Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lieberman and Blumenthal announce highlights from FY2012 Defense Authorization

Washington, D.C. - Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, strongly supported the committee's approval on Thursday of its draft of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012.

The National Defense Authorization Act will authorize a 1.6 percent across-the-board pay raise for all members of the uniformed services, consistent with the President's request. This would be the 12th year in a row that military pay increases would exceed those of the private sector. The act would authorize service secretaries to carry out one or more programs to provide service members with job training and employment skills training to help prepare them for employment in the civilian sector. It would encourage the Department of Defense to expand efforts aimed at preventing foreclosures on service members' home mortgages.

"This bill will provide our troops and their families the support they need, and I hope that the full Senate will take it up soon," Lieberman said. "The support this bill gives to Connecticut manufacturers shows just how important a role the state plays. I believe that Connecticut workers can not only feel more secure in their own jobs, but I expect that there will be new jobs in Connecticut's defense industry in the future."

The Defense Authorization Act will provide funding for the following key Connecticut programs:
- The bill will authorize $8.6 billion in total funding for the continued development of the Joint Strike Fighter program and acquistion of 22 JSF aircraft, powered by Pratt and Whitney engines. The bill includes $3.3 billion for 19 F-35As for the Air Force; $1.1 billion for six F-35Bs for the Marine Corps; and $1.5 billion for seven Navy F-35Cs.

- The bill will authorize $5.8 billion in funding for our nation's critical submarine programs, to include the acquisition of two Virginia class submarines and the continued development of a next-generation ballistic missile submarine to replace our aging Ohio class ships.

- The bill will authorize over $3 billion in funding to procure Sikorsky helicopters, to include 71 Black Hawks, 18 Knighthawks, 24 Navy Seahawks, and an additional $677 million to develop the Super Stallion transport helicopter.

- The bill will authorized $850 million in development funds for the replacement of KC-46A tanker, an aircraft that will be powered by Pratt and Whitney engines and will recapitalize America's fleet of aerial refueling tankers.

- The bill will authorize $480 million for the procurement of nine C-27J Spartan aircraft. The "Flying Yankees" of the Connecticut National Guard's 103 Airlift Wing will soon receive Spartan aircraft, keeping a key flying mission in support of both military and homeland defense missions in the Connecticut for many more years to home.


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