Senate Defense Bill Includes Funding for Patuxent River Naval Air Station

Spending Bill Includes Additional $2 Million for RDT&E Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski today joined her colleague Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (both D-Md.) in announcing that the Senate version of the $440.2 billion Defense spending bill includes an additional $125 million for defense projects in Maryland. The legislation, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee today, funds the Department of Defense and will go toward critical research, development, test and evaluation programs, as well as weapons and equipment required for the U.S. Armed Forces.

"We need to do everything we can to support our troops - not just with words, but with deeds. Together, we can do better. These much needed funds will help our troops fulfill their mission both at home and abroad," said Senator Mikulski. "I will keep fighting to put money in the federal checkbook for U.S. troops and their families."

"We continue to work hard to ensure that Patuxent River Naval Air Station has the resources to remain the Navy's premier research, development, testing, and evaluation site," said Senator Sarbanes. "The efforts are Pax River are not only important to our overall national defense, but also to our State's economy, resulting in significant spillover opportunities in our hi-tech and defense related sectors."

The spending bill includes $2 million to support a program at Patuxent River Naval Air Station to integrate Navy Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) and training resources to provide new and enhanced integrated test, training and experimentation for the various components of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG). These components include aircrafts, ships, soldiers and sailors. The enhanced training tools would bring effective and realistic simulation and stimulation to the CSG and ESG, improve support for Sea Trials and support the efforts of the Joint Forces Command through the Joint National Training Capability.

In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has been tentatively scheduled for next week. Following the Senate vote, the House and Senate will meet in Conference Committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Both Houses of Congress will vote on the conference bill. Once passed by the House and Senate, the Defense Appropriations bill will go to the President for his signature.

Senator Mikulski is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Subcommittee on Defense. Senator Sarbanes is the senior Democrat on the Banking Committee.

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