WASHINGTON---U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) will visit production and research and development facilities of Boeing, United Defense, and The Institute for Creative Technology in California over the next two days. Senator Inhofe’s tour began at Fort Sill and is another example of his ongoing dialogue with the project managers and program executive officers that are developing key technologies to better prepare America’s soldiers and enhance their means in defending the citizens of the United States.
“Especially now, we must ensure that the finest equipment and training is available to our men and women in the armed forces,” Inhofe said. “These contractors are developing crucial technologies for our nations military and it is important that we stay well advised of the progress in the research and development phases. I look forward to examining all of these vital programs and discussing how they will positively contribute to our military and Oklahoma.”
Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) - United Defense
The NLOS-C is a highly advanced cannon artillery vehicle currently in development as part of the Army’s Future Combat System (FCS). Senator Inhofe has long lead the pursuit of new artillery system to replace the antiquated technology currently in use by the Army. The Senator will observe the program and discuss its development, requirements, and future with program executives. “I am talking with these contractors to ensure that the NLOS Cannon follows the same track as the Crusader,” Inhofe said. “First in my mind is the Oklahoma contribution to the production of this weapons system.”
Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)
The ICT studies and develops outside-the-box threat scenarios for the Department of Defense utilizing virtual reality-like technology to better prepare our soldiers for combat. Senator Inhofe will visit the ICT facilities at both Fort Sill, Oklahoma and in California.
At Senator Inhofe’s request, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz visited Fort Sill in January. Representative of the ongoing dialogue between Senator Inhofe and Secretary Wolfowitz, the Secretary invited Senator Inhofe to his office in the Pentagon to discuss his trip to Fort Sill where he inspected the Joint Fires and Effects Training Facility.
With the help of Senator Inhofe, soldiers at Fort Sill will begin live-fire training this summer utilizing ICT’s technology in the Joint Fires and Effects Training Center. “ICT’s technology will undoubtedly save lives by better preparing our soldiers for the contingencies they face on the battlefield,” Inhofe said. “After talking to combat soldiers who have participated in ICT’s training simulations I am convinced that this is as real as it gets.”
C-17 Facility - Boeing
Altus Air Force Base is the only Air Force facility for basic C-17 crew training. “This fact makes Altus unique and an essential focus in the operation of national defense,” Inhofe said. Altus Air Force Base currently possesses ten C-17’s and is expected to receive its 11th sometime later this year. Senator Inhofe will tour the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III production facility and discuss the current success of the aircraft in its role as a global support wing for the United States Armed Forces.
Battlefield Integration Center (BIC) - Boeing
Senator Inhofe will examine the development of the Future Combat System’s integration at Boeing’s Battlefield Integration Center in California. The BIC is designed as a proving ground for demonstrating increased combat effectiveness achieved through network centric operations. “Through briefings and participation in an interactive simulated ground battle, I have witnessed the increased efficiency, coordination, and communication that comes from a networked force like the Future Combat System,” Inhofe said. “I am confidant that with the further development of FCS we will increase both the lethality and safety of our troops.”