Congress Passes Defense Spending Bill, Includes $8.3 Million For Patuxent River Naval Air Station

Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes (both D-Md.) announced today that both the U.S. House and Senate have given final approval and sent to President Bush for his signature the 2006 Defense spending bill, which includes an additional $150 million for Maryland defense projects. The legislation 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 at 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 funding for the following programs at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station:

- $2.8 million for a Warfare Analysis Environment program to develop high tech warfare analytical capabilities for the U.S. Navy.

- $2.1 million for the Operational Experimentation Environment program to integrate components of advanced naval communications technologies.

- $2 million to support the Joint Aviation Technical Data Integration to provide integrated electronic support to aviation maintenance crews deployed around the world.

- $1.4 million to support a program to integrate Navy Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation and training resources to provide new and enhanced integrated testing, training and experimentation for the various components of the Carrier Strike Group and Expeditionary Strike Group.

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