President Bush recently signed into law the FY 2008 Defense Appropriations bill. The bill will cost $459.594 billion to fund the war in Iraq and provide equipment and training for 12,000 additional troops -- the number recommended by the military to help alleviate the long tours of duty currently facing troops in Iraq.
The Defense Appropriations Committee held 31 hearings and six formal briefings on the bill. It is an increase of $39.72 billion dollars from 2007.
The bill includes millions of dollars in investments secured by Congressman Jim Walsh, that Walsh claims will retain and create jobs at local businesses and meet the vital needs of servicemen and women in combat.
Central New York produces research and technology applications of national importance, Walsh said. Our companies and researchers are solving pressing challenges presented by today's geopolitical environment. As the reputation of our workforce, its products, and its employers grows in Washington, I expect we'll see more opportunities for federal contracts with area businesses. Not only does this investment significantly impact our region's economy, but it provides life-saving technology for American troops and enhances our nation's public infrastructure and health systems.
Included in the bill is $16.2 million in funding for Department of Defense-related projects by area entities including:
- $2,400,000 for Lockheed Martin in Liverpool for electronics for the Littoral Combat Ship.
- $2,400,000 for Syracuse Research Corporation in North Syracuse for the development of intelligence-gathering systems.
- $3,500,000 for Defenshield in East Syracuse for security checkpoints used to protect troops in Iraq.
- $2,000,000 for Source Sentinel in East Syracuse for the detection of biologics in water supplies.
- $1,500,000 for GE Industrial, Inspection Technologies & Sensing in Skaneateles Falls for inspection systems for propulsion equipment.
- $2,400,000 for a joint research program between the State University of New York and Syracuse University called FIRST for development of specialized clothing and technologies used in hazardous environments (radiological, biological and chemical).
- $1,000,000 for Progressive Expert Consulting, Inc. in Syracuse for foreign language training systems used to prepare troops.
- $1,000,000 for thermal/infrared imaging equipment for an Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter squadron based in Rochester.