Senator Patty Murray today lauded the Senate for passing the FY2005 Defense Appropriations Bill, which includes more than $100 million Murray secured for Washington state companies. Murray, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, voted for the bill today as it passed 98-0. The bill now goes to a joint House-Senate conference committee before moving to the President for his signature.
"Funding leading-edge technologies to protect and equip our men and women in uniform while pumping millions in economic activity into Washington state is a great victory. This money will support at least 450 high skill, high wage jobs around Washington," Senator Murray said. "I'm so proud to partner with the great companies we have working to bring the best technologies to our military. Washington state companies are already seeing their technologies save lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. And with this funding, we can do even more to ultimately bring more of our soldiers, sailors and airmen home safely to their families."
In addition to the earmarks Senator Murray secured for Washington state, the bill includes:
Pay Increase for Soldiers: The Senate bill includes a 4.5% pay increase for our troops.
Intelligence Funding: The Senate bill includes increased funding for our Intelligence services
Tankers: The Senate bill provides $110 million for the Air Force Tanker Modernization Program.
Impact Aid: The Senate bill provides $30 million for Impact Aid which helps local education agencies (school districts) that are heavily impacted by children of military personnel. It also provides $5 million for Impact Aid children with disabilities.
Stryker: The Senate approved $905 million for Army Stryker vehicles. Fort Lewis is home to two Stryker Brigades.
Prowler Upgrades: The Senate bill provides an additional $34 million above the Administration's request to upgrade EA-6 Prowlers which will improve readiness for Navy Prowlers at Whidbey Island.
Medical Research: The bill provides more than $250 million for medical research with emphasis on breast, prostrate ovarian and other cancers. The bill also provides significant funding for prosthetics and prosthetic research to assist military personnel injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
National Guard Equipment: The Committee recommended $500 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment account. The Administration's budget request did not provide any funding for this account.
"I'm proud that today the Senate stood up to support our troops working around the globe and here at home to keep us safe," Murray said. "We have the best military in the world, and today we are providing them with the resources they need to maintain their place in the world."
Senator Murray secured the following earmarks in the Senate FY 2005 Defense Appropriations bill:
Puget Sound Region
Special Operations Logistics Support Craft
Kvichak Marine, Seattle
This funding will purchase a Logistics Support Craft (LSC) for the Naval Special Operations forces. The craft will perform a number of missions including emergency response, dive operations, assault training, recovery and salvage operations, and refueling missions. The LSC will be designed with modular deck accommodations and equipment so it can be quickly reconfigured to support various missions. Kvichak Marine in Seattle will manufacture the LSC. The project will support one-quarter of Kvichak's workforce, approximately 28 jobs, for two years. "This is an important, job creating project for Kvichak Marine. With Senator's Murray's help, we are establishing Kvickak as supplier to the Department of Defense which we hope will pay long term dividends for our company, our employees and the local economy," Brian Thomas, President, Kvichak Marine.
Improved Shelf-Life for fruits and vegetables for deployed military personnel
This project will help our troops in the field get fresh tomatos, lettuce and other produce, especially in areas where soldiers can't get frequent food deliveries. The company will develop non-genetically modified organism varieties of tomato, lettuce and other produce using advanced molecular biology techniques, with at least 30 days of fresh shelf-life. This will improve nutrition for soldiers on the frontlines.
Naval Research Lab Multithread Architecture Upgrade
The Multithread Architecture (MTA) Upgrade will further expand the MTA system to 500 processors with 2 terabytes of memory and augment the input/output capacity to 40 times larger than the current system. The resulting MTA-2 supercomputer will cost less and have true scalable performance making it a world-class system. It will dramatically increase the Naval Research Lab's (NRL) Center for Computational Sciences ability to solve challenging problems for the Department in the areas such as national security and climate-ocean weather modeling. With this system, NRL will continue work at the leading edge of supercomputing and networking to solve problems that cannot be effectively solved on other systems.
Sea Fox Remote Controlled Surface Vessel
Northwind Marine, Seattle
The Sea Fox Remote Controlled Surface Vessel has been under development for two years under the direction of the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center. The concept has matured, two prototypes have been built, and extensive testing has been accomplished. Sea Fox has proved to be an immediately available asset to support Anti-Terrorism / Force Protection (AT/FP) efforts in a variety of circumstances. This money would fund 10 vessels and associated mission packages for follow on proof-of-concept operational testing and integration with current AT/FP tests and operations. Sea Fox can be used in a direct support role for port security forces, deployed from U.S. Navy combatants and craft in a variety of operational scenarios, and used as a low cost augmentation to support large scale autonomous vehicle scenarios. This money would also fund engineering and procurement costs for mission packages including radars, sonars, multifunctional camera suites, autonomous equipment packages, non lethal response systems, and required communications, testing, and support. Missions can include AT/FP patrols, area patrol, route survey, vessel interrogation and escort, swimmer detection, under water survey of piers and docks, bottom surveys, and operational test range monitoring and clearance.
Fuel Cell Hybrid Generating System Using Ramgen Technology
Fuel cells have the potential to provide highly reliable, efficient electrical power. This program will combine fuel cell technology with a compressor to provide a smaller, more portable system. Department of Defense researchers contend that the combined system may produce up to 70% efficiency and reduce the cost of a produced unit of power. Improving the efficiency of electrical generation systems is a high priority for the Department, resulting in lower energy costs, lower greenhouse gas emissions, independence from foreign oil supplies, increased homeland security, and significantly less fuel required to generate power in military installations. This hybrid system is especially useful for the military and forward bases. The project will be managed and performed by the US Army's Construction Engineering Research Laboratory with assistance from the Arctic Energy Technology Department Laboratory at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which has expertise in the field of systems integration.
Virtual Cockpit Optimization Program
Senator Murray has funded the Virtual Cockpit Optimization Program or VCOP for several years. This eamark will fund VCOP Helmut Mounted Display for direct Army program insertion and procurement of production systems in the FY 2006 time frame.
Real-Time Measurement Weight/Balance System for C-130s
Crane Aerospace, Lynnwood
This project is an onboard weights and balance system that can improve aircraft safety, dispatch speed and cost-savings by measuring the actual aircraft weight and center of gravity of an aircraft. Current dispatching procedures "calculate" the aircraft weight based on historical survey data such as average troop weight. Investigators have determined that inaccurate weight assumptions had led to overloaded aircraft and military airplane crashes. The requested funds are complete engineering and to qualify the Real-Time Measurement Weight and Balance system for the C-130 to improve aircraft safety and speed of dispatch and to reduce costs associated with man-hours and delays.
Braided Reduced Recoil Rope for Hand/Mooring Lines
Puget Sound Rope, Anacortes
For many years, the U.S. Navy had been using four strand design of reduced Recoil Risk (RRR) rope construction for hand and mooring lines. This design has certain disadvantages which can be overcome with a 12-strand design. A braided 12-strand Reduced Recoil Rope provides a true torque balanced construction that does not kink and is easy to handle and store. The 12-strand ropes are extremely flexible and bend readily around small diameter objects and braided constructions do not require any braided jackets for structural integrity. The funds would be used to conduct a one year test to prove that the braided 12-strand Reduced Recoil Rope will meet or exceed performance requirements as specified by the Navy. Testing will include sequential break failure, coefficient of friction testing, torque and rotation testing and abrasion resistance testing.
Point of Maintenance/Combat Ammunition System (POMX/CAS) Initiative
POMX/CAS is an automatic data collection program that was developed by the Automatic Identification Technology (AIT) Program Office of Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). The objective of POMX/CAS is to streamline mission critical data collection and to reduce the burden on the flight line personnel. Using a common base wireless local-area-network (LAN) and AIT server, this initiative focuses on maintenance and munitions processes at the aircraft using hand-held computer devices, networks, and software now in widespread commercial use. POMX/CAS ensures that information related to all maintenance activities and munitions configurations are efficiently and accurately collected, tracked, and reported in a paperless environment. POMX/CAS' adaptation of commercial computer technology enhances combat readiness; it ensures that aircraft task orders related to maintenance and munitions loading are quickly transmitted and that mission information is comprehensive and readily available to decision makers.
Serial Number Tracking System (SNTS)
SNTS provides web-based, cradle-to-grave total asset visibility of individual components through the supply, maintenance, and transportation processes. When fully implemented, SNTS will enable the tracking of individual serial number components and allow the determination of specific configuration and maintenance history of each line replaceable unit. The use of SNTS technologies will greatly help the Navy address the challenge of managing its inventory (including over 135,000 pieces of general purpose electronic test equipment) to ensure asset visibility and calibration certification. It is the Navy's intent to install the SNTS technology at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard which will increase readiness and reduce maintenance costs.
Immunochemical Biological/Chemical Threat Agent Detector
The Immunological Biological/Chemical Agent Detector will be suitable for both battlefield and homeland defense uses. The sensor system promises to be accurate, rapid-response, cost-effective, and readily deployable. This device, with the patented and commercially available biochip microarray technology at its core, has proven the ability to detect extremely low levels of many distinct biological and chemical warfare agents. Its immunochemical detection approach affords it significant advantages in speed that will be coupled with genomic detection for validation and almost no false positives. The requested funding will be used to integrate chemical threat agent detection against small molecules, such as chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals. Using a single microarray approach for both biological and chemical agent detection will support a single detector system that can be small, simple and versatile. The project is being managed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the cooperative work will continue with the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) and the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) for execution of the project. Senator Murray has funded this project for several years.
Integrated Fuel Processor – Fuel Cell System
Nu Element, Tacoma
This Navy project will develop a fuel cell system that uses jet fuel to produce electrical power. The system will use a steam reformation process to convert the jet fuel into hydrogen, which powers the fuel cell. A unique processor design allows for a compact and efficient unit suitable for air vehicle applications. A demonstration system will be fabricated and tested.
Fort Lewis Online Technology Training Program
Giant Campus, Tacoma
This funding is for improved recruitment and retention for military personnel and their families. It employs Web-based technology training products and programs at Ft. Lewis, WA. Courses and programs dovetail with Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) goals and improve communication with family members who are deployed.
Madigan Army Medical Trauma Unit
Tacoma Trauma Trust, Tacoma
This project will fund Tacoma Trauma Trust (TTT) which is a partnership between Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma General Hospital (MultiCare) and St. Joseph's Hospital (Franciscans). It provides much needed Level II trauma for South King County, Pierce, Thurston and southwest Washington. It is a unique union of civilian and military trauma centers and an excellent training opportunity for the doctors and surgeons at Madigan.
Joint Aviation Technical Data Integration
Dimension 4, Bremerton
The Department of Defense developed a prototype Web-based application integrating Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) products to retrieve requested aviation technical data for select Joint Weapons Systems. This project will replace hard-copy publications and makes current technical data and maintenance expertise readily available to the warfighter, by a cheaper and faster means. A graphically driven, data-centric interface will increase available flight hours – and save money – by supplying critical troubleshooting schematics to maintenance operators and pilots. The project will be demonstrated on the Apache and Blackhawk Operations level technical manuals.
Floating Area Network
Mobilisa, Port Townsend
This project involves the installation of wireless communications equipment to connect six ships in a battle group so that they are able to communicate wirelessly, point-to-point (without satellite relay) at high bandwidth speeds of greater than 10Mbps. Advanced networking software is required to allow the Floating Area Network to adapt to the constantly changing topology of the network. This technology can be directly applied to US Navy fleet communications improving their communication capabilities over 100-fold.
Southwest Washington Region
SEALION Cascading Vehicles
Oregon Iron Works, Vancouver
This funding will allow the Navy to design, build, and evaluate multiple vehicles that can be carried onboard the SEALION craft. The SEALION is a medium-range multi-mission craft that has been designed to fully minimize the risk of detection in medium to high threat areas by incorporating low observability features into the design. The SEALION is capable of supporting a variety of missions and can be easily reconfigured to accommodate a variety of payloads, including manned and unmanned surface and subsurface craft. The vehicles that can be carried onboard SEALION include an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) and a scaled version of a Seal Delivery Vehicle (SDV) that can enter high threat areas undetected.
Locating Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with Low-Cost Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
IEDs are one of the most significant threats to forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. These devices are small, inconspicuous, and generally installed at night. This funding will provide the research and testing for low-cost, long-endurance UAVs to fly very low and close to roads and other threat areas. Using various sensors, the data will be fused and compared to previous days, nights, or hours to detect changes that could indicate the presence of IEDs.
Wafer Integrated Semiconductor Laser
This program will develop a prototype of a semiconductor laser that will enable a wide range of defense and commercial applications. According to the Defense Science Board, laser weaponry will revolutionize modern warfare. This effort will not only dramatically reduce the cost of producing semiconductor lasers, but will also improve the performance of these critical devices.
Chitosan Hemorrhage Control Dressing
HemCon, Inc., Portland
The Chitosan dressing has saved lives in Iraq and Afghanistan by effectively treating battlefield injuries. It is the best option for external hemostasis on the battlefield in casualties that are not amenable to the use of a tourniquet. This funding provides $10 million for the purchase of Chitsan dressings for U.S. troops. The Chitosan dressing also dramatically increases survival and reduces blood loss from internal trauma and during surgical repairs of damaged organs such as liver, spleen and large arteries. $5million of this funding will support background research and FDA required testing for a permanent internal dressing for use in internal trauma and surgical bleeding, central nervous system injuries, traumatic fractures, and infection control, and the development of an external dressing to treat severe thermal and chemical burn injuries.
Tissue Replacement and Repair for Battlefield Injuries
Oregon Medical Laser Center, Portland
Battlefield trauma often leads to serious damage to internal organs and support structures which now must be sacrificed because they cannot be repaired using today’s technology. Even if repair is feasible, combat injuries treated with sutures, staples and synthetic materials often result in life threatening complications from rejection, bleeding, infection and organ failure. This funding will support human clinical trials for duodenal and esophageal tissue replacement using elastin biomaterials and the development of more sophisticated arterial grafts and tissue replacements to treat tissues damaged by trauma.
Washington State University
This funding will support P3 micro-power devices which offer significant advantages in weight, volume and efficiency over any currently available power supplies. The ability to run off a variety of fuels, including even waste heat, makes this power source an attractive choice for a host of commercial applications such as cell phones, GPS systems, radios, PDA's laptop/portable computers, and other portable electronics.