November 13, 2007

CARDIN, MIKULSKI SEND BILL TO THE PRESIDENT WITH $20.8 MILLION FOR SOUTHERN MARYLAND DEFENSE PROJECTS

Includes more than $96 million for Maryland initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Department of Defense 2008 spending bill, which includes $20.8 million for defense projects in Southern Maryland, has been sent to the President for his signature.  The legislation funds the Department of Defense and will go toward critical research, development, test and evaluation programs, as well as weapons and equipment required for the U.S. Armed Forces. 

"We need to do everything we can to support our troops with the equipment they need on the battlefield, the benefits and services they deserve when they return home, and support for their families on the home front.  We know how critical these funds are for our troops to fulfill their mission and return home safely," said Senator Mikulski.  "I will keep fighting to put money in the federal checkbook for our troops."
 
"Our greatest obligation as elected officials is to take care of our troops and their families who have sacrificed on our behalf," said Senator Cardin.  "This bill sets the right priorities by providing critical equipment and training, strengthening military health care for our troops and their families, and giving our military families the pay raise they deserve."

The $20.8 million for Southern Maryland defense projects includes:

-- $5 million for High Energy Conventional Energetics research at Indian Head Division Naval Surface Warfare Center in Charles County to target asymmetrical threats, such as hardened Weapons of Mass Destruction sites. 

-- $4.1 million to complete the fiber optic data link between Patuxent River Naval Air Station (Pax River) and Wallops Flight Facility to support advanced Navy aircraft testing between the Navy and NASA testing ranges and facilities.

-- $3.1 million for a communications upgrade as part of the DDG Modernization program at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) - St. Inigoes to equip Aegis ships with modern communications systems.

-- $2.4 million for research on All Weather Sense and Avoid technology for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to develop radar technology that will allow UAVs to detect and avoid possible collision.

-- $2.4 million for the Energetics Technology Center in Charles County to support research and workforce development in the energetics field.

-- $2 million for Age Exploration Model Enhancement and Vibration Analysis at Pax River to preserve helicopter engines from vibration damage, including the Presidential Helicopter.

-- $1 million to support Maritime Intelligence Integration for Shared Situational Awareness to improve intelligence sharing among Navy agencies.

-- $800,000 for the Maryland Technology Development Corporation's (TEDCO) Naval Aviation Technology Exploration Initiative to share technologies between Naval Air Systems Command at Pax River and academic industry partners in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Senator Mikulski is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee.