Sep 26 2006

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF DEFENSE FUNDING FOR WIREGRASS

U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced conference committee approval of the Department of Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2007.  The legislation includes important funding for the Wiregrass area.  The bill will soon be voted on in the House. The Senate will consider the bill following House approval, after which it will be sent to the President’s desk for his signature.

“The funding approved by the conference committee will support important defense-related programs in order to strengthen our national security,” said Senator Shelby.  “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 and the strength of our military.  In total, this bill provides $436.6 billion for defense-related needs, including $70 billion for contingency operations related to the Global War on Terror (GWOT).”

JOINT COMMON MISSILE -- $30 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, the Joint Common Missile (JCM) was slated for termination by the Department of Defense in Presidential Budget Decision 753, issued in December 2004.  Senator Shelby was a leader in working to restore funding for the JCM in fiscal years 2006 and 2007 to ensure that the program remains viable.

“The Joint Common Missile is a critical program for keeping technological superiority in our missile arsenal,” said Senator Shelby.  “The JCM’s termination was ill conceived because it ignored the opinions of our top military leaders and would deprive our servicemembers of a new capability that cannot currently be replicated.  Restoring funding for this vital program 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.”

There are over 150 jobs associated with the program including manufacturing, government program management, and subcontractors throughout Alabama, and overtime will bring approximately $280,000,000 to the Troy area in the way of salary, wages, and other costs.

JAVELIN MISSILES -- $170.968 million

“The Defense Appropriations bill included $83.782 million to procure 300 Javelin missiles for the Army as well as $76.815 million for the replacement of Marine Corps’ Javelin wartime expenditures,” said Senator Shelby.  “Javelin missiles give our ground forces a critical tactical fire capability and are produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, keeping our servicemembers safe and keeping Alabama’s economy strong.”  In addition, the bill included $10.371 million for modifications to the Javelin missile.

HELLFIRE MISSILE -- $132.662 million

 

“Hellfire missiles, produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy , help to ensure our military aviators are the best equipped warriors in the sky,” said Senator Shelby. “This bill includes $32.662 million for hellfire missiles for the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Additionally, the Global War on Terror supplemental funding includes $100 million for the Marine Corps to procure Hellfire II missiles”  

 

JOINT AIR-TO-SURFACE STANDOFF MISSILE -- $167.165 million

“The conference committee approved $167.165 million for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) for the Air Force and Navy,” said Senator 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.” 

JASSM is produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy.

NON-LINE-OF-SIGHT LAUNCH SYSTEM -- $324.23 million

“The Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS) is a program focused on beyond line-of-sight fires for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS),” said Senator Shelby.  “The NLOS-LS program is a containerized, platform-independent multi-mission weapon concept which will serve as an enabling technology element for the FCS. The NLOS-LS provides rapid response and lethality in packages requiring significantly fewer personnel, decreased logistical support and lower life-cycle costs, while increasing survivability compared to current direct fire gun and missile artillery.”

NON-LINE-OF-SIGHT CANNON -- $112.237 million

“The Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) provides networked, extended-range targeting and precision attack in support of the warfighter with a suite of munitions that include special purpose capabilities,” said Senator Shelby.  “The NLOS-C provides sustained fires for close support and destructive fires for tactical standoff engagement.  I believe this project is necessary for the warfighter to best do his or her job.”

ARMY HELICOPTERS

“The fiscal year 2007 Defense Appropriations bill includes funding for a number of helicopter systems vital to the Army, and the mission at Fort Rucker and in the Wiregrass region,” said Senator Shelby.

The following airframes were included:

$777.991 million for modifications to the AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter;
$557.851 million for procurement of 38 UH-60 Blackhawks; $105 million to replace the battle loss of 7 UH-60 Blackhawks;
$167.177 million for procurement of the Light Utility Helicopters (LUH);
$584.305 million for modifications to the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter; $331 million to replace the battle loss of 11 CH-47 Chinook helicopters;
$101.818 million for 12 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters (ARH);

UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVs)

“The DoD Appropriations bill includes, 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.