Alexander, Frist Announce Senate Passage of FY06 Defense Appropriations Bill - More than $155 Million for Tennessee Military, Reserves Priorities

Posted on October 7, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced Senate passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill. This legislation provides funding for military activities of the Department of Defense (DOD), including a 3.1 percent pay raise for military personnel, operation and maintenance of weapons and facilities, weapons procurement, and research and development. Included in the legislation is more than $155 million for Tennessee military priorities. “Tennessee is leading the way in military infrastructure and technological advancement,” said Frist. “These projects are an investment in cutting edge technologies that will make our military more effective and maneuverable while also keeping our troops safe. I’m proud to have worked with Senator Alexander to ensure our nation’s military has the resources it needs to keep American safe and win the War on Terror.” “America has the finest military in the world. I'm pleased the Senate has voted overwhelmingly to provide these brave men and women with a pay increase and to continue our investment in the research and technology that helps them do their jobs,” Alexander said. “This legislation impacts our national and economic security, and funds defense research in Tennessee, as well as providing Tennessee Guard and Reserve training resources. I will continue to work with Senator Frist to provide our military with the resources it needs to keep us safe.” Some of the key Tennessee projects in the FY 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill include: $37.5 million for the Army National Guard to provide necessary technical and system enhancements to Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Prophet Ground Vehicles and Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) trainers. This equipment will help to maintain personnel training and combat readiness. · $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. $2 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. $25 million for the SensorNet program to create a real-time nationwide network and data management system for integrated local, state and federal sensor platforms. This research is being conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. $8 million for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to deploy the third generation Guardian Glass Scintillation Fiber Radiation Detectors. Funding will be used to procure additional detectors developed by NucSafe in Oak Ridge. $12 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 for active and reserve Marine Corps personnel. Several Tennessee apparel manufactures produce these garments. · $1 million for 120MM Tactical All Types – M1028 Canister Rounds, which are currently being used on M1 Abrams tank platforms in Iraq and Korea, are produced by Aerojet in Jonesborough, Tennessee. $20 million for the Medical Free Electron Laser program, Vigilance Surgical Safety System and Advanced Carbon Nanotechnology Program at Vanderbilt University. These important research initiatives will enhance the military’s medical and nanotechnology programs. $2.5 million for Plasma Discharge Medical Device Sterilization research conducted by Atmospheric Glow Technologies in Knoxville, This research will dramatically improve sterilization capabilities for highly mobile medical forces. $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. $1.5 million for the Metadata research program to increase database intelligence, simplify systems development, help provide the missing link between artificial intelligence and database applications, and support cognitive research. The research for this program will be conducted in Brentwood, Tennessee. $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. $1 million for the Center for Advanced Sensors to support research at University of Memphis to provide next generation military imaging devices. The House passed its version of the bill earlier this year and the bills will now go to a conference committee so that differences can be resolved.