WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement on the final passage of the FY’08 Defense Appropriations Bill Conference Report (H.R.3222):
“I have long maintained that providing for our national defense is one of the most important roles of our federal government,” Senator Inhofe said. “It is essential that we provide our military with the best available resources, technology, and support to ensure that we remain the world’s premier fighting force.
“The FY’08 Defense Appropriations Bill contains provisions that are vital for the continued success of the U.S. military. The bill increases health care funding and provides an across-the-board pay raise that directly supports our troops and their families. It also funds the acquisition of 20 F-22A Raptor fighter aircraft and recommends extending further procurement of this essential aircraft. I am especially pleased that this bill fully funds the Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) Non-Line of Sight Cannon, which will undergo final integration in Elgin, OK, although I am disappointed by the conference committee’s decision to reduce funding for the overall FCS program by $206 million. This funding cut could seriously delay and increase the costs of further implementation of the FCS program.
“While I am pleased with the Senate’s vote to send this critical legislation to the President for his signature, I am concerned that this bill falls short of fully equipping and modernizing our military forces and does not provide funding for costs related to the Global War on Terror. Without this funding, the Pentagon will have to start borrowing from its regular budget, impacting the very programs this bill is intended to fund.
“Nevertheless, military personnel and installations across the nation will greatly benefit from this bill and Oklahoma is no exception. This bill is a tremendous victory for Oklahoma, and I am pleased to see our troops and their families benefit from the hard work they do in defense of our nation.”
Oklahoma Specific Provisions:
· $800K for an Ammunition Outloading Test Bed at McAlester Army Ammunition Depot, to be performed by TSM Corporation. The test bed combines state-of-the-art Gantry robotic equipment with conveyor systems allowing depot personnel to outload ammunition directly from trucks to shipping containers.
· $3.2M for the Call for Fire Trainer II/JFETS at Ft. Sill, OK, to be performed by Techrizon. The Joint Fires and Effects Simulator is a cutting edge training technology that is currently supplementing conventional Call for Fire training at Ft. Sill.
· An additional $7.2M for KC-135 Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) modification, to be performed by Rockwell Collins. Modifying the KC-135 to meet GATM requirements will ensure their access to global air routes. The KC-135 depot maintenance currently is performed at Tinker Air Force Base.
· $2.0M for Joint Fires and Effect Training Systems at Fort Sill, to be performed by Institute for Creative Technologies. The Joint Fires and Effects Training System (JFETS) is an immersive virtual reality simulation used to train US and Coalition joint observers prior to their deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq.
· $2.0M for Infrared Materials Research, to be performed by Amethyst Research, Inc., Ardmore, OK. Through this funding, all four US infrared houses, the Army Research Office, Army Night Vision, Dept. of Energy and the National Science Foundation will collaboratively work together on infrared material research and overcome shortfalls of vital sensor parts.
· $800K for Power Conversion Equipment development, to be performed by Westwood Corporation, Tulsa, OK. Working in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research, this program will provide power conversion equipment as a proof of concept for an advanced high density power generator program for future naval ship power distribution.
· $3.0M for FIDO explosive detectors, to be performed by ICx Nomadics in Stillwater, OK. Fido received the Army's 2005 10 Greatest Inventions Award and systems and is being used in OIF/OEF for the detection of IEDs and persons involved in the manufacturing and placement of IEDs.
· $800K for Protective Apparel Technology Systems, to be performed by Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. The Institute of Protective Apparel Research and Technology (IPART) will expand its teaming with academic, industry and government experts in applied research and development and testing of the next generation of multifunctional materials and technologies desperately needed for body armor and other systems to save the lives and limbs of soldiers.
· $6.0M for ARC-210 Improved Communications for the F-16, to be performed by Rockwell Collins. This additional funding for the ARC 210 for the ANG's F-16 platform will be used to bring the ARC 210 radio through Critical Design Review and to the IOC. In addition, all ANG F-16 aircraft, including Tulsa ANG, will be prepared for the installation of the ARC 210 radio as it becomes funded.
· $17.1M for Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) – coalition of scientists in several states including Oklahoma. DEPSCoR helps to build national competitiveness for research and education by funding science and engineering fields important to national defense. The program improves the capabilities of institutions of higher education to develop, plan and execute science and engineering research that is competitive under peer-review system.
· $800K for University Multi-spectral Laboratory (UML) and Analytical Services Center (ASCENT) Program performed by Oklahoma State University. Oklahoma State University will provide a cost-effective, independent, non-biased testing facility to assist in the development of next-generation, multi-spectral sensor to support both the warfighter and first responder communities.
· $2.5M for the AN/TMQ-52 Meteorological Measuring Set-Profiler, to be performed by Smiths Detection and will be used by the Army National Guard. Army National Guard (ARNG) has a requirement for 55 Profilers and has only been funded for six systems. This leaves the ARNG with a critical shortage of 49 Profilers which compromises readiness.
· $2.0M for an Urban Warfare Analysis Center (UWAC) in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The UWAC is part of a U.S. Army Urban Warfare Technology Initiative and encompasses development of an Urban Warfare Knowledge Base; data storage and compression; operations research; modeling and simulation; analysis and studies; technology and sensor evaluation; 3-D mapping solutions; and development of rapid response new technology initiatives to give U.S. combat forces an advantage when fighting in an urban battlefield.
· $2.0M for Aging Systems Sustainment and Enabling Technologies (ASSET), to be performed by Oklahoma State University. Expands the ASSET virtual network of small and historically underutilized manufacturers that are qualified and capable to supply problem parts for aging military and weapon systems. Program has achieved savings and internal reduction through rapid-response manufacturing, product redesign/reverse engineering and applied research.
· 2.0M for development of the Airborne Infrared Surveillance System (AIRS), to be performed by L-3 Communications/Aeromet in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Funding will allow Missile Defense Agency to proceed with final engineering development, demonstration, and prototype design for integration on manned or unmanned vehicles.
· $1.12M for the National Repository of Digital Forensic Intelligence (NRDFI) and the Center for Telecommunications and Network Security (CTANS) at Oklahoma State University. Funding will allow for rapid development, testing, and deployment of the prototype NRDFI, as well as companion projects that will further enhance the efficiency of digital forensics, media analyses, and other information assurance (IA) initiatives.
· $1.2M for Lightweight Composite Structure Development for Aerospace Vehicles, to be performed by Advanced Composites Group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Funding provide for the qualification and deployment of complex composite materials for manned and unmanned ground and air vehicles leading to affordable, lightweight composite structures.