Defense funds heading to Alabama

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Senate Armed Services Committed has completed its mark-up of the annual defense bill and Alabama’s senior committee member Sen. Jeff Sessions said he has good news to share.

“I can report that Alabama’s contribution to our nation’s security was vigorously defended, that unwise cuts were redirected, and some valuable gains were achieved—all while keeping the bill within the new discretionary spending cap on defense,” Sessions noted.

Close to home, the defense bill fully funds the Defense Department’s request for U.S. army aircraft procurement at $5.8 billion, including Army helicopter programs.

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“These programs are vital to our military and to the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker,” Sessions said.

The committee also agreed that it was necessary to increase the funding for capabilities provided by the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense program built at Lockheed Martin in Troy by $100 million.

Funding for the Close-In Weapon System modifications in Eufaula was increased by $7.7 million. Huntsville and Anniston operations will also receive funding.

In addition to money, Alabama also received praise.

The 908th Airlift Wing in Montgomery has been decorated by the Air Force as the outstanding unit of 2011.

“Alabama’s men and women in uniform are among the finest the world has ever known. Their honor, dignity, and courage represent the highest ideals of our state,” Sessions said. “Memorial Day is a somber reminder of the countless brave souls who have given their last breath for this country. We must never break faith with those who wear the uniform, and we must ensure that our military remains the best supported and equipped in the world.”