WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Senate has approved the Department of Defense 2008 spending bill, which includes $74.5 million for defense projects in Maryland, including $14 million for defense projects in Southern Maryland. 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. Senator Mikulski is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee.
“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 $14 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.
— $5 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 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.
— $1 million 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.
In the next step of the legislative process, the House and Senate will meet in Conference Committee to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill. The Conference report will then be voted on by both Houses of Congress. Once passed by the House and Senate, the spending bill will go to the President for his signature.