Jul 18 2006


U. S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced subcommittee approval of important funding for North Alabama included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2007. Following today’s action by the subcommittee, this bill will now go to full committee for consideration on Thursday.

Senator Shelby said, “The Senate approved funding for these important defense-related programs that will help to strengthen our national security. These programs are critical to the stability of our nation's military infrastructure and readiness, and today's approval demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens. In total, this bill provides $453.5 billion for defense-related needs, including $50 billion for contingency operations related to the Global War on Terror.”

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY -- $9.371 billion

“The recent missile tests from North Korea were an all too loud reminder that missile defense is one of the most important operations our military provides,” said Senator Shelby. “Although North Korea’s test was unsuccessful, it underscores the necessity for a robust missile defense program.”


“Ground Based Mid-Course Defense (GMD) is the first line of defense deployed to defend our homeland against ballistic missile attacks by rogue nations or terrorist organizations,” said Senator Shelby. “There are many other countries out there who wish to do us harm and GMD is a good way to stop them.” The bill provides an additional $227 million for test infrastructure, operations support, and additional interceptors for GMD."


“The Kinetic Energy Interceptor is a vital component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, which must be strong during this time of war,” said Senator Shelby. “I am disappointed that the committee reduced funding for KEI by $200 million, particularly in light of the missile threats from North Korea and Iran.”

MULTIPLE KILL VEHICLE (MKV) -- $164.775 million

“The MKV enhances the Ground Based Mid-Course Defense system by providing as many opportunities as possible to destroy an incoming missile through the use of several kill vehicles launched from one booster,” said Senator Shelby. “While we have not needed it yet, our strong missile defense system is one of our military’s most important functions in keeping the homeland secure.” The bill increased MKV $65 million over the President’s budget request.

PATRIOT PAC-3 -- $489.067 million

“The PAC-3 procurement program was fully funded, allowing the military to procure 108 Patriot Advance Capability (PAC-3) missiles,” said Senator Shelby. “This system will provide a critical force protection element on the battlefield.”


“The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, known as EELV, is built at Boeing’s facility in Decatur, and is the Air Force space lift modernization program,” said Senator Shelby. “EELV improves our nation’s access to space by making space launch vehicles more affordable and reliable, and keeps many of Alabama’s workers on the job.” This funding will allow for the procurement of 4 EELVs.


“The primary mission for the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is to provide aerial transport for logistical and administrative support,” said Senator Shelby. “The LUH is intended to replace Vietnam era UH-1H Huey and OH-58A/C Kiowa Warrior helicopter. Our bill includes $91.117 million for the procurement of 16 LUHs, which is managed at Redstone Arsenal.”


“The Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), which is managed at Redstone Arsenal, provides the military with a highly deployable, reconnaissance and security capability to replace the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior fleet,” said Senator Shelby. The bill includes funding for the procurement of 12 helicopters.

FUTURE COMBAT SYSTEM -- $3.502 billion

“Future Combat Systems (FCS), the core building block of the US Army’s Future Force, is a joint networked combat and combat-support system that provides our soldiers with greater situational awareness so they can “see first, understand first, and act first,” said Senator Shelby. “FCS is integral to equipping the warfighter with the most technologically advanced weapons system.”

In addition, this bill includes $325.8 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight - Launch System (NLOS-LS) and $12.237 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) which are vital components to the Future Combat System.


“The Unmanned Systems Initiative at the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) will conduct research and development of unmanned systems to advance, evaluate, and rapidly mature technologies to meet urgent warfighter needs as well as the optimal tactics, techniques, and procedures to employ unmanned systems capabilities,” said Senator Shelby. “Unmanned systems have immense potential to reduce engagement timelines while improving survivability in difficult urban terrain. Acceleration of the transition and fielding of these robotic technologies and capabilities is a critical wartime effort.”


“The DoD Appropriations Bill included, for a second year, language that prohibits the transfer of research & development, acquisition, or program authority relating to tactical UAVs from the Army,” said Senator Shelby. “The language ensures that the Army will retain responsibility for and operational control of the Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ERMP) UAV. UAVs provide support for tactical ground combat operations for the Army, and it is important that the Army maintain control of tactical UAVs because they are vital for ground combatants.”

UAV research and development is conducted at Redstone Arsenal, and the Army UAV Center of Excellence is located at Ft. Rucker.