News Releases

Friday, May 13, 2005

Chambliss, Isakson: Georgia Will Benefit from Defense Bill

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today praised the completed Senate markup of the Fiscal Year 2006 Defense Authorization Bill, which authorizes important funds for weapons systems built or partially built in Georgia and funds for Georgia's military bases.

The bill authorizes funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.

"Georgia plays a major role in the national security of the United States," said Chambliss, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and helped draft the important bill. "Not only do our military installations contribute to our strong nation defense, but we also play a key role building the best weapon systems that help our men and women in the armed forces fight and win wars. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am pleased to help secure many of these important quality of life benefits for our troops and these important funds for weapons systems built in Georgia."

"Georgia is a big winner in this Defense Authorization bill, thanks in large part to Senator Chambliss' work on the Committee," Isakson said. "This legislation sets the priorities for our nation's military needs and I am proud of the strong commitment it shows to Georgia."

Funding for GA specific programs includes:

  • F/A-22 - $3.7 billion for 24 aircraft, the full funding requested in the President's proposal
  • C-130J - restoration of a multi-year contract for 9 Air Force and 4 Marine Corps aircraft based on a Chambliss Amendment to the bill that ensures restored funding for FY06. The amendment was necessary because despite Secretary Rumsfeld's recent decision not to terminate the C-130J multi-year contact, the measure ensures by law the contract will move forward.
  • JSTARS program - $44 million in funds to initiate a re-engineering program for the E-8C Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft.
  • SSGN Conversions - $344 million in funds to covert submarines
  • C-5 Avionics Modernization Program - $20 million for modifications, which will replace unreliable and unsupported engine flight instruments and flight system components
  • C-130 Maintenance - $51.6 million for C-130 airframe and engine maintenance

Funding for Georgia military construction projects includes:

  • $28 million - Fort Benning
  • $84 million - Fort Stewart
  • $61 million - Fort Gordon
  • $3 million - Kings Bay
  • $2 million - Robins Air Force Base
  • $7.2 million - Georgia Air National Guard
  • $3.4 million - Marine Corps Logistics Base
  • $8.3 million - Fort Gillem

Additionally, the bill includes a provision requested by Senator Chambliss authorizing $15 million per year in financial assistance for FY06-08 to communities with a large influx of military dependent students as a result of global rebasing, activating of new units, or BRAC.

The bill also includes:

  • a 3.1 percent across-the-board pay raise for all uniformed service personnel
  • an increase in housing allowance for service members
  • an increase in the prior service Selected Reserve affiliation bonus, and a critical skills retention bonus for members of the Selected Reserve comparable to that for active duty members.
  • an increase in the death gratuity payable to survivors of military decedents to $100,000 when the death is incurred under combat-related conditions or in designated combat operations or areas.
  • an increase in the period of TRICARE Prime benefits without enrollment fees for the surviving children of members who die while on active duty, from three years after the death of a service member until the child reaches 21 or 23 years of age.
  • an expansion of the rapid acquisition authority to ensure that our troops in the field can quickly get needed protective equipment.
  • $344.2 million for up-armored high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (UAH) and wheeled vehicle add-on ballistic protection to provide force protection for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, an increase of $120.0 million above the requested level.