WASHINGTON---U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today highlighted a number of Oklahoma projects that he successfully worked to include in the Defense Department FY2005 Authorizations bill (S.2400). The Senate passed the legislation late Wednesday night by a 97-0 vote.
“Oklahoma has long played a prominent role in the defense of this country,” Inhofe said. “Now more than ever, it is vital that we give our soldiers all they require to train and fight for America. As our nation faces new and emerging threats our national security depends on adequately funding our armed forces. I applaud my colleagues for passing this bill and I am confident that Oklahoma’s military installations and soldiers will benefit greatly from the work we have done here today.”
Senator Inhofe highlighted the following Defense Authorization Bill provisions that will benefit Oklahoma military installations and initiatives:
Altus Air Force Base:
- $10.5 million for Base Civil Engineering Complex Phase II.
- $600,000 to expand the C-17 Sooner Drop Zone training area.
Tinker Air Force Base:
- $7.9 Million for an addition to the Integration Support Facility.
- $5.4 million for the Hydrant Fuel System.
- $14.4 million for the Vehicle Maintenance Facility.
- $13.1 million for the Consolidated Maintenance Complex Phase III.
- $47 million for replacement of 247 family housing units.
- $25 billion for contingency reserve fund for ongoing Iraq/Afghanistan operations.
- $3.2 billion in research and development funding for Future Combat Systems, including
- $497.0 million for the continued development of the Non-Line-of Sight Cannon System
- Authorized a new benefit option under TRICARE, TRICARE Reserve Select, which makes available, for the first time, an opportunity for all members of the National Guard and Reserve and their families to participate in TRICARE, regardless of their activation status.
- Authorized more than $400 million above the President’s budget request for enhanced health benefits for reservists, which will improve mobilization readiness and ensure continuity of health care services.
- Added $603.2 million for force protection gear and combat clothing for service members.
- Added $925.0 million for additional up-armored HMMWVs and add-on ballistic protection to provide force protection for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Included a provision that would require separate campaign medals for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- $463.5 million for 27 UH-60L and 5 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.
Senator Inhofe also worked to add the following programs and initiatives that were not originally part of the Defense Department FY2005 Authorizations bill:
- M22-mounted Automatic Chemical Agent Alarms for the Oklahoma National Guard. ($8 million)
- Demilitarization Technologies at McAlester Ammunition Plant. ($9 million)
- Robot for internal tanker maintenance at Tinker AFB. ($2 million)
- Included legislative proposals that would restrict the Air Force from retiring any KC-135E tanker aircraft or F-117 fighter aircraft in fiscal year 2005.
- Development of low cost airframes with Advance Composites Group of Tulsa. ($1.5 million)
- In-theater conversion of natural gas to liquid jet-fuel with Syntroleum, Inc. of Tulsa. ($3 million)
- Upgrades to the Oxygen Repair Facility in Oklahoma City. ($603,000)
- $130.0 million for maintenance activities, including $60 million for KC-135 airframe and engine maintenance, the bulk of which is done at Tinker AFB.
- Development of advanced generator sets for next-generation naval vessels with L-3 Communications Westwood Corporation of Tulsa. ($3 million)
- Landmine Detection Equipment with Nomadics, Inc. of Stillwater. ($4 million)
- Oklahoma National Guard F-16 Block 42 Engine Upgrade program. ($30 million)
- Airborne Infrared Surveillance of missile defense tests with L-3 Aeromet of Tulsa. ($15 million)
- Ft. Sill Joint Fires and Effects Training Center, in cooperation with the Institute for Creative Technologies. ($10 million)
- Advanced simulation technologies being developed by the Institute for Creative Technologies for use in training at Ft. Sill and elsewhere. ($8 million)
- Global Traffic Air Management systems on KC-135 tanker aircraft, including those at Altus AFB and Tinker AFB. ($10 million)
- AN/TPQ-36(V)8 Radar Processor Replacement Program with Telos·OK of Lawton. ($4 million)
Defense Department FY2005 Authorizations bill (S.2400) will now go to conference committee to be reconciled with the House passed version (HR 4200).