Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today issued the below statement following the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense's markup of the FY2007 Defense Appropriations bill, which approved several requests Senator Thune made on behalf of various South Dakota defense-related initiatives:

"South Dakota's integral role in national defense efforts is a source of pride for all South Dakotans and a cornerstone of our state's economy. I am pleased to see the Subcommittee honored a number of requests I made on behalf of a variety of defense projects in South Dakota," Thune said. "While it must still be approved by the full Appropriations Committee and then the Senate, this significant funding would directly enhance South Dakota's defense-related operations-paving the way for important research and new technology that will create jobs, boost our state's economy and provide for a stronger, safer America."

The Subcommittee has approved several of Senator Thune's requests, which include, among others:

  • Air Force Financial Management Transformation Program: $6,400,000

    • This funding would be used by the Air Force to provide startup funding for the new Air Force Financial Services Center on Ellsworth Air Force Base.

  • Advanced Electronics Rosebud Integration Center - Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Radiance Technologies: $5,000,000

    • This funding would be used by Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Radiance Technologies to develop electronics integration and fabrication technology to reduce size, weight, and cost of missile defense system electronics.

  • 3M Escape Mask/Respirator: $4,000,000

    • This funding would be used by 3M to develop a new mask to protect military troops from chemical and biological agents. The masks would be manufactured in Aberdeen.

  • Parts-on-Demand for CONUS Operations Program: $3,850,000

    • This funding would be used by Alion Science and Technology, Sitting Bull College, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, University of North Dakota and North Dakota Manufacturing Extension Partnership to establish and operate a precision manufacturing facility at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, to provide parts-on-demand for Army CONUS operations.

  • Distributed Generation of Liquid Fuels From Wastes and Biomass: $3,000,000

    • This funding would be used by Biomass Energy Solutions to initiate a small waste-to-energy production facility at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

  • Joint Modular Ground Targets and Urban Close Air Support Site: $100,000

    • This funding would be used to begin the first phase of upgrading the Ellsworth Air Force Base/Powder River Training Range with new targets and urban close air support site.

The Following School of Mines programs received funding:

  • Future Affordable Multi-Utility Materials for Army Future Combat System: $2,000,000

    • This funding would be used to complete the establishment and staffing of its top-tier polymer composite research and development and system prototyping laboratory.

  • Improvised Explosive Device Simulation in Different Soils: $500,000

    • This funding would be used to develop a numerical modeling strategy for simulation of shallow buried explosive blasts. Once developed, it can be used in the design of military vehicles and other equipment that may be exposed to a shallow buried explosive blast.

  • Shielding Rocket Payloads: $285,000

    • This funding would be used to develop methods aimed at reducing the sound pressure levels within space vehicles to improve protection of payloads launched into orbit for the Department of Defense and commercial industry.

  • Transparent Nanocomposite Armor: $250,000

    • This funding would be used to develop new transparent Armor for the Army's Future Combat System vehicles.

The Subcommittee also approved $22,000,000 of Senator Thune's $40,000,000 request for the Automatic Chemical Agent Alarm, supported by the South Dakota National Guard.

The Full Appropriations Committee is expected to consider and report the bill to the full Senate on Thursday.

The Defense Appropriations bill may see debate and passage on the Senate floor as early as next week.