House Approves Funding for Indian Head Projects - Southern Maryland Headline News

House Approves Funding for Indian Head Projects


Joint Cad/PAD Facility, Agile Chemical Facility to Upgrade

WASHINGTON - Congressman Steny Hoyer announced that the House of Representatives approved the fiscal year 2005 Military Construction Appropriations bill last night that provides funds for two projects important to Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center and Charles County. Only one of these projects was included in the President's fiscal year 2005 budget, the other was added to the bill at the request of Congressman Steny Hoyer.

"The bill we passed follows through on the Congress' commitment to fund these important programs that are critical to supporting our nation's defense and keeping our servicemen and women safe," said Congressman Hoyer. "I was pleased to work to ensure that these funds were included in this bill to allow Indian Head to expand its already impressive capabilities, further demonstrating what an essential resource the base is to our military."

"The funding included in this bill will help improve facilities for two important programs located at Indian Head, thereby enabling them to function much more efficiently. The funding will relocate engineers and scientists working on the CAD/PAD program and working in the Agile Chemical facility from old and less efficient buildings to new state-of-the-art facilities," he added.

"The Joint CAD/PAD program keeps our military pilots safe should they have to eject in the event of an emergency. Indian Head operates the entire CAD/PAD program and as a joint program, it supports every branch of the military.

"I am thrilled that we were able to secure funds to consolidate and improve both of these facilities and I will continue to work to ensure that this funding is included in the final bill," Rep. Hoyer concluded.

The funding that will benefit Indian Head included in the Military Construction Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2005 is listed below:

JOINT CAD/PAD TRANSFER FACILITY P-154, $9.1 MILLION

The Cartridge Actuated Device/Propellant Actuated Device (CAD/PAD) program develops the devices that enable a pilot to eject from an aircraft in the event of an emergency. Advancements made in this program ensure that military pilots can perform their jobs more reliably and safely.

The CAD/PAD Transfer facility at the NSWC Indian Head Division has been in operation for more than three decades and manages all of the Navy's CAD/PAD inventories and materials. These operations are currently conducted at twenty-year old, obsolete and inefficient facilities that are spread throughout the Indian Head Division. Funds for the Joint CAD/PAD Facility were not included in President Bush's defense budget request and were included in the Military Construction Appropriations bill at the request of Congressman Hoyer.

The existing facilities do not provide an appropriate environment for NSWC employees. For instance, three separate facilities are utilized for shipping, five facilities are used to store packing material, and tractor-trailers cannot access the building where most CAD/PAD materials are stored and packaged. Additionally, it is extremely time-consuming to travel between the buildings on the base. This funding will allow for the consolidation of operations from several buildings into a single new state-of-the-art complex.

AGILE CHEMICAL FACILITY, $13.9 MILLION

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division is the only location in the United States that produces nitrate esters used in fleet weapons, making the weapons safe to transport and operate in hazardous environments. This work is currently done in two aging facilities at Indian Head. The existing plants are beyond cost effective repair, and the $13.9 million included in this bill will consolidate the work into a new, single facility at NSWC Indian Head. Representative Hoyer fought to ensure the funding for this important program which will help protect American servicemen and women in dangerous settings, was maintained in the Military Construction Appropriations bills for fiscal year 2005.

The current facilities require an inordinate amount of resources to maintain and operate, severely limiting the type and quantity of nitrate esters that Indian Head can produce, resulting in increased costs for propellants and explosives. Additionally, workplace safety will be enhanced by reducing the amount of material that can be detonated and the amount of industrial wastewater generated by the facility.

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