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Hyde-Smith votes for largest defense...

Hyde-Smith votes for largest defense funding increase in 15 years

By: Sarah Ulmer - August 24, 2018

Senate Passes FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill with Mississippi-related Funding

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today voted for Senate passage of a bill that gives the Defense Department its largest funding increase in 15 years, a key step in supporting President Trump’s commitment to rebuild America’s military.

The Senate on Thursday approved the FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, which also funds the largest military pay raise—2.6 percent—in nearly a decade.  As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hyde-Smith worked to secure funding and support for national defense activities conducted in Mississippi.

“Our servicemen and woman need to know that Congress has their back by making resources available to modernize, train, and equip them so they can continue to protect vital U.S. security interests.  This bill does that,” Hyde-Smith said.

“The bill will also continue to support the national defense activities carried out in Mississippi, including research, development, and both ship and aircraft manufacturing.  This work supports U.S. military force structure and readiness needs,” she said.

The bill provides additional funding for high-priority U.S. Navy shipbuilding requirements, which will influence shipbuilding in Mississippi.  Aerospace manufacturers will also participate in fulfilling military aircraft procurement requirements for UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopters and long endurance unmanned aerial vehicles.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg will utilize funding in the Senate bill for the Army’s high performance computing modernization program and other research initiatives.  Research universities in Mississippi will also benefit from the Senate bill’s focus on basic research carried out at U.S. universities to develop “transformational technologies.”

The Senate’s FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill will now be reconciled with a House-passed measure.  It passed the Senate as part of a two-bill package (HR.6157) that includes the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill.  To date, the Senate has passed nine of the 12 annual appropriations bills.

The following are FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill highlights for Mississippi:

Shipbuilding – $2.3 billion in additional funding for high priority shipbuilding and industrial base programs for the U.S. Navy.

  • LPD amphibious ship – $500 million to fund the advance procurement of the LPD Flight II amphibious transport dock.
  • LHA-9 amphibious assault ship – $350 million for construction of the LHA 9 amphibious assault ship.
  • Arleigh Burke Class DDG-51 Destroyer – $5.81 billion to support DDG-51 Destroyer construction, including $250 million in advance procurement to purchase an additional DDG-51 in 2020.
  • Advanced Components for Shipbuilding Programs – $15 million to develop the Navy’s Advanced Materials Propeller program in support of requirements of the Future Submarine Force.

Aircraft Procurement – $42.2 billion overall for the procurement of military aircraft, including high priority programs across the services.

  • UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopter – $10 million above the budget request to upgrade the UH-72 Lakota Light Utility Helicopter,which is built in Columbus.
  • Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – $15 million to enable the Air Force to continue development of long endurance platforms to meet urgent operational demands from Combatant Commanders.  This project will also involve work done in Columbus.

Research – $2.8 billion overall for basic, nonmedical research for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Department of Defense.

  • High Performance Computing Modernization Program– $218 million, a $35 million increase, for the Army’s high performance computing modernization program. These funds are critical for the viability of ERDC and also directly affects the Mississippi State University (MSU) high performance computing program.
  • Army Research Activities – $69 million to support Army research at ERDC involving multiple projects such as polymer development (University of Southern Mississippi), advanced 3D printing technology, and next generation unmanned systems research (MSU).
  • Combat Vehicle Weight Reduction Initiative – $10 million to support improved design materials and configuration of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) to achieve weight reduction.  This initiative involves MSU.

National Guard Counter-Drug Schools – $30 million for the National Guard Counterdrug Schools. This is a very important initiative for the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy at Naval Air Station Meridian.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith Press Release


About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state.
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