Dec 19 2009

Shelby Announces Defense Funding for the Wiregrass

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Senate approval of important funding for the Wiregrass included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2010. Following today’s action by the Senate, the bill will go to the President for his signature.

“The funding approved by the Senate 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 Senate’s approval demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the safety of our citizens and the strength of our military.”

Mi-17 Helicopter Language
Senator Shelby included language directing the Department of Defense to report back to the Senate Appropriations Committee a comprehensive plan for procuring rotary aircraft for the security forces of Afghanistan,  Iraq, and Pakistan, including current requirements for these aircraft, an analysis of alternatives, and the future costs and funding sources available for such procurement.      

“The DoD program to provide Russian-made Mi-17s for the Afghan, Iraqi, and Pakistani military appears to be an ad hoc procurement process with inadequate oversight.  The program is undefined, delayed, and simply not a good use of taxpayer funds,” said Shelby.

Javelin Missile - $148.6 Million
Javelin is a portable missile that is utilized to defeat tanks and other heavy armor in the battlefield.  This capability enables our soldiers to have the highest firepower possible at their disposal.

“The Defense Appropriations bill includes $148.6 million to procure 470 Javelin missiles for the Army,” said Shelby.  “Javelin missiles give our ground forces a critical tactical fire capability. Produced in Troy, these missiles keep our service members safe and are an invaluable asset to our military operations.” 

Hellfire Missile - $434.08 Million
Hellfire is utilized for attack capability for our advanced aviation fleet.  This missile will defeat heavily armored equipment our enemies may employ.

“Hellfire missiles, produced in Troy, help to ensure that our military aviators are the best equipped warriors in the sky,” said Shelby. “This bill includes funding for Hellfire missiles for the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).” 

Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) - $52.66 Million
JASSM is an air to surface cruise missile that is guided by an infrared seeker in flight.  The Air Force manages this program and is expected to buy approximately 2,400 of these missiles.  JASSM is produced in Troy, Alabama.

“The bill provides $52.7 million for the procurement of JASSM for the Air Force and the Navy,” said Shelby.  “This long-range missile system is designed to destroy high-value, well-defended targets while its significant standoff range keeps our warfighters out of danger from enemy air defense systems.”

Joint Air-to-Ground (JAGM) Missile - $127.43 Million
Designed as a next-generation, multipurpose replacement for the Hellfire, Longbow, and Maverick air-to-ground missiles currently used by the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, JAGM will be a vital asset for our armed forces in years to come.

“I am pleased that research and development initiatives are fully funded for the JAGM,” said Shelby.  “JAGM is essential because it will bolster our warfighting potential and provide our servicemen and women with a new capability to ward off the unconventional threats of the 21st century.” 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
UAV research and development is conducted at Redstone Arsenal, and the Army UAV Center of Excellence is located at Ft. Rucker.

“The DoD Appropriations bill includes, for a fifth year, language that prohibits the transfer of program authority relating to tactical UAVs from the Army,” said Shelby.  “The language ensures that the Army will retain responsibility for and operational control of the Sky Warrior UAV.  With the Army conducting the vast majority of UAV operations in Iraq, it is imperative that control of UAV assets is kept with the battlefield commander to ensure that these assets are readily available to our troops who are deploying them for tactical missions.”