Press Releases

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he has secured $3 million for the AirWeighs system to be installed on the U.S. Air Force C-30 fleet.

Investigators of the crash of an Air Force Special Operations Command C-130 in Afghanistan blame the crash on miscalculated weight and balancing.  The AirWeighs system is an onboard weights and balance system that can improve aircraft safety, improve speed and cost-savings by measuring the actual aircraft weight and center of gravity.

“It is critical that the aircraft in the U.S. Air Force have the most advanced safety systems available,” said Smith. “As we ask our men and women in uniform to put their lives on the front line, we at home must ensure that we are providing them with the best equipment in the world that will bring them home safely.”

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he secured $4.2 million in funding for the Mounted Warrior Nomad Command & Control Heads Up Display (C2HUD).  This critical technology will develop a wireless Helmet Mounted Display connectivity between mounted and dismounted crewmen necessary for dispersed operations for both combat vehicles and Stryker configurations. 

“This technology has a direct effect on the Stryker Brigade stationed at Fort Lewis,” said Smith. “Giving our fighting men and women the best and most advanced equipment in the world is critical to our success in combat operations. These funds will make significant improvements to what is currently available, including giving soldiers the ability to have full situational awareness and access to important data.”

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that the House Armed Services Committee has approved full funding for an additional 14 C-17 aircraft. The C-17 is the workhorse of the Air Force and is stationed at McChord Air Force Base in the Congressman’s district.

“The C-17 modernizes the U.S. Air Force airlift fleet with the world’s most versatile, reliable and capable airlift aircraft,” said Smith. “The C-17 has the unique abilities to excel in both the intercontinental strategic airlift mission and the intertheatre tactical airlift role.”

Smith also added language to the bill that would support the multi-year procurement of this vital U.S. Air Force aircraft.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) has announced today that he has secured $2.5 million for Advanced Interactive Systems, based in Tukwila, for a project on mapping that will be used by the National Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.

The funds will advance the mapping of cities, creating accurate virtual models of public spaces that will be used for simulated homeland security training. Smith led a letter from five Members of Washington’s delegation in supporting this vital Homeland Security project.

“I’m pleased that this program will allow our professionals to access this technology, which will enable them to conduct virtual exercises,” said Smith. “Ultimately, this technology will be available nationwide and will enable first responders the opportunity to train for how to effectively manage emergency scenarios before they happen.”

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is sending a letter to EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt urging him to take a stronger stand on mercury pollution. Mercury is a highly toxic chemical whose effects on the central nervous system are comparable to those of lead, particularly for unborn fetuses and very young children whose brains are still developing.

“The Bush Administration should set the highest bar possible for mercury pollution,” said Smith. “Mercury exposure is on the rise, with the EPA estimating that 1 in 6 women of childbearing age in the United States have unsafe levels of mercury in their blood, and that as many as 630,000 children may be born each year with unhealthy levels of mercury in their blood.  As hundreds of thousands of people march this weekend in Washington, D.C. to protect women’s lives, we must tell the Bush Administration to take a stand on this dangerous substance and start reducing emissions immediately.”

During the 1990s, government regulation greatly reduced mercury emissions from medical and municipal waste incineration, leaving power plants as the main problem.  In 2000, the EPA determined that mercury is a hazardous substance as defined by the Clean Air Act, which requires it to be strictly controlled. Yet, the Bush Administration is proposing a plan that could create mercury “hot spots” throughout the country by allowing some power plants to avoid reducing mercury at all by permitting them to instead buy credits from other power plants in different locations that have made excess reductions.  The EPA also is proposing to regulate mercury as a non-toxic pollutant, requiring far less stringent controls.  Specifically, EPA’s proposed approach delays the day when power plants must install state-of-the-art mercury controls until at least 2018.

On this Earth Day, Smith also announced that he recently signed a trio of letters aimed at securing our nation’s energy future:

- The first letter expresses support for funding in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy.

- The second letter supports funding for Energy Efficiency Grant programs as well as Energy Efficiency Research and Development programs.

-  The third letter expresses his support for funding EPA’s Energy Star program.

Smith would like to see the United States eventually become a leading exporter of innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies rather than an importer of foreign oil.

“Investments in these programs will help our country achieve the goal of exporting clean and renewable energy,” said Smith. “In addition to diversifying our energy supply, programs such as these will help to create new jobs, drive economic growth, and benefit our environment.”