Dec 18 2005


Conference Committee Approves Defense Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, DC -- U. S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Conference Committee approval of important funding for the Wiregrass included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2006. 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.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the bill includes funding for these important Wiregrass area 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.”


Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the committee approved $57.636 million to procure 300 Javelin missiles in fiscal year 2006. Javelin missiles give our ground forces a critical tactical fire capability and are produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy. In addition, the bill includes $14.007 million for modifications to Javelin missiles.”


Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the committee approved $80.073 million for the procurement of the Hellfire missile system. These missiles help to ensure our Army and Air Force aviators are the best equipped warriors in the sky and are produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy. Additionally, our bill includes $21.135 million for over 200 hellfire missiles for the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).”


Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that $30 million was included in the bill for the continuation of the Joint Common Missile (JCM). This program is critical for keeping technological superiority in our missile arsenal. The JCM’s termination was ill conceived because it ignored the opinions of our top military leaders and deprives our servicemembers of a new capability that cannot be currently replicated. We were able to restore funding for this vital program, which 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.”


Senator Shelby said, “The committee approved $100 million for the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM). This missile system is produced at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy.”


Senator Shelby said, “This bill includes $234.554 million for the Non-Line-of-Sight - Launch System (NLOS-LS), which is a program focused on beyond line-of-sight fires for the Army's Future Combat System (FCS). The NLOS-LS program is a containerized, platform-independent multi-mission weapon concept 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.”


Senator Shelby said, “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. 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, and I am pleased our bill includes $148.387 million for it.”


Senator Shelby said, “The committee has approved funding for a number of helicopter systems that are vital to the Army, the mission at Fort Rucker and Wiregrass area.”

The following outlines the action taken by the committee:

• $74.1 million to replace lost Apache Longbow attack helicopters; $84.513 million for procurement of Apache Longbow attack helicopters.

• $59.794 million for modifications and product improvements to UH-60 Blackhawks.

• $580.65 million for 4 UH-60 Blackhawks.

• $71.6 million for procurement of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).

• $653.593 million for modifications to the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter.


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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