Nov 07 2007

Shelby Announces Funding for South Alabama

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced yesterday’s Conference Committee approval of the Department of Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008.  This legislation, which includes a number of projects for South Alabama, will soon be voted on in the House of Representatives.  The Senate will consider the bill following approval by the House of Representatives.  It will then be sent to the President for his consideration.

“The funding approved by the Conference Committee will support important defense-related programs that strengthen our national security,” said Shelby.  “These programs are critical to the stability of our nation’s military infrastructure and readiness and the Committee’s approval demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens and the strength of our military.”
       
DDG 1000 Destroyer -- $2.807 billion

This $2.807 billion will be used to procure two destroyers.  The DDG 1000 is built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems’ Ingalls Operations of Pascagoula, MS, and employs over 1,000 Alabamians.

“The DDG 1000 destroyer is a replacement for the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates and Spruance class destroyers,” said Shelby.  “The DDG 1000 will provide land attack support for ground forces as well as perform anti-air, anti-surface and undersea warfare.  As the Global War on Terror takes our servicemembers to various theaters of war, it is critical that they have the best technology available to protect themselves.”

LHA(R) – Amphibious Assault Ship -- $1.375 billion

This $1.377 billion will be used to procure an amphibious assault ship.  The LHA is built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems’ Ingalls Operations of Pascagoula, MS, and employs over 1,000 Alabamians.

“The Tarawa-class LHA provides the Marine Corps with a superb means of ship-to-shore movement by featuring expanded aviation capabilities,” said Shelby.  “The largest of all amphibious warfare ships, the LHA Replacement will have the ability to carry between 20 and 25 of the multi-service, multinational Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).”

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) -- $339.5 million

This $339.5 million will be used to procure one Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) prototype in fiscal year 2008.  The bill also fully funds LCS-1 and LCS-2.  One version of the LCS is currently being produced by Austal Ltd. in Mobile, AL. 

“The Conference Committee approved $339.5 million for continued development of the Littoral Combat Ship program,” said Senator Shelby.  “The LCS represents an important capability for the Navy and will give our naval forces a new, transformational system with the ability to network manned and unmanned air and sea assets from the single ship configuration up to participation in a Carrier Battle Group.  Additionally, the LCS provides the Navy the maneuverability to operate anywhere.” 

KC-135 Tanker Replacement Program - $114.5 million

Senator Shelby has been a leader in working to restore funding for the Air Force’s Tanker Replacement Program.  The $114.5 million included in the fiscal year 2008 Defense Appropriations bill will ensure that the Tanker Program is awarded a contract in 2008.

“Adequately funding this program is imperative to allow the Air Force to award a contract in fiscal year 2008 and the $114.5 million included in this bill will allow the Air Force to progress with this program,” said Senator Shelby. “It is vital that we ensure that our servicemembers have the best military equipment available and I continue to believe that if the Northrop Grumman/EADS team is able to participate in a fair and open competition, their proposal would win.  Such success will mean significant jobs and investment in Alabama - particularly South Alabama.”