Jun 27 2008

Senate Approves FY 08 and FY 09 Bridge Supplemental Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced Senate approval of funding for Alabama included in the fiscal year 2008 Supplemental Appropriations bill and fiscal year 2009 Bridge Supplemental Appropriations bill.  The vote occurred yesterday evening. This legislation will now go to the President for his signature.

“As we continue our military operations abroad, it is my goal to work in every possible way to make sure that our troops have my full support, both morally and materielly, to carry out their mission,” said Shelby.  “This legislation reinforces the Committee’s commitment to our warfighters in harm’s way and I was proud to support it.”       

Global War on Terror -- $161.8 billion

The bill provides $161.8 billion in emergency spending for the Department of Defense to support Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. 

“It is our duty to ensure that our armed forces engaged in combat have the best equipment available, as well as the most effective weapons, communications gear, munitions, troop protection and other necessary equipment essential to our current military operations.”

Stryker Vehicle Production and Force Production Modifications -- $2.238 billion

The Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, all-wheel-drive armored combat vehicles used by Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, light and mobile units.  The Stryker is built, maintained and upgraded at Anniston Army Depot.

“These vehicles continue to prove their exceptional value in the battlefield on a daily basis,” said Shelby.  “The Army and Marine Corps use these critical assets on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are a vital component to our missions.”

Army Tactical and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) -- $257.4 million

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

“From a tactical standpoint, our soldiers in the field need a versatile, Service-specific capability,” said Shelby.  “I will continue to fight for the Army’s efforts to use their effective and combat-proven tactical UAV assets on the battlefield.  UAVs play a critical role in the ability of our warfighters to conduct their mission as safely and efficiently as possible.  I am proud that much of the UAV research and development conducted today takes place in my state of Alabama.”

M1 Abrams Tanks Upgrades -- $567 million

The M1 Abrams tank is critical to our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This funding will ensure that the Abrams Tank continues to be the most lethal ground combat system in existence and that our troops have the necessary protection and critical survivability capabilities essential to our current military operations.  The Abrams Tank is the backbone of our heavy forces and has been at the core of the work done at the Anniston Army Depot for many years.”

UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Modifications -- $44.7 million

Blackhawk Helicopters support our aviation mission in theater and are used on a daily basis in a multi-mission role.

“Throughout our conflict in Iraq, we have maintained air superiority, in part due to the Blackhawk Helicopter’s admirable performance in a variety of missions and roles,” said Shelby.  “These assets have continually proven worthwhile in support of our warfighters in the air and on the ground.”

AH-64 Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter -- $70 million

The Apache Longbow is a significant piece of our Army’s arsenal of aviation assets.

“The AH-64 has played an important role in our military operations in the Middle East,” said Shelby.  “It has proven its usefulness and effectiveness as an attack helicopter in countless battles over the past two decades.”

CH-47 Chinook Helicopter Modifications -- $311 million

The CH-47’s role as a transport helicopter is critical to the safety of our servicemembers as they travel in the Middle East.

“The safe transportation of our troops in combat is greatly needed in such dangerous situations,” said Shelby.  “The CH-47 has proven its worth time and again through the safe transport of ground forces, supplies, ammunition and other battle-critical cargo in support of combat operations.”

Hellfire Missiles Procurement for the Air Force, Navy and Army -- $337 million

Hellfire missiles are produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Alabama.  This production work helps support 205 Lockheed jobs in the area.

“Hellfire missiles help to ensure that our military aviators are the best equipped warriors in the sky,” said Shelby. “Used in conjunction with UAVs, these missiles help ensure the lethality of our warfighters.”

Javelin Missiles Procurement for the Army and Marine Corps -- $131 million

Javelin missiles are produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Alabama.  This production work helps support 205 Lockheed jobs in the area.

“Javelin missiles give our ground forces a critical tactical fire capability,” said Shelby.  “These missiles keep our servicemembers safe and keep Alabama’s economy strong.”

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment (PTSD) and Research -- $375 million

TBI and PTSD affect thousands of our servicemembers returning from battle.  More research is needed to treat these growing and significant problems.

“TBI and PTSD continue to be some of the leading afflictions that have an impact on our brave men and women in uniform,” said Shelby. “It is imperative that we continue to adequately fund these important programs.  Our servicemembers have made tremendous sacrifices on our behalf and we have a duty to support them in theater and at home.”