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Senator Santorum Announces Senate Passage of the Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act

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Location: Washington, DC


Senator Santorum Announces Senate Passage of the Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today offered remarks on the recently passed Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate passed this important legislation today by a vote of 98-0.

"I commend Senators John Warner (R-VA) and Carl Levin (D-MI) for their hard work on crafting an authorization bill that addresses the needs of our military men and women, while at the same time addressing several issues identified as areas of concern," said Senator Santorum. "I would like to thank Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) for his tireless efforts to get this bill back on the floor and to ensure that extraneous matters were not considered with this important legislation."

Senator Santorum noted the significant improvements authorized by the legislation with respect to survivors of military personnel. The bill increases the death gratuity to $100,000 for survivors of military members whose death resulted from wounds, injuries, or illnesses incurred under combat-related conditions or in an operation or area designated as a combat operation or a combat zone. The bill also increases from $250,000 to $400,000 the maximum amount of coverage available under the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program.

"By authorizing a 3.1 percent across-the-board pay raise for all uniformed service personnel and through the authorization of over 20 types of bonuses and special pays aimed at encouraging enlistment, re-enlistment, and continued service, the Senate is actively working to see that we maintain the world's finest military force," said Senator Santorum. "I salute the Committee for its authorization of an additional $70 million in child care and family assistance services."

The bill also provides increased TRICARE benefits to children of survivors and directs the establishment of a uniform Department of Defense policy on casualty assistance to improve the services provided to survivors and next of kin of military members killed on active duty. Additionally, the FY 2006 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes an initiative to better equip the military health care system to identify and treat early signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental disorders.

The FY 2006 National Defense Authorization Act makes significant efforts to provide improved force protection measures to the men and women of our military serving in harm's way. The bill authorizes $344.2 million for up armored HMMWVs and wheeled vehicle add-on ballistic protection for our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and increase of $120 million above the Administration's request.

The legislation also offers significant benefits for Pennsylvania's military industrial base by infusing significant funds to companies manufacturing products or pursuing research on military-specific programs.

Specifically, the bill authorizes the following efforts and initiatives that will benefit many Pennsylvania companies:

1. $20 million add for the procurement of the Advanced Combat Helmet with Modular Integrated Communications Headset (ACH MICH) for the Army. The single-communication system allows hands-free use of the radio. The dual-communication system allows the user to hear two radio communications or one radio and one intercom system. Both systems are compatible with various radio communication systems and have been proven under strenuous military combat. This is a product that is manufactured by Mine Safety Appliances of Pittsburgh.

2. $2 million add for research to develop, design, demonstrate, validate and implement a methodology that will enable incorporation of lightweight structural materials, optimized structural design and optimal integration of crew protection systems and structure for the Non-line-of-Sight Cannon and Mortar. Alcoa of Pittsburgh has been pursuing research with the Army on developing these capabilities within the Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) Program.

3. $16.4 million add for the procurement of 11 ALQ-99 LBT Antenna Group low band transmitters for the Navy's EA-6B Prowler. The Navy/Marine Corps EA-6B is the sole American Military support jamming aircraft providing radar jamming support for all U. S. and coalition airborne strike operations. The ALQ-99 LBT Antenna Group replaces both the Band 1 and Band 2 transmitters both of which are over 30 years old. The ALQ-99 LBT Antenna Group will provide an expanded war fighting capability against the early warning/acquisition radars and communication links of modern integrated air defense systems. BAE Systems of Lansdale has manufactured these transmitters for the Navy and Marine Corps.

4. $2 million add for procurement of additional Dual Mode Laser Guided Training Rounds for the Navy and Marine Corps. The Dual Mode Laser Guided Training Round, manufactured by Lockheed Martin of Archbald, improves the effectiveness of laser guided bombs in combat through better tactics development, while preserving the limited supply of laser guided bombs.

5. $2 million add for the procurement of the M762A1 Electronic Time Fuze for the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps is experiencing a significant shortfall in its war reserve stockpile of M762A1 ET Fuzes. Current stockage is only a fraction of the objective and usage by forces in Iraq continues to impact availability. BT Fuze Products/L3 Communications of Lancaster manufactures this fuze for the Marine Corps.

6. $3.9 million add for research and development of a Small Arms Acoustic Infrared Flash Detection capability for the Marine Corps. The funds will support the development of a small, lightweight system that will provide our Marines with a better means of acoustic and infrared flash detection of small arms fire by enemy forces. Ibis Tek of Butler has been working on this technology, called the Gunslinger Weapon System, with the Marine Corps.

7. $2 million added for continued research on Applied Emergency Hypothermia for Advanced Combat Life Support for the Army. The Safar Center for Resuscitation Research at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is a member of the investigative team pursuing this innovative, potentially life-saving research. To date, the program has been managed by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC). Applied Emergency Hypothermia supports innovative suspended animation and delayed resuscitation research and development directed at saving the lives of severely injured combat casualties who would otherwise die. Suspended animation and delayed resuscitation are designed to save currently unrecoverable casualties suffering traumatic, massive bleeding and cardiac arrest. Suspended animation permits preservation of the brain and other vital body organs until cardiopulmonary bypass and stable circulation is achieved. Suspended animation induced within the first critical minutes after cardiac arrest buys time for medical evacuation and resuscitative surgery.

8. $32.4 million add for the M777A1 Lightweight 155mm Howitzer for the Army. The Lightweight 155mm Howitzer (LW-155), a joint Army/Marine Corps program, is manufactured by BAE Systems. These additional funds will support an Army requirement for additional LW-155s for the 7th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

9. $6 million add for procurement of additional M782 Multi-Option Fuze Artillery (MOFA) for the Marine Corps. The M782 MOFA is the replacement for five different types of fuzes in the current Marine Corps inventory. The MOFA is the newest, most modern artillery fuze. It supports all fielded 105mm and 155mm artillery bursting projectile ammunition, and is used by both the Marine Corps and the Army. MOFA is manufactured by Chamberlain Manufacturing of Scranton.

10. $6.5 million add for Crash Attenuating Seats for CH-53 Helicopters for the Marine Corps. These seats are manufactured in Johnstown by Martin Baker America.

11. $4 million add for the Army's Flexible Display Initiative (FDI). Future military systems must bring even more clarity and effectiveness to the battlefield environment. This will be accomplished through advances in electronic systems, of which the display is a mission critical component. The additional funds will support efforts to research ways to enable plastic materials to perform like glass and will support efforts to develop manufacturing tools for the new technologies. Primary focus is on flexible displays and microelectronics that will facilitate these technologies. The initiative is competitively bid, peer reviewed and has a 62% industry cost share in leveraging federal dollars invested.

12. $15 million add for the procurement of M795 155mm High Explosive Cartridge Artillery Ammunition for the Navy/Marine Corps. The metal parts of this ammunition are manufactured in Scranton by Chamberlain Manufacturing.

13. $3 million add for procurement of XM1028 120mm tank anti-personnel canister cartridges for the Army. The XM1028 is designed to provide the M1A1 Abrams tank with devastating lethality at close range against massed assaulting infantry armed with handheld anti-tank and automatic weapons. In addition, the XM1028 canister round is highly effective in open terrain or urban combat operations providing the Abrams fleet with a new capability to engage and defeat infantry targets. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems of Red Lion manufactures this munition.

Finally, the Senate adopted a "manager's package" of amendments prior to final passage of the bill. Included in the package were five additional items of importance to Senator Santorum. These items included authorization of:

1) $1 million for research on warhead/grenade manufacturing technology;

2) A sense of the Senate encouraging the Department of Defense and military services to notify Members of Congress when constituents in the military are recognized for extraordinary heroism, bravery and achievement;

3) An amendment directing the Secretary of Defense to prescribe a policy on the recruitment and enlistment of home-schooled students in the Armed Forces;

4) An amendment authorizing the release of up to 8 million pounds of tungsten ores and concentrates from the National Defense Stockpile in fiscal year 2006; and

5) An amendment authorizing $1 million for the procurement of rapid intravenous infusion pumps/cartridges for the U.S. Marine Corps. Infusion Dynamics of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania manufacturers these important medical devices.

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1533&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0

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