Dec 21 2005


Senate Approves Defense Appropriations Bill Conference Report

WASHINGTON, DC -- U. S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced U.S. Senate approval of important funding for North Alabama included in the amended version of Department of Defense Appropriations bill conference report for fiscal year 2006. The Senate amended the conference report to remove provisions relating to oil exploration in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The amended legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 93 - 0. The legislation must now return to the House of Representatives for a vote. Upon passage, the legislation will be sent to the President’s desk for his signature.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the bill includes funding for these important North Alabama defense-related programs. They are critical to the stability of our nation's military infrastructure and readiness, and today's approval demonstrates our commitment to national security. In total, this bill provides $453.28 billion for new defense-related needs, including $50 billion for contingency operations related to the Global War on Terror.”

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY Senator Shelby said, “The $7.8 billion included in this bill for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is essential in light of the missions that Redstone Arsenal gained from the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. In addition, the bill includes $150 million for Ground Based Mid-Course Defense (GMD) Test Program Enhancements and $55.2 million for the Arrow production and Arrow Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense.”

PATRIOT PAC-3 - MEADS Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $489.7 million for procurement of over 100 Patriot Advance Capability (PAC-3) missiles. This system will provide a critical force protection element on the battlefield.”

EVOLVED EXPENDABLE LAUCH VEHICLE Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $784.347 million for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, known as EELV. EELV, which is built at Boeing’s facility in Decatur, is the Air Force space lift modernization program. EELV improves our nation’s access to space by making space launch vehicles more affordable and reliable.”

LIGHT UTILITY HELICOPTER Senator Shelby said, “The primary mission for the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) is to provide aerial transport for logistical and administrative support. The LUH is intended to replace Vietnam era UH-1H and OH-58A/C Huey helicopter. Our bill includes $71.6 million for this program, which is managed at Redstone Arsenal.”

CLOSE-IN ACTIVE PROTECTION SYSTEM INTEGRATION Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this bill includes $6 million in research and development funds for the Close-in Active Protection System Integration for use on the Stryker (CIAPS). CIAPS consists of radar staring in all directions that can detect an incoming threat and launch one of an array of pre-positioned interceptors to intercept and destroy the warhead before it hits the protected vehicle. CIAPS is effective against anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) as well as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). This research will be performed at Redstone Arsenal.”

FUTURE COMBAT SYSTEM Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $3.1 billion for Future Combat Systems (FCS). FCS, the core building block of the US Army’s Future Force, is a joint networked combat and combat-support system that provides our soldiers with greater situational awareness so they can “see first, understand first, and act first.” FCS is integral to equipping the warfighter with the most technologically advanced weapons system.” In addition, this bill includes $234.554 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight - Launch System (NLOS-LS) and $148.387 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) which support FCS.

UNMANNED SYSTEMS INITIATIVE Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this bill includes $3.5 million for the Unmanned Systems Initiative at the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC). The Unmanned Systems Initiative will conduct research and development of unmanned systems to advance, evaluate, and rapidly mature technologies to meet urgent warfighter needs as well as the optimal tactics, techniques and procedures to employ unmanned systems capabilities. Unmanned systems have immense potential to reduce engagement timelines while improving survivability in difficult urban terrain. Acceleration of the transition and fielding of these robotic technologies and capabilities is a critical wartime effort.”

UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVs) Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that my amendment was adopted to the DoD Appropriations Bill. This amendment prohibits the transfer of research & development, acquisition, or program authority relating to tactical UAVs from the Army. The amendment 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 done at Redstone Arsenal, and the Army UAV Center of Excellence is located at Ft. Rucker.

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