U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced final passage of the Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Appropriations bill. This legislation provides funding for military activities of the Department of Defense, including funding to support military personnel, operation and maintenance of weapons and facilities, weapons procurement and research and development. Included in the bill is more than $72 million for military priorities in Tennessee.
“These projects represent an important investment in our military as we continue to wage the War on Terror. From providing members of our armed forces with a much deserved pay raise to helping combat meth in our state, this legislation makes clear our commitment to the safety and security of Tennesseans,” Frist said. “Senator Alexander and I will continue our efforts to ensure the brave men and women who serve our nation have the resources they need to protect America’s freedom.”
“This bill invests in cutting edge technology to improve our nation’s defense and funds the priorities of Tennessee's Guard and Reserve,” Alexander said. “I will continue to work with Senator Frist to support the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces."
Important funding for Tennessee within the legislation includes:
$19 million for the Army National Guard to provide necessary technical and system enhancements to Prophet Ground Vehicles and Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) trainers and a Meterological Measuring Set. This equipment will help to maintain personnel training and combat readiness for the Tennessee National Guard.
$1.3 million for the Tennessee National Guard to carry out and evaluation and training project to better support the Tennessee National Guard personnel.
$5 million for the Air Force Minority Leaders Program. Tennessee State University is part of a university led consortium to advance materials and sensor technology development for the Air Force.
$3.9 million for the Army to purchase Lightweight Maintenance Enclosures for support to vehicle maintenance activities in theatre operations. The Lightweight Maintenance Enclosures are produced by Camel Manufacturing in East Tennessee.
$2.6 million for the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area for the Tennessee Army National Guard. Tennessee ranks among the top marijuana and methamphetamine producing states in the nation, and the Tennessee Army National Guard has successfully stopped production in many areas of rural Appalachia. These funds will expand eradication efforts and sustain ongoing enforcement activities.
$4.7 million for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to deploy the Guardian Glass Scintillation Fiber Radiation Detectors. Funding will be used to procure additional detectors developed by NucSafe in Oak Ridge.
$9.5 million for the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) and All Purpose Environmental Clothing System (APECS). The lightweight, waterproof, breathable combat clothing that will improve operational and combat readiness in all weather conditions for the Army National Guard, the Army reserves and active Army personnel. Several Tennessee apparel manufactures produce these garments.
$5.8 million for 120MM Tactical All Types – M1028 Canister Rounds, which are currently being used on M1 Abrams tank platforms in Iraq and Korea. They are produced by Aerojet in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
$18.8 million for the Medical Free Electron Laser program, Advanced Proteomics program and Advanced Carbon Nanotechnology Program at Vanderbilt University. These important research initiatives will enhance the military’s medical and nanotechnology programs.
$1 million for the Center for Optical Logic Devices (COLD) at Fisk University, to explore complex logic and implement new logic gates and systems in bulk and integrated optics.
$1.3 million for the continued development of DETECTIVE High Purity Germanium (HPGe) radio-isotope identification technology. The research will be conducted at ORTEC, located in Oak Ridge.
The conference report also provides a 2.2 percent pay raise for all military personnel and $70 billion in direct funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan that support the War on Terror.