Wes Hickman/Kevin Bishop
-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced the committee approved $1.85 billion for South Carolina projects in the 2004 National Defense Authorization Act. The money awarded includes full funding for the Savannah River Site.
The Senate committee approved $400.5 billion in funding for defense programs for fiscal year 2004, which is $17.9 billion above the amount appropriated by the Congress last year. The recommended level of funding represents a 3.2 percent increase in real terms for defense and a 3.7 percent increase for military personnel.
Graham noted the bill will enhance the ability of the Department of Defense to fulfill its homeland defense responsibilities and continue the commitment to improve the quality of life for the men and women of the Armed Forces.
South Carolina projects in the bill include:
South Carolina Upstate
South Carolina Midlands
- $39.4 million for P-3 aircraft Anti-Surface Warfare kits in Greenville. The Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement program greatly expands the P-3C’s capabilities and includes additional advanced technology sensors, expanded communication systems, upgraded weapon delivery capabilities, and survivability upgrades.
- $9.2 million for Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) to fund prototype development in Greenville.
- $3 million for the development of an Advanced Electric Drive for military use. Work will be conducted in Gaffney.
- $1.5 million for Formidable Aligned Carbon ThermoSets (FACTS), a new composite product for naval aircraft construction. FACTS will allow the design and fabrication of much more efficient designs significantly lowering airframe weight. Development will be conducted in Anderson.
South Carolina Lowcountry
- $8.5 million for construction of Shaw Deployment Center, Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter.
- $6.9 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Army) and $6.1 million for M-249 Squad Automatic Weapons (Marines) produced in Columbia. The M-249 is a portable, high-fire volume, highly reliable light machine gun which serves as one of the Army infantry and Marines most valuable weapon systems.
- $6 million for the research and development of Gallium Nitride Microwave Circuits at the University of South Carolina.
- $5 million for Nano and Micro Electromechanical research at the University of South Carolina.
- $23 million for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center at SPAWAR in Charleston.
- $8.86 million for construction of Charleston Air Force Base Housing.
- $6.5 million for the development of an Autolog System, a concept that uses multi-point stabilization to overcome the pendulations problems on existing shipboard cranes. Research will be conducted in Charleston.
- $6 million for the Joint Warfare System Initiatives (JWARS) in Charleston. JWARS is an advanced theater-level campaign analysis tool.
- $5.1 million for continued development of multi-spectral Barium GaloGermanite (BGG) glass window technology, an essential component for airborne reconnaissance systems. Research and development of BGG glass is conducted in Hilton Head.
- $4 million for the procurement of Quadruple Containers, produced in Charleston. These shipping containers divide into four separate sections to aid in transport by facilitating the loading and unloading process.
Also included in the bill are several projects related or of interest to South Carolina:
- $9.73 million for the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) programs at both Clemson and USC.
- $8 million for Eagle Vision (EV) for the SC National Guard. The EV system provides in-theater, real-time acquisition and processing of commercial satellite imagery of our adversary’s territory.
- The Savannah River Site is authorized to receive $1.7 billion in total funding, including:
- $402 million for MOX fuel fabrication construction.
- $75 million for a tritium extraction facility.
- $13.6 million for pit disassembly and conversion.
- $2.75 million for cleaning and loading modifications.
- $1.03 billion for nuclear nonproliferation programs with Russia.
- $55 million for C-37 Procurement. The Navy has a validated requirement for 5 C-37 (G-550) aircraft. These aircraft support combatant commanders of forward deployed Naval and Marine Corps forces.
- $36 million for the purchase of thirty-six M109A6 Paladin Howitzers. The Paladin is the most advanced self-propelled howitzer cannon system fielded in the world. The additional 36 Paladins authorized and appropriated are solely for the Army National Guard.
- $843,000 for research and design of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS). The JHMCS allows fighter pilots to target and destroy their enemy by a simple turn of the head, rather than having to maneuver their aircraft into an attack position. By enabling pilots to quickly designate and destroy enemy aircraft using a helmet “heads-up” display, the JHMCS provides a first look, first shot, first kill capability – between a 3 and 5 to 1 advantage over enemy aircraft.
“Our state is the tip of the spear for our nation’s armed services,” said Graham. “South Carolina is also a leader in military technology and plays a vital role in the war on terrorism. The men and women stationed here, both active duty and reserve components, play a major role in defending American interests around the world and providing freedom.
“I am proud to be from a state that is invaluable to America’s fighting force,” said Graham. “We provide the human assets and support systems that make the U.S. military the world’s premier fighting force.
“At Savannah River Site we’re working to keep the peace,” said Graham. “SRS is playing a leading role in the effort to turn surplus weapons grade plutonium into fuel. They’re also pushing full-bore in cleanup efforts at the site.”
The Defense Authorization Act will now go the floor for consideration by the entire Senate.