"I am pleased that H.R. 2863, the Fiscal Year 2006 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill, passed the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support,” said U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA).  “As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am particularly focused on national security policy and am proud to support legislation that funds our defense missions and will support the servicemen and women of our Armed Forces and our Veterans.”

The bill appropriates $408.9 billion, including $45.3 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Included in the bill are earmarks that will specifically affect the members of our military in the Puget Sound region, including:

IN THE PUGET SOUND REGION:

Specifically, the Authorization Bill included the following provisions that directly affect units in the Puget Sound region:

$30 million in school impact aid for schools nationwide (including schools in the Puget Sound area):

The Education Department’s Impact Aid program provides supplementary funds to school districts nationwide to support the education of nearly 600,000 children of servicemen and women. This bill allocates $30 million in Defense Department funding for impact aid spending in FY 2006.

$30 million for “Up-Armored HMMWV and Tactical Truck Crew Trainers”

This top priority of the Washington Army National Guard will allow soldiers to train for convoy operations in humvees and other tactical trucks, a critical need for soldiers preparing for deployment to Iraq.

$964.1 million to fully fund President Bush’s request for the Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA)

This critical program would adapt and upgrade Boeing 737s, in Boeing’s Renton plant, in order to conduct defense and homeland security-related missions. The MMA will replace the aging fleet of Navy P-3C aircraft with a technologically superior mission system that will allow it to perform anti-submarine warfare missions, homeland security surveillance and other important functions.

$4.5 million for M-65 Bismaleimide Carbon Fiber Prepeg development for Automated Placement Machines

This funding would go towards qualifying an improved carbon fiber tape technology used to process large, high quality aircraft structures. This technology, developed by Hexcel Structures, a company with manufacturing facilities in Kent, WA, will be used to more efficiently manufacture the military’s F-35 and F-22 aircraft.

$3 million for Mounted Warrior Nomad Command: Control Head Up Display (C2HUD)

For use by the Stryker Brigades stationed at Fort Lewis, the C2HUD, an integral part of the Mounted Warrior system, will increase force protection and unit lethality by providing the combat crewman’s situational awareness link to the vehicle’s command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) systems remotely via secure, encrypted means.  The head up display will operate in all soldier mission areas, employing information management systems, operations planning, situational awareness, terrain navigation, long range sensors, target acquisition, and identification systems while mounted, dismounted and at platform crew stations. The system also has significant potential for commercial spin off for the technology and is designed by Microvision, a Puget Sound-based company.

TECHNOLOGY:

“Having worked for many years to improve our military and the Pentagon through the use of technology, I am pleased that this bill also included my provision for the National Defense University (NDU) Technology Pilot program,” said Smith. “I have long supported this important program and am proud to work with the experts at NDU who are continuing to leverage our technological innovations to maintain the most advanced military in the world."

$1 million for the NDU Technology Pilot Program

The purpose of this project is to conduct research and analysis to determine how the United States can maintain its competitive edge against other military adversaries at a time when commercial information technology (IT) is readily available on the global market. Through a series of workshops, conferences, research papers and publications, the NDU has developed new strategies to deal with this issue.

$4.5 million for the Green/Infrared Illumination Pointing Laser (GRI2P)

This top priority of the U.S. Special Forces Command will give our special forces access to a new combat laser system designed for operations that require either a green or infrared based long-range laser system.  This advanced technology, developed by B.E. Meyers in Redmond, WA, will help our special forces perform successfully in a broader range of missions.

$5 million for the Biomarker Molecular Toxicology Initiative

This funding will support highly advanced molecular biology research at the Institute for System Biology in Seattle.  This research will help the military understand why certain humans are more or less susceptible to certain illnesses such as those resulting from exposure to chemical or biological toxins.  

OVERALL PROVISIONS IN THE FY 06 DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL

More broadly, the bill appropriates $45.3 billion as a “bridge fund” for the first six months of FY 2006 for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism. Within these funds, this includes $32.2 billion for operations and maintenance accounts, including $1.7 billion for added fuel costs and extra funds for body armor and $147 million for Army National Guard Recruting. The measure also contains $2.9 billion for various procurement accounts, including $170 million for up-armored Humvees, $20 million for bolt-on armor kits for trucks and $35 million for roadside bomb jammers. Finally, the bill provides $8 billion in extra funding for military personnel accounts, including $6.8 billion for incremental wartime costs of pays and allowances for Active Duty and Reserve personnel, $735 million for recruting and retention and $231 million for an expanded death gratuity.

PAY INCREASES:

Overall, the bill provides a 3.1% pay raise for members of the Armed Forces and increases amounts paid for active duty enlistments, reserve enlistments and active-duty re-enlistments.