WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Patty Murray has helped to secure millions of dollars in Defense spending to develop assets for the U.S. military. These projects will not only improve military readiness, but will create jobs and economic development in Washington state.
The funding is included in the final FY2004 Defense Department spending bill, which was approved 95-0 by the Senate earlier today. This is the final step in the appropriations process, as the bill is on its way to the President.
A member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, Murray worked behind the scenes to ensure Washington state would receive a significant amount of federal defense spending.
“I am proud to have secured this important federal funding for our state and the nation. As we continue the War on Terrorism, our men and women in uniform deserve the best equipment our nation can provide. This funding will also provide good jobs and economic development to Washington state as our economy continues to struggle.”
Below is a partial list of defense projects Murray helped secure:
Logistics Support Craft ($4.3m)
The bill includes $4.3 million to build a new Logistics Support Craft (LSC) for the Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The boat will be used for Special Operations support missions including emergency response, observation, re-fueling, dive boat, recovery/salvage, assault training, indigenous craft training and various other general workboat functions. The LSC will be approximately 70-80 ft in length. Its hull will be designed to provide excellent sea keeping (static and underway) and maximum usable deck space, and to operate in both inshore and offshore coastal waters for up to 5 days. The LSC will greatly increase safety while reducing the amount of personnel required when performing critical training and mission support for SOCOM.
The craft will be built by Kvichak Marine of Seattle.
Naval Research Lab Multithread Architecture (MTA) Upgrade ($3m)
The Naval Research Lab (NRL) Cray MTA-2 supercomputer will receive $3 million to expand the system from 40 to 64 processors and increase the performance of processors and I/O. Cray Inc. of Seattle will do the expansion work.
Virtual Cockpit Optimization Program (VCOP) ($4.5m)
The bill includes $4.5 million for the Virtual Cockpit Optimization Program (VCOP), which helps integrate an array of data into a pilot’s helmet. The program will help solve the problem of “information overload” by presenting the pilot with situational awareness, sensor imagery, flight data, and battlefield information in a clear, intuitive manner.
VCOP technology will be added to following helicopter platforms: AH-64A Apache, AH-64 Apache Longbow, and AH-66 Comanche and provide necessary funding for a Black Hawk Flight Demo near the end of 2004. Microvision of Bothell will help build the VCOP.
Immunochemical Biological/Chemical Threat Agent ($3m)
The bill includes $3 million for the Army’s Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) to complete the development of an advanced biological and chemical agent sensor system. Operating much like the common smoke-detector, the device could continuously monitor public spaces or the battlefield for biological and chemical agents. The technology is suitable for both combat and homeland defense uses. CombiMatrix Corporation of Mukilteo works in combination with the SBCCOM to build these devices.
High-speed Torpedo Retriever/Security craft ($4.5m) (Edmonds/Vancouver)
The bill includes $4.5 million to build two 85’ high-speed (38-40 knots) torpedo retriever/security craft for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division in Keyport, Washington. NUWC Keyport needs the two new torpedo retrievers to replace up to four older vessels. The high speed will allow for more efficient time management of projects as well as allow the vessels to be used as effective security craft during times of heightened threat conditions. Guardian Marine of Vancouver will build these vessels.
SeaLion Technology Demonstration ($9m)
The SeaLion is a stealth boat being developed for the U.S. Navy. The bill includes $9 million to continue the development, testing and evaluation of this state-of-the-art vessel. The SeaLion is a multi-mission high speed, low signature boat that will be capable of supporting a variety of missions like covert delivery and extraction of a SEAL team to the beach, mine identification and deactivation, clandestine surveillance of shore side and seaborne activity, reconnaissance for planned mission, and target interdiction performed by the Navy in the course of a operation. Sen. Murray has secured funding for the SeaLion in each of the past three years. Oregon Ironworks builds the SeaLion.
High-speed Torpedo Retriever/Security craft ($4.5m)(Edmonds/Vancouver)
Guardian Marine of Vancouver will receive $4.5 million to produce two 85’ high-speed (38-40 knots) torpedo retriever/security craft for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division in Keyport, Washington. NUWC Keyport needs the two new torpedo retrievers to replace up to four older vessels. The high speed will allow for more efficient time management of projects as well as allow the vessels to be used as effective security craft during times of heightened threat conditions.