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FY 2008 Defense Appropriations Bill Contains About $9 Billion in Projects for Mississippi Military Contractors/Installations

From: Office of Sen. Trent Lott    Filed 10/05/07 GCN

The Senate’s version of the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Bill was passed by the Senate.  The bill for fiscal year 2008 is expected to go to Conference with the House within the next two weeks.  The bill brings about $9 billion in new military programs; procurement dollars for Mississippi’s defense contractors; equipment, operations and maintenance to military facilities; and research and development funding for universities to our state.

 “I’m pleased that the Senate has passed this very important bill that helps support our men and women in uniform,” Senator Lott said.  “Mississippians are always interested in the defense appropriations process as our state is home to numerous military bases and defense contractors.  From this perspective, our state is again well represented in this defense measure.   As our military’s mission in the War on Terror continues, I urge Congress and the President to finish this bill quickly and get this funding and equipment to the dedicated military personnel who’re responsible for protecting our freedom.”

The funding that impacts Mississippi is for the operation and maintenance of each military base, weapons systems built in the state, research and development performed by state universities, and for youth oriented programs such as the Naval Sea Cadets.  Overall, The Senate version of the Defense Appropriations Bill recommends $459 billion in budget authority for fiscal year 2008.

The bill includes funds for construction of the Navy’s DD(X) destroyers to be built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations of Pascagoula, as well as the final increment of funding for the LHA-6.  The LHA is a large deck ship designed to carry out amphibious operations and capable of supporting several helicopters, the new V-22, the Joint Strike Fighter, and thousands of sailors and Marines.  This Class of ships will eventually replace the Navy’s big deck amphibious fleet.  The following pages denote these and other highlights of the total package and some specific projects concerning Mississippi:

Highlights of the 2008 Senate Defense Bill for Mississippi include:

  • DD(X) future Navy destroyer, $2.8 Billion

The Senate fully supported the continued development and construction of the Navy’s next generation destroyer that is being designed by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula.

·        LHA(R) Navy amphibious helicopter carrier, $1.37 Billion

The Senate supported the continued construction and final incremental funding of LHA-6.

·        LPD-17 Class amphibious ship, $1.398 Billion

The Senate Bill fully supported the continued construction of the LPD-25 amphibious ship.  The ship will be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi.

·        Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, $38.8 million

The bill supported the Navy’s procurement of 3 Fire Scout air vehicles built at Northrop Grumman’s Unmanned Systems Center in Pascagoula.

·        Lightweight 155 mm Howitzer, $584 million

      The Senate bill supported an increase of $220.5 million for the purchase of 155 mm

      Lightweight Howitzers, which are produced by BAE in Hattiesburg. 

·        CVN (aircraft carrier) Propeller, $5.6 million

The Senate bill added $5.6 million for the purchase of aircraft carrier propellers built by Rolls Royce in Pascagoula.

·        Hunter UAV, $10 million

The Senate bill added $10 million to accelerate the fielding of Hunter tactical unmanned aerial systems, with work to be conducted at Stark Aviation in Starksville and Northrop Grumman at Moss Point.

·        Naval Sea Cadet Corp, $2 million

The Senate bill fully supported the President’s budget, and added an additional $300 thousand for the Naval Sea Cadet Corp.

·        C-130J Hercules Aircraft, $918 million

The Senate bill provides funding for the procurement of 9 C-130J aircraft for Air Force and 4 aircraft for the Marine Corps.  The C-130 fuselage is built by Lockheed-Martin in Meridian.

·        Arrow Missile System, $159 million   
The Senate bill increased funding by $75 million above the President’s request, for the production and upgrades to Arrow Missile Interceptors and the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense Research Program.  ATK of Iuka builds the composite body for the Arrow missile.

  • POSS Nanotechnology Engineering, $3 million                                                    

The Senate provided $3 million for the continued scale-up of industrial capability from 250 tons per year to 500 tons per year for production of POSS Nanotechnology.  Scale-up of production will support acceleration of technology insertion into a broad range of weapon system platforms.  The production is conducted by Hybrid Plastics in Hattiesburg.

·        GuARDS, $2.1 million

The Senate bill adds $2.1 million for continued production of Mobile Gamma Ray Detection System (GaRDS) and People Screening (Secure 1000) systems.  The systems are used to inspect vehicles and cargo for explosives, IEDs and other weapons in Iraq.  These force protection systems are produced by Rapiscan in Ocean Springs.

·        Joint Precision Airdrop System, $4.0 million

The Senate bill supports further development of the Defense Department’s The Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPAD) system, which is produced by Pioneer Aerospace in Columbia, Mississippi.

·        Mississippi Colleges and Universities, $32.9 million

The Senate bill added $32.9 million for defense related research and development programs in areas such as Computational Design at Jackson State University, Military Vehicles at Mississippi State University, the Army Acoustic Center at Ole Miss and malaria research at Ole Miss, and Polymer Coatings at the University of Southern Mississippi.

·        Military Construction Projects, $20.97 million
The Senate added $20.97 million for military construction projects in Mississippi.  The construction projects included a Fire Station at Naval Air Station Meridian; a Joint Use Simulation Center at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg; and a Special Operations facility at Stennis Space Center.

·        Personnel and Operations
The Senate also provided for a 3.5 percent base salary increase for military personnel.

  • Onboard Vehicle Power , $3 million
    The Senate bill provided $3 million for further development the onboard vehicle power system which is a small high-power converter that can be carried onboard the Army’s M113 Armored Personnel Carrier.  The research and production is being conducted at Diversified Technologies in Jackson.
  • Navy Automatic Identification Engineering Center, $1 million
    The Senate bill provided $1 million that supports the continued development of a Navy Automatic Identification Technology (AIT) Engineering Support Center in Mississippi for Navy Acquisition Managers, Program Managers, and AIT users and developers.  This initiative expands the Navy’s capability for research and development, focused testing, and industrial testing.
  • SOCOM Craft Modifications, $2.1 million
    The Senate bill provides $2.1 million to support the modernization and upgrades for the Special Operations boats.  The work will be performed at US Marine Inc. in Gulfport.
  • High Performance Computing Infrastructure Enhancement, $7 million

The Senate provided $7 million to enhance the supercomputing infrastructure at the Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center in Vicksburg and to accommodate the planned modernization of the DoD supercomputer.  This modernization effort is necessary to ensure that ERDC can continue to host future DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program computers.

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