Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Posts in "Military Construction"

July 25, 2014

U.S. Nuclear Material Vulnerable to Theft, Panel Fears

The Senate Appropriations Committee is perturbed at a whole host of things contributing to large quantities of nuclear and radiological materials — including in the United States — being “still unsecure and vulnerable to theft.”

That’s the word from John M. Donnelly, writing for CQ.com subscribers. He details how the panel, in its fiscal 2015 Energy-Water bill committee report, restores nuclear non-proliferation funding and chides the administration for abandoning a 2025 goal of securing 2,900 buildings, such at medical facilities and universities, where there is “little or no security.”

Also from the committee report, by this author for the Energy Xtra blog, is another nuclear-related buildings issue: the fact that the National Nuclear Security Administration is sitting on 450 unused facilities, and has a maintenance backlog that has made some of the buildings still being used dangerous.

July 17, 2014

#ThrowbackThursday: Why the Pentagon Has Five Sides

177649177 445x282 #ThrowbackThursday: Why the Pentagon Has Five Sides

The Pentagon is seen from the air over Washington, D.C. on Aug. 25, 2013. The 6.5 million-square-foot building was built from 1941 to1943. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

For this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday, we turn to a 2007 book excerpt about how the Defense Department headquarters came to be a five-sided building. Full story

June 30, 2014

Supreme Court Makes Call on Another Religious Matter: A 43-Foot Cross on Pentagon Land

71363805 400x600 Supreme Court Makes Call on Another Religious Matter: A 43 Foot Cross on Pentagon Land

View of the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial on July 3, 2006. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

The Hobby Lobby decision wasn’t the only call the Supreme Court made Monday on a religion-related case. The top court in the land also decided to stay out of a long-running dispute over a 43-foot cross on Department of Defense-controlled land — at least, for now. Full story

June 26, 2014

POGO Knocks Wasteful Defense Spending-Bill Spending — F-35, Carrier Refueling

467988801 445x295 POGO Knocks Wasteful Defense Spending Bill Spending    F 35, Carrier Refueling

A staff member prepares the replica of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the exhibition center ahead of the Singapore’s Airshow on Feb. 9. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Project on Government Oversight has issued something of report card on the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. The group likes some things the House did, but not others. Full story

June 18, 2014

Exhibit: When Guantanamo Wasn’t Always So Controversial, and Its Present and Future

Courtesy Alex Macleod Devil Pups Company Competition GITMO 1980 copy 445x296 Exhibit: When Guantanamo Wasnt Always So Controversial, and Its Present and Future

Courtesy Alex Macleod, 1980

For a younger generation that became aware of the word “Guantanamo” only after the naval base’s prison turned internationally infamous and politically divisive in Congress, the images of earlier times at the island Navy facility are jarring: children playing tug of war, or jumping rope.

Those images and others — some jarring in other ways — are coming to Rayburn House Office Building Monday, June 23 as part of a touring exhibit by the Guantanamo Public Memory Project. The exhibit is making its first trip to Washington, D.C., and for only one day at Rayburn, accompanied by a reception featuring people who have worked at the base, were detained at the base or who cover the base. Full story

Air Force Tries to Save Cash, Congress Won’t Let It

151274540 2 445x296 Air Force Tries to Save Cash, Congress Wont Let It

An A-10 Thunderbolt parked on a tarmac in the Czech Republic where it was taking part in joint NATO military exercises in 2012. AFP PHOTO/ RADEK MICA (Radek Mica/AFP/GettyImages)

Everywhere Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James turns to cut her budget, Congress puts up a roadblock. Trying to get rid of the A-10: “So far it’s not gone over tremendously well,” she said. A proposal to shutter bases via the Base Realignment and Closure process: “I would give that zero probability of passing this year.” The notion of slicing aircraft here and there: “That hasn’t gone over very well either.”

It leaves James with few options of her own choosing, she told defense reporters at a breakfast Wednesday, along with some alternatives she doesn’t want — and a future she views as unrealistic. Full story

June 12, 2014

Pentagon Agency Rid Itself of 45 Football Fields’ Worth of Storage Space, Delivering Other Stuff Elsewhere

The Department of Defense has a lot of, well, stuff. With wars winding down and amid the push to reduce the U.S. budget, the agency in charge of supplying the military with commodities like food, clothing, fuel and more has been dramatically shrinking its inventory and all the things going along with it — like demolishing 45 football fields’ worth of warehouse space in the past couple years alone.

But the Defense Logistics Agency isn’t done shrinking yet, said its director, Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, on Thursday. And it’s firmly in the middle of gearing up for the changing needs of the military, including in places like Africa and Asia. Full story

June 11, 2014

Ten-Year, $264 Billion Nuclear Weapons Spending Estimate Leaves Out Some Things

Over the next decade, maintaining and modernizing nuclear weapon capabilities will cost $263.8 billion, according to a joint estimate by the departments of Defense and Energy. But a new report suggests that figure might fall far short of what the United States will actually spend. Full story

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