U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R?Ala.), a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, announced funding for several projects included in the fiscal year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. This legislation was approved by the Senate and will now go to a conference committee with the House of Representatives for consideration.
Maritime Patrol Aircraft -$ 155.6 Million
Senator Shelby said, "The CN-235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) provides the patrol and surveillance capability necessary to keep our coastal waters safe. This legislation includes funding for the acquisition of 3 additional CN-235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA). In addition, funding was provided to allow the Coast Guard to missionize and outfit the five previously acquired MPA to full mission ready status. These aircraft are integral to the Coast Guard's mission and our national security."
In 2004, EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) North America announced the expansion of operations to Mobile with a new EADS CASA facility. All training for the CN-235 will take place at the U.S. Coast Guard Mobile Air Training Center in Mobile.
Center For Domestic Preparedness ? $ 57 Million
Senator Shelby said, AThe Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) at Ft. McClellan is the cornerstone of our nation's emergency responder training facilities and the $57 million provided in this bill will go a long way to ensure that our nation’s first responders can continue to train at the only civilian live-agent facility in the country. The funding in this legislation will allow CDP to maintain its training capacity for first responders so that we may respond to terrorist attacks quickly and effectively. These first responders include law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel who are trained by CDP to prevent and respond to incidents of domestic terrorism."
"In addition to training our nation's local first responders, CDP works closely with a number of federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others to develop new integrated counter-terrorism training programs."
"Since the September 11, 2001 attacks on our country, the importance of first responders has become more evident. Ft. McClellan's Center for Domestic Preparedness provides the necessary training for professionals to rapidly respond and react to terrorist attacks," Shelby concluded.
14 Mile CSX Railroad Bridge on the Mobile River ? $ 4 Million
Senator Shelby said, “Replacement of 14 Mile CSX Railroad Bridge will ensure safe marine navigation on the Mobile River, which is vital to maintaining the efficiency and reliability of waterways commerce through the Port of Mobile and along the Black Warrior?Tombigbee waterway system. This legislation includes funding to continue the Coast Guard’s ongoing efforts to replace the bridge.”
"The replacement of the bridge will save shippers millions of dollars annually in lost time and accidents, and will greatly assist in the shipment of cargo moving through the Alabama State Docks," added Shelby.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) - $ 6 Million
Senator Shelby said, "Having the necessary resources, knowledge and technology available to conduct a thorough investigation into child exploitation is essential to protecting our children. This funding will assist NCMEC with their continued efforts to ensure our children's safety."
Firefighter Assistance Grants ? $ 655 Million
Senator Shelby said, "This legislation includes $655 million for Firefighter Assistance Grants. These funds will assist local fire departments in their efforts to protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire?related hazards, and to provide assistance for fire prevention programs."
These funds are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Domestic Preparedness. Funds can be used for such things as fire operations, firefighter safety programs, emergency medical services, and firefighting vehicles.
Transportation Security Grants - $ 567 Million
Senator Shelby said, "It is imperative that we take nothing for granted and this funding will take significant steps forward to better secure our transportation infrastructure. This legislation provides funding for rail and transit security grants, port security grants, inter-city bus security grants, and trucking industry security grants. I believe these funds are crucial in our efforts to improve homeland security. We have made great strides in improving our nation=s aviation security, but Americans deserve to have the government's full attention devoted to the security of every mode of transportation."
These funds will be administered by the Office of the State and Local Government Preparedness and Coordination within the Department of Homeland Security; $400 million will be used for port security grants, $150 million for rail and transit security grants, $12 million for inter-city bus security grants, and $5 million for trucking industry security grants.