Oct 07 2005

SHELBY ANNOUNCES DEFENSE FUNDING FOR WIREGRASS

Defense Appropriations Bill Passes Senate by Vote of 97-0

WASHINGTON, DC -- U. S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today announced Senate approval of important funding for the Wiregrass area included in the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2006. Following today’s action by the Senate, this bill will now go to a conference committee with the House of Representatives.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that the Senate approved 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 $490.2 billion for new defense-related needs, including $50 billion for contingency operations related to the Global War on Terror.”

“As we continue to look for ways to reduce our nation's spending in light of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we must also ensure that funding is provided for important priorities, such as our national defense.”

JAVELIN MISSILES

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.”

HELLFIRE MISSILE/PREDATOR HELLFIRE MISSILE

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased the committee approved $50 million for the procurement of Hellfire missiles. 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).”

JOINT COMMON MISSILE

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes language requiring the Department of Defense to conduct a study on the impact that cancellation of the Joint Common Missile (JCM) will have on our national defense. Earlier this year, I raised concerns with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers regarding the cancellation of this program. I am hopeful that this study will provide the Congress with answers regarding why this vital program was cancelled and if termination was justified.”

JOINT AIR-TO-SURFACE STANDOFF MISSILE

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.”

NON-LINE-OF-SIGHT - LAUNCH SYSTEM

Senator Shelby said, “This bill includes $235.54 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.”

NON-LINE-OF-SIGHT CANNON

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 $107.587 million for it.”

ARMY HELICOPTERS

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:

$99 million to replace lost Apache Longbow attack helicopters; $85.513 million for procurement of Apache Longbow attack helicopters. $45.294 million for modifications and product improvements to UH-60 Blackhawks. $63 million for procurement of the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). $655.843 million for modifications to the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter.

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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