Jun 29 2018

Shelby Announces Critical Funding for Wiregrass in Defense Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense, today announced full committee passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The $675 billion funding measure allows for essential investments in our military and supports programs to protect national security interests. The committee approved the legislation by a vote of 30-1.

“This bill sustains U.S. force structure and improves military readiness.  It also recommends investments in future technologies needed to defend our nation in an increasingly complex and competitive national security environment,” said Senator Shelby. “Our military must maintain its technological superiority and this bill does that through important investments in basic research, hypersonics, directed energy, missile defense, cybersecurity, and our test and evaluation infrastructure.”

Specifically, this measure contains funding for programs important to the Wiregrass region, supporting the area’s continued growth, development, and ability to compete on a national stage.

“As our nation adapts to growing instability around the world, it is critical that we provide our military with the funding necessary to best protect our nation,” Shelby continued. “The missiles and helicopters produced in Troy, many of which are used at Fort Rucker, serve as essential tools to continue defending America. I am proud that our state plays a leading role in serving our armed forces, and I look forward to the full Senate’s consideration of this bipartisan measure.”

The legislation includes the following provisions impacting the production and use of missiles and helicopters in the Wiregrass region:

  • An additional $75.4 million for Future Vertical Lift research, which will help accelerate development of helicopters flown at Fort Rucker.
  • $10 million to upgrade Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopters.
  • $1.0 billion for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles.
  • $111 million for Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs). The measure also encourages the Navy to evaluate the capabilities and costs of a surface-launched LRASM.
  • $329 million for Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGMs).
  • $541 million for Joint Air-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSMs), which recently made its debut in strikes on Syria in response to their use of chemical weapons.
  • $483.9 million for Hellfire missiles, which are made in Troy and used for training at Fort Rucker.
  • $254 million for Javelin missiles for the Army and Marine Corps.

Additional details on the legislation are provided here.