onslow Counties, believes wind turbines can have an adverse effect on the state’s military bases.

Bulldozers through cornfields, cranes erecting 5-story metal cylinders and turbine blades the length of tanker trucks: It’s the fear of Sen. Harry Brown (R-Jones, Onslow) and a handful of others who worked for years to get the wind martorium – which expires December 31 – in place.

Asked to articulate his fears, Brown says they surround BRAC – Base Realignment and Consolidation. The military is streamlining, he says, and looking for “reasons” to consolidate. A turbine impacting a training flight path could give them one, hence his support of a moratorium to study the issue.

But the military, at least publicly, has said the existing process – which requires a green light from the Department of Defense – is enough.

Right now, there’s just one utility-scale wind farm spinning in the state. The 104-turbine project, developed by Avangrid, spins near Elizabeth City, creating power for Amazon.

Drew Ball, director of the Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center, says North Carolina should be scrambling to get more. Ball says other developers are interested, but are stymied by the moratorium.

But, Brown says, “If you live in North Carolina, it’s agriculture and military – that’s our economy. If you don’t protect those two things, well I don’t know what eastern North Carolina will look like.”

Brown says retired generals and other officers, many of whom he claims have reached out in private, fear turbines would devalue bases. He declines to name names.

“They, for a while, had pretty much a gag order – I hate to say it that way, but it’s the truth – to say anything negative about alternative energy,” he says.

One many who denies that characterization is retired Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, former assistant secretary for energy, installations and the environment with the US Navy.

“We have an open, transparent, objective process that is tried and true,” he says. “I told this to the senators that I met last month in Raleigh. …It isn’t zero sum. It isn’t military bases or wind farms.”

Retired Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, also denies there’s any kind of gag order.

Castellaw says, “We need alternative energy as an element of our national security. …It’s not just about somebody trying to make money. What it’s about also is contributing to the energy portfolio of America and to the security that the energy portfolio provides.”

 

ACT Joins Effort to Pass DOD Off-Base Infrastructure Grant Program

April 13, 2018

 

HAVELOCK, NC, April 13, 2018 — Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) is excited to announce the organization will join other defense community representatives in a newly-formed group: The Federal Outreach & Advisory Committee (FOAC). This committee, created by the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) will monitor federal policies and opportunities and how they could impact the military. Through this relationship, MCAS Cherry Point and the surrounding area could see enhancements in schools, roads, and infrastructure. 

The ADC is currently recommending that Congress create a new authority within the Department of Defense (DoD) to aid in the funding of off-base infrastructure projects with the goal of enhancing installations’ military value while also improving the quality of life for service members and their families and civilian employees.

“This committee is comprised of 12 defense community representatives from across the nation nominated by the President of the ADC Board,” said Marc Finlayson, Managing Consultant of ACT. “We were hand-picked to offer our ideas and assistance in this effort and truly consider it an honor. We’re looking forward to our first meeting in June.”

The ADC believes that with ACT’s previous advocacy efforts, strong relationships with North Carolina’s Congressional delegation, and work backed by the Cherry Point community, the proposal will find favor in Congress.

The FOAC is proposing the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment implement a grant program open to states, counties, municipalities, and regional entities who submit proposals for off-base improvements that will boost productivity, quality of life, and military value.

Proposed projects would be evaluated on multiple criteria with a primary focus on military value, including priority of the mission, and the project’s impact on installation resiliency, including electricity, drinking water, or access by military and civilian personnel. Other evaluation criteria would include: Impact on families’ quality of life; overall value to the community; ratio of public and private funding; and a region’s needs relative to available resources.

Resources outside a base fence line can be hard to come by. While some federal programs provide aid for local infrastructure needs, none (including the Federal-Aid Highway Program) have a space dedicated to supporting military readiness. Currently, states and communities bear the burden of financing off-base infrastructure projects. If local funding is not available, vital projects are abandoned. This new authority would place an installations’ off-base infrastructure needs on par with on-base (military construction) requirements.

Our military relies on a complex network of roads, buildings, facilities, and utilities—both on and off-base—to provide critical training and power-projection platforms needed to protect our nation. ACT is proud to join ADC in bringing these DoD grants to life in an effort to maintain our nation’s competitive and preparedness edge.

About Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow

Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow (ACT) advocates for the existence and success of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Fleet Readiness Center East and its civilian enterprises. Board members include leaders from Craven, Carteret, Pamlico, and Jones Counties who work closely with Congressional and legislative delegations to push for laws and budget appropriations that will help preserve and grow MCAS Cherry Point—a base crucial to the success of the U.S. military and the economy of the region. For more information, call (252) 631-5021 or visit www.alliesforcherrypoint.com.   

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DOD Official Broaches Prospect of Extending Military Assignments

December 27, 2017

 

Long-standing military practices, such as the one requiring military personnel and their families to relocate every two or three years, are outdated and inhibit retention, Robert Wilkie, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said last week during a visit to Fort Bragg, N.C. Frequent moves limit the careers of military spouses, require children to transfer schools and are a “tremendous strain” on the defense budget, said Wilkie, who is the first individual to be confirmed for his position since 2015. The policy was created at a time when few service members had families, Wilkie said, reported the Fayetteville Observer. “Today, 70 percent have families.”

Upending the current system would be part of a larger cultural shift and, so far, no changes have been agreed upon, he said. DOD also is taking a closer look at the support it provides families through childcare, health care and other programs, Wilkie said. >>READ MORE

 

NC Defense Industry Diversification Initiative Launches Website

July 24, 2017

 

Raleigh, NC, July, 24th, 2017 – The North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and NC State’s University’s Industry Expansion Solutions, proudly announces the launch of the North Carolina Defense Industry Diversification Initiative (NC DIDI) website. www.NCDIDI.com

Are you a North Carolina Company receiving DoD Contracts as Prime or Subprime Contractor? If so go online today to:

  • Apply for a chance to be accepted into  the Pilot Project aimed at Expanding and Diversifying NC Firms whose portfolios were affected by DoD Contract Reductions
  • Learn about the Impact of DoD Contracts in NC
  • Discover the valuable resources and publications available to DoD Contractors in NC
  • Learn about Taking the NC DIDI Supply Chain Study Survey

In a proactive response to changes in federal defense budgets the North Carolina Defense Industry Diversification Initiative (DIDI) was created. The initiative is being managed through a partnership of  NC State Industry Expansion Solutions and theNorth Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The goal is to understand, support, and respond to the needs of North Carolina’s defense businesses at the state level.

Awarded in April 2017, this program is funded through a $1.9 million grant from the United State Department of Defense (DoD)Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).  North Carolina will use the grant from the DoD to devise a plan to help lessen the impacts of defense cuts resulting from the 2011 Budget Control Act. Data on defense spending collected by the DoD OEA for Fiscal Year 2015 show that prime defense contracting activity in North Carolina has decreased by more than $1 billion since 2011.

In commenting on the grant, Governor Roy Cooper said “We’re proud to be the most military-friendly state in the nation and recognize that the businesses and people supporting our men and women in uniform are an economic engine across North Carolina. Therefore, it is crucial that we take steps to create jobs and encourage businesses to grow throughout our military communities.”

“North Carolina is proud to be the home to so many businesses and people who work to support our military,” Secretary Larry Hall said. “The defense sector is the second largest driver for North Carolina’s economy, and this grant can help these businesses find new ways to thrive in our state.”

The NC Defense Industry Diversification Initiative will conduct an analysis with the goal of helping vulnerable companies pursue alternative markets or find other methods to reduce their dependence on the DoD and, in doing so, lessen economic risk to the state. The initiative seeks to ensure that the defense supply chain remains robust, so that it is able to quickly absorb sudden high demands from Department of Defense agencies.

The NC DIDI Pilot Project is open for application submissions until September 1st, 2017.  Applications as well as criteria for the Pilot Project can be found on the website at www.NCDIDI.com.

 

F35 Helmet, Ahead of Our Time

November 19, 2016

 

When the DoD launched the acquisition process for the revolutionary multi-service, multi-role, single seat, single engine strike fighter aircraft known as the F-35 Lightning II, they envisioned a common platform across three variants that ultimately invigorated the defense industry world-wide, creating an influx of new technologies — notably the F-35 helmet.

A vital element of the F-35’s unprecedented warfighter capability, the helmet’s ground-breaking technology equips the pilot with mission-critical information on the helmet’s visor; resolves well-documented fit, comfort, and convenience problems associated with helmets worn by pilots of legacy aircraft; and fuses together the F-35’s cutting edge communications and sensor suite to form a clear picture of the operating environment — giving F-35 pilots unrivaled situational awareness and a decisive advantage over adversaries. >>READ MORE