Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) announced that the House-Senate FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill that passed the House today includes $32.1 million for Southern Maryland military facilities, as well as related research activities and workforce training that will maintain and enhance their role in the nation's defense operations. The funding was included at Rep. Hoyer's request, and must only be approved by the Senate before it is sent to the President, who is expected to sign the measure. The funding is in addition to $11.043 million signed into law by the President today for construction of a Special Communications Engineering Facility at Webster Field at St. Inigoes.
"Pax River and Indian Head are invaluable assets to our nation's defense and security," said Congressman Hoyer. "The RDT&E conducted at these facilities provide our armed forces with the state-of-the-art technology to enhance their safety and capability in the field. The continued investment in Pax and Indian Head and the people who work there reflects the excellence of the specialized services they offer, as well as the vital strategic purpose they serve."
"Funding in this bill will also invest in the next generation of specialized professionals conducting important work in the fields of engineering," continued Hoyer. "Programs such as the Center for Energetic Concepts Development and University of Maryland research in joint heavy lift helicopter technology are not only important to our state's efforts to attract and retain talented professionals, they will further enhance the capabilities of Pax River and Indian Head to ensure these facilities remain critical assets to our military."
"I am also pleased to announce additional support for the Kennedy-Krieger Institute's Advanced Spinal Cord Restoration Therapies where treatments are being developed to help our wounded warriors rehabilitate from spinal cord injuries," concluded Hoyer. "Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less than our commitment to ensuring they have access to the treatment and care they need."
Funding for 5th District military projects included in the FY 10 Department of Defense Appropriations bill:
Patuxent River & Webster Field at St. Inigoes
NAE Interoperability with the Carrier Strike Group - $5,000,000
This investment will continue the integration of the Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) with the Surface Aviation Interoperability Laboratory (SAIL) at NAS Patuxent River. This project will reduce the overall cost of testing by allowing the aircraft systems to interact with shipboard systems in the virtual mode.
Improved Capabilities for Irregular Warfare Platforms - $4,000,000
Funding for this project will be used to integrate and upgrade Special Operation Forces (SOF) vehicles and platforms with more advanced intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. By integrating new technology across the broad range of SOF vehicles, war fighters can gain access to a common operational picture and air-ground-sea interoperability. This will not only help to meet current SOF ISR needs, but will also help to reduce friendly fire incidents.
Joint Mission Battle-Space to support Net-Ready Key Performance Parameters - $2,000,000
This funding will be used for the procurement and integration of the Navy's tactical data links and command and control systems in order to create a joint battle space environment to test, analyze and determine whether the Key Performance Parameters for net-readiness and interoperability have been met. The principal location of research, development and test assets, primarily radar and flight instrumentation systems, is located at NAS Patuxent River and will allow centrally-located assets to link to the Joint Atlantic and Chesapeake Ranges Cooperative (so that tests can be conducted simultaneously from multiple locations simultaneously. This allows tremendous cost savings by utilizing one hub to monitor and track test assets rather than having the testing done at multiple locations.
Multi-Mission Helicopter Avionics Mission System - $1,500,000
Funding will be used to acquire a multi-mission helicopter test-bed to test and certify the interoperability of the data-links between naval vessels and the Multi Mission Helicopter, which is currently being developed to replace many legacy aircraft that are at the end of their useful life. Before these new aircraft can be introduced to the fleet, new systems must be tested and certified to ensure aircraft can successfully communicate with shipboard platforms for a variety of missions. This funding will allow the Navy to develop and test the requisite interfaces so when ship and aircraft are available they can be integrated with minimal cost and schedule impacts.
Joint Heavy Lift Helicopter Research, University of Maryland, College Park - $1,000,000
Funding for this project will be used to research and develop technology that increases structural, aerodynamic, flight control, and propulsion efficiencies for the Navy's Heavy-Lift Helicopter program, and to support the graduate and undergraduate students who contribute to Heavy-Lift research. Additionally, it will upgrade existing rotorcraft-related experimental facilities and instrumentation, which will lead to the acquisition of new experimental and computing facilities to carry out further research. By involving graduate and undergraduate students in this program, it will help to address the shortage of scientific and engineering professionals in the U.S. workforce.
Special Communications Engineering Facility, St. Inigoes - $11,043,000
Funding will be used to build an additional Special Communications Engineering Facility at Webster Field. This additional workspace will increase the number of Secure Compartmented Information Facilities to accommodate increased workloads, allowing this special unit to continue work on communications and special operations missions from fixed-base, tactical, shipboard, and other environments.
In addition, just today, the President signed the FY2010 Consolidated Appropriations bill that included $11,043,000 for construction of the Special Communications Engineering Facility at St. Inigoes. This funding, included at the request of Congressman Hoyer, will finance additional Secure Compartmented Information Facilities to accommodate increased workloads, allowing this special unit to continue work on communications and special operations missions from fixed-base, tactical, shipboard, and other environments.
Manufacturing Science and Technology for Next Generation Energetics - $5,000,000
This funding will enable the design and development of safe and cost-effective manufacturing processes for next generation energetics. This effort is critical to ensure the military can safely produce the new, superior explosives and propellants that it will use in future conflicts.
Advanced Energetics Initiative - $4,000,000
New advanced energetics weapons, such as the thermo-baric and reactive material warheads, are providing enhanced capability against difficult targets in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Under current Navy requirements, next generation energetic materials must be smaller, lighter, more lethal, safer, and adaptable to a constantly changing target set. Funding will be applied toward the research and development of next generation reactive material warhead concepts for highly reactive materials and novel reactive structural materials in order to meet the Navy's standards for advanced energetics capabilities.
Energetics Science and Technology Workforce Development - $3,500,000
The University of Maryland's Center for Energetic Concepts Development and affiliated Energetics Technology Center in La Plata coordinate a unique, advanced degree science and engineering curriculum to train technicians in the field of energetics. This funding will be used to bolster the nation's energetics workforce and allow energetics experts to conduct wide-ranging basic research in order to advance the science and engineering of energetics systems. This investment will help to regenerate the energetics professional workforce at a time when many scientists and engineers are approaching retirement and many young people are choosing other career paths.
Underwater Explosives and Warhead Research - $3,000,000
This funding will advance efforts to develop the next generation of explosives and warheads that can defeat both submarines and surface targets, such as mines, and also be used successfully against new or evolving threats. This project will enhance the U.S. Navy's ability to protect strategic sea lanes and ensure they remain open to commercial and military traffic.
Technology Transfer Office - $1,500,000
Funding will used to establish a Technology Transfer Office at NSWC Indian Head to assist the Office of Research and Technology Applications with the transfer of commercially useful technologies from federal laboratories to the private sector. Transferring licensed federal technology invented by the government will generate royalties from the patents purchased by this program. Additionally, new businesses will be created around the licensed technology, which in turn, will create new technical employment, a new tax base for federal and state governments, and potentially, additional inventions will be created during the research and development process.
Advanced Spinal Cord Restoration Therapies, Kennedy-Krieger Institute (Baltimore) - $1,600,000
Funding will support the continued development of spinal cord restoration therapies, which can be used to rehabilitate wounded warriors with spinal cord injuries. Roughly 20 percent of the 20,000 injured servicemen and women in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have suffered serious brain or spinal cord injuries. The new therapies and techniques developed will aid America's war fighters with spinal cord injuries and allow them to live fulfilling and productive lives.