Shelby announces critical defense funding for south Alabama

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WALA) – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced full committee passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, which contains critical funding for programs important to south Alabama.

Following today’s action by the Committee, the bill will go to the full Senate for consideration.

“The Department of Defense Appropriations bill funds defense-related programs that play a vital role in providing our nation’s military with the resources that they need to strengthen our national security,” said Senator Shelby. “I am pleased that this bill includes funding to enhance Alabama’s national defense capabilities and continue our state’s commitment to serving our armed forces.”

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program – $80 million above the President’s FY15 Budget Request

“LCS is extremely important to our Navy’s ability to maneuver in shallow waters and to combat the threats of surface craft, submarines, and mines,” said Senator Shelby. “In addition to the three LCS provided in the President’s budget, the $80 million in additional funding allows for long-lead procurement in order to maintain shipyard capacity and cost savings. Adequate funding for LCS capabilities is essential to ensuring that our naval fleet is the best in the world and that our armed forces receive the equipment they need in order to execute future operations.”

Additional Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) – $200 million above the President’s FY15 Budget Request

“JHSV is an incredibly flexible vessel that can rapidly and simultaneously transport troops, equipment, and supplies,” said Senator Shelby. “The funding approved by the Committee today provides an additional JHSV, which will support efforts to decrease land-based choke points and maintain unit integrity.”

Response from Austal

“Austal is very grateful that the Senate Appropriations Committee – Defense has supported both the LCS and JHSV programs in this FY15 Committee Mark. This reflects the positive performance of the operational crews and the importance of both LCS and JHSV ship classes to the Navy. We recognize the hard work and leadership of Senator Shelby as the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee in maintaining funding for programs that are critical to our National Security and the Alabama workforce. Although we understand this is yet another step in the budgeting process, we remain confident in the quality and capabilities of both classes of ships, and in the support the Navy and our Legislators have in both programs as the FY 15 Budget is finalized.”

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