WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) praised the overall results of the Senate Armed Services Committee “Markup” of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009.
“Military personnel and installations across the nation will greatly benefit from this bill and Oklahoma is no exception,” Inhofe said. “This bill is a 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.
“This legislation provides our military members with the training and equipment they require to succeed in their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also goes a long way toward ensuring our service men and women are the best trained and equipped in the world by fielding a new tanker and other aircraft, growing our fleet of ships, fully funding the Army’s Future Combat Systems, and continuing to grow the force. I am especially pleased that the bill provides a 3.9% across-the-board pay raise for our service men and women, without raising their TRICARE fees.”
Senator Inhofe successfully added several amendments during committee consideration, including legislation to establish a Traumatic Extremity Injury and Amputee Center of Excellence, require the Department of Defense to provide a report on nutritional care for wounded warriors, establish a paternity leave policy providing 21 days of administrative leave for new fathers, and allow veterans and service members to salute the flag while the National Anthem is being played. “These efforts represent real-world solutions for our veterans, troops and their families,” Inhofe said.
The bill also includes legislation championed by Senator Inhofe designed to build partnerships with other nations. “The ‘Building Global Partnerships’ program will assist other nations and their militaries, enabling them to take an active part in maintaining peace and stability throughout the world,” Inhofe said. The program is authorized for 3 years, increases funding for training foreign military and security forces and provides funds to Combatant Commanders to promptly respond to emergencies throughout the world.
Inhofe praised the inclusion of funding for the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The principal focus of AFRICOM is training peacekeeping forces so that countries in Africa can take the lead role in dealing with conflicts and problems. “One of America’s greatest values is to help people help themselves, and AFRICOM is a testament to that philosophy,” Inhofe said.
This legislation also authorizes full funding for the European Missile Defense deployment, as well as an additional $270 million for near-term missile defense systems. The bill provides a $390 million dollar increase for National Guard defense items, and ensures full funding of ongoing readiness and depot maintenance programs that are vital to the Army’s current operations.
· $10.2 M to construct a Consolidated Digital Airport Surveillance Radar at Altus AFB.
· $63 M for a Training Complex Upgrade at Ft. Sill.
· $48.6 M for an Aircraft Maintenance Hanger at Tinker AFB.
· $2.85 M to replace Fuel Storage Dikes at Altus AFB.
· $65 M to replace a Medical/Dental Clinic at Tinker AFB.
· $9.9 M for an AFR Scheduled Maintenance Hanger.
· $67 M for an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Broken Arrow.
· $23 M for an Armed Forces Reserve Center in Muskogee.
· $47 M for an ADA, Increment 2 at Ft. Sill.
· $9 M for a Child Care Center at Ft. Sill.
Other Oklahoma Provisions:
· $5 M for procurement of Call for Fire II/Joint Fires and Effects Training System (JFETS) at Fort Sill.
· $3.5 M for research and development of Joint Fires and Effects Training System at Fort Sill, to be performed by the Institute for Creative Technologies of Marina Del Ray, California.
· $6 M for procurement of Fido Explosive Detectors, to be manufactured in Stillwater.
· $3 M for research and development of Infrared Materials, to be performed by Ardmore Development Authority.
· $2 M for research and development of Ground Warfare Acoustical Combat System of Netted Sensors, to be performed by GWACS Defense, Inc. in Claremore.
· $1 M for Bomb Line Modernization at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.
· $2 M for research and development at the Institute for Information Security at the University of Tulsa.
· $3 M for research and development of an Extended Range Modular Sniper Rifle System, to be performed by Surgeon Rifles, Inc. of Prague
· $1 M for Advanced Ultrasonic Inspection of Aging Aircraft Structures, to be performed by Veracity Technology Solutions of Midwest City.
· $500 K for research and development of Safe Deactivation of Military Explosives Yielding Components for Plastics at Oklahoma State University.
· An additional $8 M for the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR).