Sen. Coburn proposes Military Resale Consolidation:
By proposed Amendment No. 1370 to S 1867, Sen. Coburn proposes the consolidation of the commissary and exchange stores of the Department of Defense into a single retail store system that relies solely on sales revenue to cover the cost of operation. There is an option to provide an allowance to active duty military out of the military pay budget authorization. Actions have already been initiated on several fronts to oppose this legislation. You can find out more on Saveourbenefit.org.
A great opportunity to point out the benefits of military resale but:
Military families join food lines
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The Washington Post via Press Display, Annie Gowen
Hundreds of financially strained military families in the Washington area are lining up for turkeys and free groceries this holiday season, depending on the USO to help put food on the table.
Analysts say Panetta overplays budget cuts
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The Boston Globe, David Lerman
To hear Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tell it, the U.S. military is headed for a doomsday scenario in which devastating spending cuts jeopardize the nation's security. If Congress allows automatic defense reductions of about $500 billion from projected spending levels in the next 10 years, the military will become a "hollow force," Panetta has said. But defense analysts such as Todd Harrison at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments said things would not be that bad.
Priorities emerge as budget woes intensify
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Air Force Times, Jill Laster
Partnerships with foreign nations and a few key programs will be critical in the coming years as the Air Force faces an increasingly tight budget, one of the service's top generals said.
Despite uncertainty, agencies prepare to endure budget process
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The Washington Post via Early Bird, Ed O'Keefe
For hundreds of federal budget analysts, the Monday after Thanksgiving is a day to step back, take a deep breath and prepare for a stressful holiday season, marked less by parties and gift-giving and more by complex political maneuvering and tricky math.
Army cuts will affect Fort Bliss: Officials are unsure of impact to post
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ElPaso Times, Chris Roberts
The nation's warfighters facing significant reductions in pay, retirement, equipment and staffing will be among the first to suffer the impacts of about $1 trillion in military budget cuts required after a battle in Congress over the national debt, says a retired vice admiral who advocates for U.S. troops.
A smaller Army
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Army Times via Early Bird, Lance M. Bacon
Congress' failure to make a deficit deal could cut the number of soldiers by up to 25 percent, leaving the smallest Army since just before World War II.
Panetta warns further cuts would be 'damaging'
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Defense News, Marcus Weisgerber
On Nov. 30, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta continued to warn about the negative effect $1 trillion in defense spending cuts over the next decade would have on the military should Congress not find alternate ways to reduce the national debt.
Republicans find no easy ways to protect military
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Reuters, Rachelle Younglai and Andrea Shalal-Esa
Republicans are struggling to find ways to protect the U.S. military from spending cuts but there is no clear path to do so as the United States strains to rein in its massive budget deficits.
DoD official: Too late to find 'sequestration' cuts in FY13
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Defense News, Zachary Fryer-Biggs
The U.S. congressional supercommittee may have failed, triggering future cuts to defense spending, but it's likely too late to plan for those cuts in the fiscal year 2013 budget request due to be completed shortly before Christmas, a U.S. Defense Department official said Nov. 30.
DoD to offer sneak peek at budget
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The Hill, John T. Bennett
Senior Pentagon officials are likely to give lawmakers an early peek at the military's 2013 budget plan in an attempt to control the political backlash over the spending cuts it contains, Defense sources told The Hill.
Extended pay freeze, layoffs likely
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Federal Times, Stephen Losey and Sean Reilly
Hundreds of thousands more employees are likely to be furloughed at agencies such as the Defense and Justice departments and the Federal Aviation Administration — some for more than a month.
Patrick B. Nixon
Key lawmakers support Obama military pay review
Air Force Times Share
Two key senators are backing the White House's call for a presidential commission to recommend an overhaul of military retired pay and health care benefits. If the nine-member commission has time, it also could look at ways to restructure or reform all other elements of pay and benefits, including annual pay increases, bonuses and special pays and allowances. More
Obama: 'I will veto any effort' to undo automatic cuts
Government Executive Share
President Barack Obama recently blamed Republicans for the failure of the supercommittee to meet its deadline for a debt plan, and warned that he will veto any attempt to eliminate the automatic spending cuts that go into effect with that failure. More
Despite threat of cuts, Pentagon officials made no contingency plans
The New York Times Share
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has painted such an apocalyptic vision of America's national security under $500 billion in automatic defense budget cuts that Pentagon officials said Tuesday they were pushing back at Congress — and not even planning for the spending reductions, which are to take effect in January 2013. More
Defense budget cuts
Fox News via Early Bird Share
The failure of the supercommittee could trigger huge cuts to defense spending. Shannon Bream from the Fox News Channel talks with Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon on how this might affect defense. More
Republicans see opportunity to beat Obama with Pentagon cuts
The Hill Share
The potential for $1 trillion in cuts to the defense budget is thrusting the issue of national security back into the spotlight of the 2012 presidential race. The cuts, set for January 2013, could also turn a strength into a vulnerability for President Barack Obama, who has more to brag about when it comes to security and foreign affairs than the economy. More
Virginia will be key in federal debt debate
The Washington Post via Press Display Share
Virginia's recent political behavior is at odds with its heavy economic reliance on federal spending. No state has a higher share of its economy fueled by federal procurement. And Virginia is second, behind Alaska, in the per-capita flow of federal money to its borders. Altogether, federal spending accounted for 38 percent of the Old Dominion's economic activity in 2009, according to a report by Federal Funds Information for States. More
Troops reach out for help feeding their families
San Antionio Express Share
The stress of recession and high unemployment rates for troops' spouses have sparked need among some active-duty and reservist families, according to nonprofit groups that help the military. Service members and their families, including veterans, retirees and reservists, used $88 million in food stamps at commissaries throughout the country this year, reaching an all-time high, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. That is triple the amount used before the recession. More
How shopping for groceries online saves time, money, hassle
Most of us hate going to the grocery store. Fighting for parking, dealing with the crowds, dodging shopping carts, waiting in long lines at checkout — they're all annoying and make us want to avoid the supermarket altogether. Thankfully, we live in the future and we can have groceries brought to us instead of having to go get them. Here's how to get started with grocery delivery, save some money, avoid the grocery-store hassle and let your food come to you. More
The Fresh Grocer to open 5 locations
Progressive Grocer Share
The Fresh Grocer has joined forces with the Partnership for a Healthier America to increase access to healthy, affordable food in currently underserved Philadelphia-area communities by opening five new full-service supermarkets over the next five years. The Drexel Hill, Pa.-based grocer revealed its development plans recently at PHA's inaugural Childhood Obesity Summit in Washington. More
Food shopping strategies beyond coupons can still save big bucks
NY1 News Share
In many cases, the key to saving money at the grocery store boils down to "location, location, location." For example, the end cap offers deals but consumer expert Andrea Woroch says it may pay to dig a little deeper in the aisle. "If you compare it back to the other products in the aisle, you may find there is actually a cheaper deal available," says Woroch. More
Who should pay to make ground beef safe from E. coli?
USA Today Share
What if it were possible to almost entirely do away with E. coli in ground beef — for a cost of only about a penny per burger? Food safety experts say it's entirely feasible with new technologies that have become available. The problem is the economics are backward. More
USDA sees food-price increases abating in 2012
Dow Jones Newswires via Chicago Tribune Share
The U.S. government left its food price inflation forecast unchanged in a monthly report Friday, projecting that a sharp climb in prices will abate in 2012. The price for all food in 2011 is expected to be up between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, followed by an increase of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2012. Both projections, along with all of the various food categories in the report, were unchanged from a month ago. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website as of 10 a.m., 1 Dec 11:
Winter Club Pack Far East & Alaska Quantities.
DP #2, Alaska Promotion & Alaska Quantities.
DP #3, Far East Promotion and Shipper Quantities.
DP #4, WW Promotion Package, Freezing Dollar Day Sale.
Easter Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Mothers Day Far East & Alaska Quantities.
NOTICES TO TRADE
12-09, Round Table Discussion – DeCA e/m Commerce Going Forward.
12-14, Welcome Home Celebration.
Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-48.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
Guantanamo Bay NEXMART Reset
Industry support is being requested by DeCA for an upcoming reset at Guantanamo Bay NEXMART in May 2012. Due to the sensitivity of this location and required planning, a strict timetable will need to be followed. DeCA and GITMO store management feel that 15 to 20 people would be needed to complete the store reset. A passport or military ID WILL BE REQUIRED for this trip. Flights are limited and depart from either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale at a cost of approximately $300 round trip. Below you will find additional information with regards to timing, transportation and accommodations.
Tentative Reset Dates: May 20-22, 2012
Travel Dates Dictated by Available Flights: Arrive GITMO May 17, 2012, depart GITMO May 23, 2012.
Lodging: $50/night. Rooms contain kitchenettes.
Meals: Full access to all base facilities to include, the Galley (lunch/dinner $4.25 & breakfast $2.65), two full service restaurants and fast food (McDonalds and Subway), O'Kelly Pub and Windjammer Cafe.
Transportation at GITMO: All transportation will be provided to and from the airport to the base.
Clearance Data: Naval Station Entry Clearance Request form must be submitted and approved by required deadline.
Internet and cellphone service: There is no cellphone service and limited Internet service.
Misc: This is a closed base but you will have access to all recreational facilities, bowling, snorkeling, etc. Base rental cars are available as well as a base bus service that has a stop at the lodge.
Trip POC: Mike Hatfield, S & K Sales Co, 804-647-1141, email@example.com.
TIMETABLE: Dec. 16, 2011 - Interested participants contact POC by this date with their intent to attend the reset. Feb. 25, 2012 – Navy Station Entry Clearance Request form is due back to POC Mike Hatfield. March 22, 2012 – final confirmation of participants. Room reservations will be set up based on final confirmation list. May 17, 2012 – travel to Guantanamo Bay. May 20-22, 2012 – NEXMART reset. May 23, 2012 – Depart Guantanamo Bay.
People interested in supporting this reset should send their name NLT Dec. 16, 2011 to the Commissary Council POC – Mike Hatfield, S & K Sales Company, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 804-647-1141. As mentioned above it is anticipated that 20 people will be needed. Mike will maintain a sign up list by order of names received and also maintain alternates. After he receives enough names and before Feb. 1, 2012, Mike will provide those selected to attend with all the information they will need (air fare, clearance and room reservation) to complete the process.
Scholarships for Military Children Program:
The 2012 Scholarships for Military Children Program, now in its twelth year, opens on Dec. 1, when military children can pick up an application form at any commissary. The Fisher House Foundation administered program will remain open through Feb. 24, 2012. The program, which has awarded $9,316,000 in scholarship grants to 6,069 recipients, depends on the generosity of DeCA's business partners and others. In order to receive credit and recognition for a contribution, business partners must ensure that their donation is received at Fisher House Foundation by March 1,2012. For further information, or if your company requires an invoice, please contact Jim Weiskopf at JWeiskopf@fisherhouse.org or call 202-607-1067.
Walter Reed Commissary now known as Forest Glen:
DeCA has informed us that the commissary formerly known as Walter Reed will now be known as the Forest Glen Commissary in wake of the Army's decision to change the installation name from Forest Glen Annex to Walter Reed to the U.S. Army Garrison Forest Glen effective Oct. 1, 2011.
March 7-9, 2012
US weekend holiday sales raise hopes
The Wall Street Journal Share
Retailers were cheered that their mix of deep discounts, early openings and website investment produced a strong start to the holiday season. Now, they're plotting more price cuts to keep wary consumers interested for the rest of the key retailing period. Sales on Black Friday — the big shopping day after Thanksgiving — rose 6.6 percent from a year ago, according to retail data and consulting firm ShopperTrak, which uses equipment installed in stores to measure traffic. (Subscription required.) More
Sleeping giant at Wal-Mart wakes its vast workforce
Advertising Age Share
With some 1.4 million employees on its U.S. payroll, Wal-Mart's world is about as large as the state of Maine. That's massive by any standard, but when you consider how social media amplifies that number, it's not simply a huge group but an influential one. No small wonder, then, that the earth's largest employer is taking greater measures to motivate and mobilize its people and opening up more opportunities for consumer brands to also reach them along the way. More
Best Buy a winner as holiday weekend sales surge
U.S. retailers racked up a record $52.4 billion in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, a 16.4 percent jump from a year ago, as early hours and attractive promotions brought out more shoppers, an industry trade group said. More
NRF CEO: Strong Black Friday good for economy, jobs
Retail's BIG Blog Share
As millions of shoppers hit stores early Black Friday morning, retailers rolled out their best sales and promotions to give consumers what they really wanted this year: value. And if the scores of people lined up outside stores were anything to go by, it certainly seems that the industry is on for another Black Friday bonanza this year. More
Black Friday's midnight madness was 'stroke of genius'
ABC News Share
The midnight store openings may have been marked by brawls and criticism, but one expert surveying the store results called the midnight madness a "stroke of genius" that is "here to stay." "Early morning openings appear to have been well worth it for both retailers and holiday shoppers, with many Americans believing that deals were too good to pass up," read a statement released by the National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay. More
Gadgets unchain cashiers
The wall Street Journal Share
Apple Inc.'s gadgets have made life difficult for some makers of digital cameras or GPS devices. Are cash-register makers next? This year, more retailers are arming their staff with iPod Touches coupled with a special scanning device that can be used to check out customers. The aim is to make sure sales don't walk out the door when consumers tire of waiting in line and to make more productive use of space that had been reserved for cash registers. More
Black Friday shoppers spend record $52 billion
The Gourmet Retailer Share
With midnight openings and Black Friday specials, shoppers were out in force, spending record amounts in stores and online last weekend, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch. A record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year, according to the survey. More
Supermarket News Share
In an era rampant with claims of environmental purity, few designations have the clout and cachet of LEED certification by the Washington-based nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council. Worldwide, more than 10,000 buildings across the architectural spectrum, from schools and supermarkets to the Empire State Building, have received a LEED designation. That number will continue to grow as localities increasingly require new buildings to be LEED certified. More
NRF sues over debit fees
California Apparel News Share
Debit-card reform became law last year, but the fight over the law's extent has not ended. On Nov. 22, the National Retail Federation, National Association of Convenience Stores and Boscov's department store filed a suit against the Federal Reserve in U.S. District Court in Washington to change how the law is administered. More
Burger King debuts thicker fries amid competition
Reuters via Yahoo News Share
Burger King Corp., the second-largest hamburger chain, has changed its french fries recipe for the first time since 1998 as competition mounts. Burger King said it made the new fries thicker, reduced sodium and added a coating that makes them crisper and keeps them hotter longer. More
Cumberland Farms adds second drive-thru store
Convenience Store News Share
Customers at the Cumberland Farms convenience store here can get your usual convenience store staples coffee, cigarettes, milk. However, they can do it from their car. "We're not just in the convenience store business, we're in the business of providing for the on-the-go customer," Ari Haseotes, president of the Framingham, Mass.-based company said at the time. "The drive-thru was really just raising the bar yet another level." More
AAFES holiday weekend sales
AAFES new item fee
New Item Allowances New Policy:
To better align with retail industry best practices, The Exchange is establishing a corporate policy requiring suppliers to provide New Item Allowances. These allowances will be used to offset the intrinsic costs associated with adding items to multiple Exchange systems, such as but not limited to:
Army & Air Force Exchange Service
AAFES Exchange offers shoppers thousands of dollars in holiday prizes, savings
Aerotech News and Review Share
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service is known for consistently giving back to those who have served and continue to serve, and this holiday season proves to be no different. The Exchange is offering tens of thousands of dollars in prizes, just in time for the season of giving. More
Post exchange expands layaway
DC Military Share
With the holiday season around the corner, the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Post Exchange is offering a variety of expanded layaway options. Some items, such as toys and bikes, can be held on layaway until Christmas Eve. More
A offering free meals for homeless
American Legion Share
The Department of Veterans Affairs is reaching out to homeless veterans by providing free meals and spending money to eligible homeless veterans. The free meals will be offered at Veterans Canteen Service cafeterias to homeless veterans attending their first VA medical appointment. More
Japan, US agree to allow trials for US military personnel, civilian employees in certain cases
Japan Today Share
The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office recently indicted the American driver involved in the Jan. 12, traffic fatality on charges of negligent driving resulting in death, NHK reported. The indictment comes after the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed to review the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement in a bid to allow Japanese law enforcement authorities, in certain situations, to try U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilian employees on military bases, who break Japanese laws while stationed in Japan, Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told a news conference. More
Child, youth programs business modernization system
Federal Business Opportunities Share
The Air Force Services Agency is seeking a commercial-off-the-shelf, Web-based and Internet-accessible Business Modernization System for the Child and Youth Programs. The COTS solution shall support customer management, CYP staff information management, customer account transaction management, meal tracking, activity scheduling and reporting. More
Home away from home
Any service member who has served a short amount of time will agree that the definition of home tends to be slightly different than what the average person would define it as. With multiple deployments as well as spending anywhere from weeks to months in foreign countries for simple training exercises, "home" becomes more of an idea rather than an actual geographical location. More