WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement praising the passage of the Defense Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2008 (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. “In order to remain the world’s premiere fighting force today, we must provide our military with resources, support, and the latest technologies to use on the battlefield of tomorrow.
“This bill contains provisions that are vital for the continued success of the U.S. military. It provides $459 billion for Department of Defense functions, including funding for an increase of 13,000 personnel for the Army, 9,000 for the Marine Corp, 5,000 for the Army Reserve, and 1,300 for the Army National Guard. The bill funds the acquisition of 20 F-22A Raptor fighter aircraft, 12 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, and Future Combat Systems, including the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, which will undergo final integration in Elgin, OK. It also funds a 3.5 percent across-the-board pay raise for our military.
“Military bases and training 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 look forward to our state’s continued growth into a central role in the defense of America.”
Oklahoma Specific Provisions:
· $1.0M 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.
· $2.0M 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.
· $9.0M for KC-135 Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) modification, to be performed by Rockwell Collins - The faster the AF can convert the KC-135 tankers with this GATM capability, the faster they can respond to world-wide missions. The additional $9,000,000 will purchase and install 10 more GATM kits on the like-number of KC-135 aircraft, thus completing the GATM program prior to FY12, saving the AF over $2,000,000 per year. The KC-135 depot maintenance currently is performed at Tinker Air Force Base.
· $4.0M for Joint Leadership Training Systems at Fort Sill, to be performed by Institute for Creative Technologies. Building on the success of using immersive simulation to train joint forward observers, Joint Leadership Training Systems will allow the practice of fundamental leadership skills essential at all levels of command in a uniquely optimal environment.
· $2.0M for Infrared Materials Research, to be performed by the Ardmore Development Authority, Ardmore, OK. Two of the most important materials used in fabricating high-performance infrared devices are HgCdTe and InSb. Because of financial and technical barriers in this field, growth and advancement has been severely limited. Currently our sole producer of some vital parts of our sensors is located in Japan. In an attempt to overcome this shortfall, a collaborative agreement was made by all four US infrared houses with support from Army Research Office, Army Night Vision, Dept. of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
· $1.0M for Power Conversion Equipment development, to be performed by Westwood Corporation, Tulsa, OK. Westwood Corporation of Tulsa, OK, is working under an Office of Naval Research program to provide power conversion equipment as a proof of concept for an advanced high density power generator program. The end use of the equipment would be for future naval ship power distribution architectures including that of the U.S. Navy DDG-1000 Destroyer program or the CGX Cruiser Program.
· $3.0M for FIDO explosive detectors, to be performed by ICx Nomadics in Stillwater, OK. The Fido explosive detector initially developed under DARPA funding for the detection of landmines is now being used in OIF/OEF for the detection of IEDs and persons involved in the manufacturing and placement of IEDs. Fido received the Army's 2005 10 Greatest Inventions Award and systems, both Hand Held and mounted on UGVs, have been arriving in Theater throughout 2006, purchased mainly by unit level O&M funds.
· $1.0M 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.
· $7.5M 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.
· $14.0M for Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) – coalition of scientists in several states including OK. DEPSCoR helps to build national competitiveness for research and education by funding science and engineering fields important to national defense. Participation in this program is limited to states that meet eligibility criteria as set forth in the authorizing language. The program is intended to improve the capabilities of institutions of higher education to develop, plan and execute science and engineering research that is competitive under peer-review system.
· $1.2M for Acoustic Combat Sensors development, to be performed by GWACS Defense, Inc., Tulsa, OK. This will accelerate the completion of a new technology that is critical and urgently needed for small arms detection and location for future procurement (FY2009) for force protection and situational awareness at all command levels in open and urban terrain operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
· $1.0M for University Multi-spectral Laboratory (UML) and Analytical Services Center (ASCENT) Program 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) readiness is compromised because of a critical equipment shortage of the AN/TMQ-52 Profiler. The ARNG has a requirement for 55 Profilers (one Profiler per Brigade Combat Team and three Profilers per Fire Brigade) and has only been funded for six systems. This leaves the ARNG with a critical shortage of 49 Profilers which compromises readiness.
· $10.0M for Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) Weapon Integration on B-2, to be performed by Northrop Grumman. Hard and Deeply Buried Targets (HDBT) represent a key element of an adversary's target set. Existing conventional weapons lack the ability to engage many of these targets. Our country's best conventional HDBT penetrating weapon, the GBU-28 bunker buster, often cannot penetrate deeply enough to reach these very hard targets. Integration of the MOP onto the B-2 gives the United States the ability to reach HDBTs on a stealth platform.
· $5.0M for Impact Aid for Children with Severe Disabilities nationwide, including Oklahoma.