Senate Bill Contains $9 Billion For Mississippi Military Projects

The Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Bill recently passed by the Senate contains about $9 billion for military installations and military related projects in Mississippi, according to Senator Trent Lott's office.

The bill for fiscal year 2008 is expected to go to Conference with the House within the next two weeks.

"Mississippians are always interested in the defense appropriations process as our state is home to numerous military bases and defense contractors.  From this perspective, our state is again well represented in this defense measure," Senator Lott said.

The funding that impacts Mississippi is for the operation and maintenance of each military base, weapons systems built in the state, research and development performed by state universities, and for youth oriented programs such as the Naval Sea Cadets.

Overall, The Senate version of the Defense Appropriations Bill recommends $459 billion in budget authority for fiscal year 2008.

The bill includes funds for construction of the Navy's DD(X) destroyers to be built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Ingalls Operations of Pascagoula, as well as the final increment of funding for the LHA-6.

Highlights of the 2008 Senate Defense Bill for Mississippi include:

DD(X) future Navy destroyer, $2.8 Billion
  The Senate fully supported the continued development and construction of the Navy's next generation destroyer that is being designed by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula.

LHA(R) Navy amphibious helicopter carrier, $1.37 Billion
  The Senate supported the continued construction and final incremental funding of LHA-6.

LPD-17 Class amphibious ship, $1.398 Billion
  The Senate Bill fully supported the continued construction of the LPD-25 amphibious ship.  The ship will be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Fire Scout Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, $38.8 million
  The bill supported the Navy's procurement of 3 Fire Scout air vehicles built at Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Pascagoula.

Lightweight 155 mm Howitzer, $584 million      
   The Senate bill supported an increase of $220.5 million for the purchase of 155 mm       Lightweight Howitzers, which are produced by BAE in Hattiesburg.

CVN (aircraft carrier) Propeller, $5.6 million
  The Senate bill added $5.6 million for the purchase of aircraft carrier propellers built by Rolls Royce in Pascagoula.

Hunter UAV, $10 million
  The Senate bill added $10 million to accelerate the fielding of Hunter tactical unmanned aerial systems, with work to be conducted at Stark Aviation in Starkville and Northrop Grumman at Moss Point.

Naval Sea Cadet Corp, $2 million
  The Senate bill fully supported the President's budget, and added an additional $300 thousand for the Naval Sea Cadet Corp.

C-130J Hercules Aircraft, $918 million
  The Senate bill provides funding for the procurement of 9 C-130J aircraft for Air Force and 4 aircraft for the Marine Corps.  The C-130 fuselage is built by Lockheed-Martin in Meridian.

Arrow Missile System, $159 million
  The Senate bill increased funding by $75 million above the President's request, for the production and upgrades to Arrow Missile Interceptors and the Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense Research Program. ATK of Iuka builds the composite body for the Arrow missile.

POSS Nanotechnology Engineering, $3 million
  The Senate provided $3 million for the continued scale-up of industrial capability from 250 tons per year to 500 tons per year for production of POSS Nanotechnology.  Scale-up of production will support acceleration of technology insertion into a broad range of weapon system platforms.  The production is conducted by Hybrid Plastics in Hattiesburg.

GuARDS, $2.1 million
  The Senate bill adds $2.1 million for continued production of Mobile Gamma Ray Detection System (GaRDS) and People Screening (Secure 1000) systems.  The systems are used to inspect vehicles and cargo for explosives, IEDs and other weapons in Iraq.  These force protection systems are produced by Rapiscan in Ocean Springs.

Joint Precision Airdrop System, $4.0 million
  The Senate bill supports further development of the Defense Department's The Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPAD) system, which is produced by Pioneer Aerospace in Columbia, Mississippi.

Mississippi Colleges and Universities, $32.9 million
  The Senate bill added $32.9 million for defense related research and development programs in areas such as Computational Design at Jackson State University, Military Vehicles at Mississippi State University, the Army Acoustic Center at Ole Miss and malaria research at Ole Miss, and Polymer Coatings at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Military Construction Projects, $20.97 million
  The Senate added $20.97 million for military construction projects in Mississippi.  The construction projects included a Fire Station at Naval Air Station Meridian; a Joint Use Simulation Center at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg; and a Special Operations facility at Stennis Space Center.

Personnel and Operations
  The Senate also provided for a 3.5 percent base salary increase for military personnel.

Onboard Vehicle Power, $3 million
  The Senate bill provided $3 million for further development the onboard vehicle power system which is a small high-power converter that can be carried onboard the Army's M113 Armored Personnel Carrier.  The research and production is being conducted at Diversified Technologies in Jackson.

Navy Automatic Identification Engineering Center, $1 million
  The Senate bill provided $1 million that supports the continued development of a Navy Automatic Identification Technology (AIT) Engineering Support Center in Mississippi for Navy Acquisition Managers, Program Managers, and AIT users and developers.  This initiative expands the Navy's capability for research and development, focused testing, and industrial testing.

SOCOM Craft Modifications, $2.1 million
  The Senate bill provides $2.1 million to support the modernization and upgrades for the Special Operations boats.  The work will be performed at US Marine Inc. in Gulfport.

High Performance Computing Infrastructure Enhancement, $7 million
  The Senate provided $7 million to enhance the supercomputing infrastructure at the Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center in Vicksburg and to accommodate the planned modernization of the DoD supercomputer.  This modernization effort is necessary to ensure that ERDC can continue to host future DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program computers.