Senate passes defense funding for Montana
Tester, Baucus secured investments to boost Montana’s economy, national security
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. Senate tonight approved a bill that will invest significant funding in Montana to create jobs and bolster America’s national security, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus announced today.
The Defense Appropriations Act overwhelmingly passed the Senate with a vote of 93-7.
“This is a smart investment in Montana that will create new jobs and help our businesses to grow,” said Tester, who helped secure Montana’s funding as a member of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee. “It’s also an investment in the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country. I’m proud to support this bill which strengthens our national security and provides a boost to Montana’s economy.”
“This funding will allow Montanans to continue contributing to the security of the country,” said Baucus, who worked closely with Tester in securing Montana’s funding. “By creating new opportunities on the ground in Montana, we’ll strengthen the state’s economy while we provide our troops with the resources they need.”
The nearly $70 million secured for Montana by Tester and Baucus includes funding for:
- FLIR Systems, a company that recently moved to Bozeman, to help develop a high-tech thermal camera for the military.
- Defense efforts at both of Montana’s four-year universities.
- Improved training of Air Force Special Operations medics in Montana.
- The Montana National Guard to help educate children and to help local and state law enforcement agencies fight illegal drugs in Montana.
“This is terrific news not only for the Montana National Guard but for the citizens of Montana as well,” said Montana National Guard Adjutant General John Walsh of the Guard’s funding. “This funding will provide the Montana National Guard Counter Drug program with needed resources to assist with the drug threats, both current and future, facing Montana.”
The Senate Defense Appropriations Act is one of 12 appropriations bills that will fund the federal government for the next fiscal year. The bill also funds ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it cuts six major programs deemed unnecessary by the Appropriations Committee.
The Defense Appropriations Act now goes to a conference committee to work out differences between the House’s bill and the Senate’s bill.
Below is a list of Montana funding secured by Tester and Baucus in the Senate Defense Appropriations Act:
Senate Defense Appropriations Act
- FLIR Systems will receive funding to develop a thermal camera that can identify targets and threats more than three miles away. The camera can be hand-held or mounted on a military vehicle, giving troops inside a vehicle much greater awareness about potential threats. ($5 million)
- LigoCyte will receive funding to help develop a vaccine to fight norovirus outbreaks seen onboard naval ships, in battlefield action in Iraq and at military recruit training centers. ($4.5 million)
- Federal Technologies will receive funding to develop its “metal-coated diamond particle technology” to remove heat from LED lights, greatly expanding the use of low-cost lighting throughout the Defense Department. ($3 million)
- S2 Corporation will receive funding to develop new sensor technology that can locate and identify hidden roadside bombs (Improvised Explosive Devices). ($2.2 million)
- Montana State University will receive funding for its MilTech Extension initiative, which helps streamline the process of helping small businesses deliver new technology to the U.S. military. At least a dozen Montana companies have been able to access the Defense market for their products as a result of MilTech. ($2 million)
- Bridger Photonics will receive funding to design and build a prototype device to allow military helicopter pilots to see landing zones below them, even in conditions such as sandstorms and dense fog, both common conditions in current operational environments. ($800,000)
- The Blackfeet Tribe’s Pikuni Industries—along with Radiance Technologies—will receive funding to develop and test new lightweight materials for use in missile construction. These research efforts will improve America’s missile accuracy at reduced costs. ($4 million)
- MSE Technology will receive funding to:
- Develop its Mariah Hypersonic Wind Tunnel, which will be used to test and build new missiles. ($9.5 million)
- Develop a mobile unit that will safely and cheaply destroy dangerous and obsolete munitions by freezing, crushing and destroying them. ($8 million)
- Develop a “wearable” solar-powered fuel cell for troops in the battlefield. ($2 million)
- Universal Technical Resource Services will receive funding to develop lightweight and effective titanium weapons for the U.S. military. ($6 million)
- Montana Tech will receive funding to research, develop and build a reliable, durable low-noise fuel cell as a power source for troops in the battlefield. ($4 million)
- National Center for Health Care Informatics will receive funding to improve simulation training for specialized Air Force medics. Pararescuers are special operations airmen and women who are essentially battlefield EMTs, capable of rescuing wounded servicemembers behind enemy lines. ($2 million)
- Cubic Corporation will receive funding to install its next-generation Air Combat Training System, the P5CTS, for the Montana Air National Guard in Great Falls. This system will provide advanced training capabilities for joint air-ground combat training, and will increase the Montana National Guard’s ability to host joint training events. ($3 million)
- Western Computer Services will receive funding to develop a training simulator that can simulate any of the military’s transport vehicles currently in service. ($3 million)
- American Chemet will receive funding to develop a copper composite that won’t easily corrode for the Navy to use in saltwater. ($1 million)
- TerraEchos will receive funding for its Adelos project—a high-tech remote sensor system that will improve site security at many of the nation’s sensitive military locations. ($3.5 million)
- The University of Montana will receive funding to improve its defense-oriented foreign language courses. The money will fund new faculty and equipment to teach Chinese, Arabic and Persian It will also offer scholarship money to ROTC students who enroll in intensive Chinese courses. ($2.5 million)
- St. Patrick Hospital will receive funding to help develop a high-tech bandage (skin graft) made of animal tissue to treat traumatic injuries on the battlefield. ($2 million)
Montana National Guard:
- The Montana National Guard will receive funding to boost the Guard’s role in fighting illegal drugs in Montana. The funding will invest in youth education and intelligence-gathering to help local law enforcement agencies. ($1 million)