U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today praised the Committee’s approval of the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill that authorizes funding for our servicemen and women and their families, critical military construction projects at Georgia bases as well as Georgia-made weapons systems. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
“Each year I am proud to play a role in crafting this legislation. The provisions included in this year’s bill address critical quality of life issues for our military men and women and their families who make the sacrifice every day for our national security.” said Chambliss. “We need to do all we can to support our military community to ensure they are fully-equipped and well-prepared. Additionally, I’m pleased that my provisions to address the privatized housing issues at Moody Air Force Base, expand “sole survivor” benefits, and to increase collaboration between the Department of Defense and the Augusta-area medical community were included in this bill.”
“Georgia is a big winner in this Defense Authorization bill, thanks in large part to the work of Senator Chambliss on the Committee,” said Isakson, who serves on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “This legislation sets the priorities for our nation’s military needs, and I am proud of the strong commitment it shows to Georgia.”
Specifically, the bill authorizes $612.5 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), including $70 billion in war-related supplemental funding. It provides a 3.9 percent pay raise for all military personnel across the board, authorizes a total of $125 billion for military personnel, including costs of pay, allowances, bonuses, death benefits, and permanent change of station moves. It also reauthorizes over 25 types of bonuses and special pays aimed at encouraging enlistment, reenlistment, and continued service by active-duty and reserve military personnel.
The bill authorizes $26.1 billion for the Defense Health Program, which includes the $1.2 billion necessary to cover TRICARE fees, and adds $13.7 million for recovery operations in North Korea for American POW/MIAs. The Committee did not adopt an increase to TRICARE fees as proposed by the Administration.
Senator Chambliss authored the following provisions included in the bill:
A provision requiring the DoD to report on implementation of the Yellow Ribbon Re-integration Program, which was included in last year’s 2008 defense authorization bill as a result of an amendment by Chambliss and others. The provision in this year’s bill would require DoD to report on how they are implementing and standardizing the Yellow Ribbon program, as well as current and future funding and personnel requirements for implementing the program.
A provision expanding the benefits received by members of the military who separate as “sole survivors.” The provision would expand those individuals’ access to separation pay, commissary and exchange privileges, and transitional health care. This provision was crafted after a bill introduced in the Senate by Senators Feinstein and Chambliss, and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Devin Nunes, R-Calif. and Jim Costa, D-Calif.
A provision urging DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish greater partnerships between themselves and with public and private universities to provide the best care for recovering wounded warriors. The provision notes the ongoing partnership in Augusta, GA, between the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, and the capabilities that exist at the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing for providing training for Wounded Warrior Recovery Coordinators as well as other medical personnel responsible for caring for and managing care Wounded Warriors, and encourages DoD and the VA to take advantage of these capabilities.
A provision authorizing centers of excellence for the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to conduct pilot programs on treatment approaches to TBI. The provision also notes the on-going work at the National Institutes of Health and DoD on treating TBI and encourages DoD to continue research efforts in this area and partner with NIH in their efforts to include NIH clinical trials. The provision notes the potential value of progesterone in treating TBI, a drug on which Emory University has performed research and is exploring for potential uses in treating TBI.
A provision mandating improved oversight, reporting, bonding levels, and best practices for DoD housing privatization projects. This provision, based on a bill filed by Chambliss and Senator Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is in response to failed housing privatization projects at Moody and Little Rock Air Force Bases and aims to require more stringent oversight of these projects to ensure that similar situations never occur again.
A provision requiring DoD to report to Congress on the feasibility of establishing a database containing civilian skills of Guard and Reserve personnel that are relevant to military manpower requirements, as well as the feasibility of DoD establishing a system that provides private employers visibility into the relevant civilians skills of Guard and Reserve members who are re-deploying that could be used to match these personnel with jobs in the private sector.
A provision requiring DoD to report on steps it will take to ensure that an adequate number of trained Contractor Officer Representatives (COTRs) are available to monitor contracts in the United States, and particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to best manage DoD resources and ensure that our warfighters receive proper equipment and resources in a timely manner.
A provision directing DoD to review their methods of recording, reviewing, and evaluating past performance by contractors in relation to DoD contracts so that the information can better inform future contract awards.
The bill also includes the following Georgia specific funding:
$3 billion for 20 F-22A’s
$1.8 billion for eight AF Joint Strike Fighters
$508 million for six MC/HC-130J’s
$485 million for C-5 modernization
$1.6 billion for eight Navy Joint Strike Fighters
$120 million for two KC-130J’s
$264 million for seven Joint Cargo Aircraft for the Army
$925 million for 63 UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters for the Army
$98 million (R&D) and $30.7 million (Procurement) for JSTARS
$5 million for Advanced Surface to Air Missile Hardware Simulator Development conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology
$3.5 million for Range Element Network Enterprise Technology to benefit the Georgia National Guard
$2.5 million for Composite Tissue Transplantation for Combat Wound Repair to be performed by Emory University
$2.5 million for the Technological Regional Center of Excellence to be established by the Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, Ga.
$2.5 million for the Nanotechnology Manufacturing Center in Swainsboro, Ga.
$2.5 million for the Advanced Bio-Engineering enhancement of soldier survivability project to be conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology
$5 million for Combat Arms Training Systems manufactured by Meggitt Training Systems in Suwanee, Ga.
$15 million for the C-130 Large Aircraft Countermeasures (LAIRCM) System which will benefit National Guard and Reserve C-130 units in Georgia
An additional $98 million in the Joint STARS budget to perform research and development related to integrating the MP-RTIP radar on a large aircraft, such as Joint STARS.
$920 million in new military construction funding for Georgia
Details on Georgia Military Construction projects follows:
FORT BENNING (in millions)
AUTOMATED ANTI-ARMOR RANGE $8.8
BASIC 10M-25M FIRING RANGE 1 $2.4
BASIC 10M-25M FIRING RANGE 2 $2.4
BASIC 10M-25M FIRING RANGE 3 $2.35
BASIC 10M-25M FIRING RANGE 4 $2.5
BASIC 10M-25M FIRING RANGE 5 $2.5
DIGITAL MULTIPURPOSE $17.5
FIRE AND MOVEMENT RANGE $2.45
MAINTENANCE SHOP $42
MODIFIED RECORD FIRE RANGE 1 $4.9
MODIFIED RECORD FIRE RANGE 2 $4.9
MODIFIED RECORD FIRE RANGE 3 $4.5
RANGE ACCESS ROAD $9.1
RECEPTION STATION PHASE 2 $39
STATIONARY TANK RANGE $6.9
TACTICAL VEHICLE WASH FACILITY $10.8
TRACKED VEHICLE DRIVERS COURSE $16
TRAINEE COMPLEX $32
TRAINING AREA INFRASTRUCTURE $16
TRAINING AREA INFRASTRUCTURE $13.8
UNIT MAINTENANCE FACILITIES $27
TRICARE MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY
CONSOLIDATED TROOP MEDICAL
TOTAL FORT BENNING $271.7
BARRACKS & DINING $121
BRIGADE COMPLEX $30
BRIGADE/BATTALION HQS $36
CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER $20
COMPANY OPERATIONS FACILITIES $75
PHYSICAL FITNESS FACILITY $28
SHOOT HOUSE $2.3
VEHICLE MAINTENANCE SHOPS $67
NSA REGIONAL SECURITY OPERATIONS
CENTER INCREMENT IV $100.22
TOTAL FORT STEWART $538.52
ARMY NATIONAL GUARD DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE
READINESS CENTER $45
DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE
CONTROL TOWER $6.45 (not included in the President’s Budget Request)
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE, ALBANY
QUARTERS REPLACEMENT $15.32
MARINE CORPS RESERVE CENTER, MARIETTA
NAVY RESERVE $7.56
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE
AIRCRAFT HANGAR $24.1
CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER $7.8 (not included in the President’s Budget Request)
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD
REPLACE FUEL STORAGE TANK $3.5