Jordan Supports House Defense Bill
Billions for work at JSMC Included
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) today announced that a defense bill passed by the U.S. House would provide more than $2.3 billion for Abrams tank upgrades performed at Lima's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) and related sites.
The upgrades under the System Enhancement Package (SEP) program and other modernization programs are included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Defense Authorization bill, which was approved with Jordan's support by a 397 to 27 vote today.
"Our troops in combat continue to prove the value of our top-of-the-line Abrams tank fleet," Jordan said. "The men and women of JSMC-Lima can take great pride in their outstanding contributions to our national defense."
Under the SEP program, tanks are fitted with high-tech diagnostic equipment, night vision capabilities, and improved fire control systems. JSMC has been responsible for modernizing hundreds of tanks under this and similar programs.
Jordan committed his support for the Abrams upgrades to the House Armed Services Committee in March.
Jordan also led a statewide congressional effort to ensure the Pentagon's continued acquisition of the Stryker light armored vehicle, the upper hull of which is produced at JSMC. The defense bill authorizes more than $1.5 billion for new Strykers and upgrades to existing Stryker vehicles.
Also approved in the bill is $88 million for continued research and development work on prototypes of the Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), which is manufactured and assembled at JSMC.
The bill also authorizes the naming of a building at JSMC as the Michael G. Oxley Administration and Technology Center. In 2005, former Congressman Oxley obtained federal funding for this facility, currently under construction. Jordan attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the building in March.
Overall, the defense bill authorizes $504 billion in national security spending and an increase in the active-duty end strength of the Army and Marine Corps. It establishes a 3.5-percent across-the-board pay raise for members of the military, authorizes more than $1.2 billion for personal body armor, and improves medical and dental care for military personnel.
Actual defense spending for Fiscal Year 2008 will be determined in separate legislation later this year. Jordan said that he will work to protect the authorized funding as work continues on the 2008 budget.
"This bill, while not perfect, reflects our steadfast commitment to maintaining a strong national defense," Jordan noted. "It honors the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform as they protect and serve our nation at home and abroad."