Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today issued the below statement following Senate passage of the conference report accompanying the FY2007 Defense Appropriations bill, which included several requests Senator Thune made on behalf of various South Dakota defense-related initiatives. The Defense Appropriations bill will now be sent to the President's desk for his signature.

"This significant funding will 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," Thune said.

The FY2007 Defense Appropriation bill passed by the Senate today includes the following requests made by Senator Thune:

Air Force Financial Management Transformation Program: $4,300,000
-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: $2,750,000
-This funding would be used by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Radiance Technologies to develop electronics integration and fabrication technology to reduce the size, weight, and cost of missile defense system electronics.

3M Escape Mask/Respirator: $1,800,000
-This funding would be used by 3M to develop a new mask to protect military troops from chemical and biological agents. The key filtration components would be manufactured in Aberdeen and potentially shipped to Nebraska for final assembly.

Parts-on-Demand for CONUS Operations Program: $2,500,000
-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 operations within the continental United States.

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.

Laser Engineered Net Shaping: $1,000,000
-This funding would be used to continue the development of emerging laser deposition technology, which shows a great potential capability to repair high value components in the Department of Defense weapon systems

AN/TMQ-52 Meteorological Measuring Set-Profiler: $8,190,000
-The readiness of the Army National Guard (ARNG) is compromised because of a critical equipment shortage. The AN/TMQ52-Profiler provides critical meteorological information required for accurate artillery fire. This funding will procure 10 additional Profilers for the ARNG.

CH-53 Integrated Mechanical Diagnostics System: $2,900,000
-This funding would procure and install 20 kits to accelerate fielding of the Integrated Mechanical Diagnostic System, the baseline Health & Usage Monitoring System program for all Department of Navy helicopters.

Department of Defense STARBASE Program: $2,000,000
-The Department of Defense STARBASE Program is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of "at-risk" (minority and low socio-economic) students in kindergarten through 12th grade in mathematics, science, and technology. The program utilizes instruction modules specifically designed to meet specific math and science objectives. A motivational module is included to teach children how to set and achieve goals, take positive action in their lives, and build strong self-esteem.

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.

Model Based Feed-forward Control of Laser Powder Disposition: $300,000
-This funding would be used to develop a control system for laser powder deposition for use in the manufacturing industry.

Also approved in the bill was $6,600,000 for the Automatic Chemical Agent Alarm, supported by the South Dakota National Guard.