May 22 2003

U.S. Senate Approves Defense Authorization Bill

South Carolina Projects Total Over $2.3 Billion

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said the U.S. Senate had approved the 2004 Defense Authorization Act which contains over $2.3 billion for South Carolina projects. The money awarded includes full funding for the Savannah River Site. Graham noted the bill will enhance the ability of the Department of Defense to fulfill its responsibilities and continue the commitment to improve the quality of life for the men and women of the Armed Forces. Graham offered several amendments to the bill on the floor of the Senate that were adopted. These include: Additional Funding for CIPC - Graham secured an additional $8 million for the Consolidated Infrastructure Protection Center (CIPC) at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in Charleston, South Carolina in an amendment offered on the floor of the Senate earlier today, which brings total authorized funding for CIPC to $244 million. The objective of the center is to implement a virtual network of engineering services linking various government and private sector engineering service training centers and universities including the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, South Carolina State, Clemson, and the College of Charleston. The network will allow the entire community to share test facilities, simulations, data bases, and other resources. Commissary Privilege Amendment - Removes the limit on the number of visits Guard and Reserve members can make per year to commissaries. Equal access to commissary stores is a benefit that recognizes the increased responsibility of the reserve forces for homeland defense and worldwide deployment and helps to ensure continued patronage of commissaries experiencing reduced income. This also provides a proven incentive for recruiting and retaining military members. Health Care Benefit - Allows Guard and Reserve members to have the ability to enroll full-time in TRICARE. This optional coverage would offer health care stability to many Guard and Reserve families who lose coverage under employers' plans when a spouse is called up for active duty. The second part of this amendment would reimburse Selected Reserve members with civilian insurance for their families, if they elect to retain the civilian insurance for their family when they are called to active duty. This is capped to equal the cost of providing TRICARE benefits. South Carolina has about 30,000 citizens serving in the National Guard or Reserves. Among the projects for the state included in the legislation: South Carolina Upstate
  • $134.372 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 the Upstate.
  • $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 Midlands
  • $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 $5.3 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.
South Carolina Lowcountry
  • $244 million for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center (CIPC) at SPAWAR in Charleston. (Graham secured $236 in the Armed Services Committee and added an additional $8 million on the Senate floor.)
  • $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.
  • $7.254 million for the Joint Analytical Model Improvement Program in Charleston. $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.
Savannah River Site
  • $1.359 billion for Environmental Management (EM) cleanup
  • $402 million for Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication construction.
  • $75 million for a tritium extraction facility.
  • $13.6 million for pit disassembly and conversion.
  • $9.73 million for the Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) programs at both Clemson and USC.
  • $8 million for Eagle Vision which provides the National Guard, including the South Carolina National Guard, with in-theater, real-time acquisition and processing of commercial satellite imagery of our adversary’s territory.
Also included in the bill are several projects related or of interest to South Carolina:
  • $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.
“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 accelerating cleanup of the Site’s Cold War legacy.”