Pryor, Lincoln Announce Arkansas Projects in Defense Authorization Bill
U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln today announced that the Senate Armed Services Committee has approved funding for significant defense projects in Arkansas as part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization Bill.
"As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I take my responsibility to craft this legislation very seriously. Arkansas's military installations, universities and businesses play a leading role in building our nation's defense and are therefore highlighted in this bill." Pryor said. "In committee, I also helped advance a 3.5% pay raise for uniformed personnel, an additional $4 billion for mine resistant vehicles to protect our troops, and major management reforms such as tightening the requirements for the billions of dollars DoD spends on contract services. I'm pleased my legislation to move nanotechnology research from the lab to the battlefield was also integrated into the bill."
"As we strive to make our country more secure, it is important that we fund efforts in Arkansas that contribute to a strong national defense," said Senator Lincoln. "I am proud to have worked with Senator Pryor to ensure that this bill includes critical funding that will strengthen Arkansas' military efforts, and I will continue to fight for this funding throughout the appropriations process."
The Senators added that the Defense Authorization Bill is the first step in the appropriations process. Next, the projects must be approved in either the FY08 Military Construction Appropriations Act or the FY08 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
The following Arkansas projects were included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Defense Authorization Bill:
Future Medical Shelter System - $7.5 million was authorized for further development of the Future Medical Shelter System (FMSS) program. These units are light-weight and compact with integrated electrical, water and medical systems. They are easily transportable and designed to care for critically wounded soldiers on the battlefield.
Center for Nanoscale Bio-Sensors, University of Arkansas - $2.5 million was authorized to support recent breakthroughs in nanostructures for research and development of nanoscale biological sensors. This initiative is vital to the Army's vision to protect soldiers and civilians from bacteria, viruses and biological weapons.
Little Rock, AR
Activated Nanostructures for De-icing, UALR - $1.5 million was authorized for the development of activated nanostructures for aircraft de-icing. This program will use a combination of nanostructures and electrical charges to provide a safe de-icing alternative for surfaces retrofitted to existing aircraft.
Little Rock Air Force Base Runway Repair - $9.8 million was authorized to support a runway revitalization project that improves operations and safety for the airfield. This includes repairing deteriorated runway and shoulder pavements, removing airfield obstructions, replacing runway lighting, and reorganizing instrument guidance and navigation systems. This construction upgrades the operational life of the airfield and is essential to support 314 Airlift Wing mission training.
Little Rock Air Force Base Multi-Purpose Education Facility - $9.8 million was authorized for the construction of a multi-purpose educational facilty that meets Air Force standards for distance learning, video teleconferencing and seminar needs. Currently, the Education Center is housed in two inadequate converted dormitories that provide a limited scope of academic offerings due to space constraints and distance from the base library.
Pine Bluff, AR
M291/M295 Chemical Decontamination Kits - $14 million was authorized for production of M291/M295 Skin/Equipment Chemical Decontamination Kits at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. These portable decontamination kits have been fielded by U.S. Armed Forces since the early 1990's and were deployed in Desert Storm. They are currently used in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
M18 Grenades - $13 million was authorized to replenish training and operational stocks of the M18 Grenade produced at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. The M18 Grenade is a small hand-held grenade, approximately the size of a soup can, that emits a dense colored smoke and is used by all military services for signaling, marking, and screening operations. The M18 Smoke Grenade has been in high demand as a result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Chemically Protected Deployable Medical Systems (CP DEPMEDS) - $1.5 million was authorized for the CP DEPMEDS at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. These units provide environmentally controlled protection for core components of combat support hospitals. The Army is currently placing CP DEPMEDS in prepositioned stocks for units in high-threat areas.
Camp Robinson, North Little Rock, AR
Metrological Measuring Set - $2.8 million was authorized for Metrological Measuring Set Profilers, such as those used by the Arkansas National Guard. These advanced systems provide meteorological information in order for munitions to accurately and precisely hit their target.
Regional Institute Training Complex (RTI) - $5.6 million was authorized for the first phase of RTI Complex construction. This includes building a general instruction space, a supply building, maintenance training bays, and an administration building. The 233rd RTI's mission is essential in maintaining a responsive force to support state and federal missions.
Ammunition Supply Point - $5.5 million was authorized to provide an ammunition supply point with specially designed anti-terrorism protection upgrades. Improvements will maintain maximum feasible standoff distance from roads, parking areas, vehicle unloading areas, and the inclusion of berms and heavy landscaping to prevent unauthorized access.
Standoff Improvised Explosive Detection Program (SIEDP), Arkansas State University - $5 million was authorized for the SIEDP to improve the detection of Impovised Exploxive Devices (IEDs). Funding for this program will allow Arkansas State University to explore and develop new capabilities in areas of IED standoff detection and forensic tracing.
Ballistic Missile Defense (SM-3) Deployment - $75 million was authorized to increase the manufacturing rate of SM-3 and also produce long-lead material for 12 additional Block 1B missiles. These systems, when integrated on U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers, provide the capability to detect, track, intercept, and destroy short to intermediate range ballistic missiles.
25 PAC-3 Missiles - $75 million was authorized to fund the Defense Department's priority anti-tactical missile interceptor program, the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC). It is designed to counter all threats armed with weapons of mass destruction. Camden's portion of the PAC-3 Missile production supports approximately 460 jobs.
Full funding was also authorized for Army, Air Force and Marine Corps ammunition requirements, including Hydra-70 Rockets and 40 mm high explosive cartridges.