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Funding to Go to Local Companies in Binghamton and the Southern Tier - Will Boost Local Economy, Jobs While Providing Critical Resources for Military

Schumer Requested Committee to Include Funding In FY2009 Spending Bill

Bill Set to Pass Senate In Next Few Days

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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Senate is set to approve $8 million in funding for military projects in the Southern Tier.


The funding includes $1.6 million for Johnson Outdoors in Broome County and the Southern Tier to produce military tents; $2.4 million for L3 communication in Binghamton to be used for training pilots who fly Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs); and $4 million for SUNY Binghamton for the Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP) for solar power research.


"This is terrific news for Broome County and all of the Southern Tier," said Schumer.  "Providing our brave men and women with the resources they need is essential to the success of our military. I will continue to fight for funds that will help our soldiers perform at the optimum level."


Johnson Outdoors will use these funds to manufacture military tents to meet the needs of U .S . troops around the world and to maintain the industrial base to meet those needs.  A 2005 Report to Congress by the Defense Logistics Agency concluded that unless additional funds are provided to support the domestic military tent industrial base , the Military Services would continue to experience limited wartime supply availability of critical tent and shelter systems. These resources are essential to the success of military operations that support national defense objectives.


L3 Communication, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, will use the funds to modify programs for training pilots who fly the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) under the Predator Mission Aircrew Training System (PMATS).  The PMATS units were initially fielded with urban area visual and radar databases for the simulation.  However, these old databases no longer meet USAF mission training demands for effective combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The requested funding will help to develop the highdensity urban environment databases that are better suited to current combat training needs.


SUNY Binghamton, through the Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP) , will develop a focused research and development initiative to study largearea flexible solarcell modules.  The CASP will focus its research on developing militaryspecific solarpower systems that would contribute to operational efficiency and streamline logistics.  Specifically, the requested funding would support: UniversityBased Solar Cell Module R&D Program; Module Integrated Storage Technology Development; Prototype Manufacturing Tool Development; and Advanced Application Specific Solar Modules Programs


The Defense Appropriations are being passed as a part of the Continuing Resolution.  The House passed the CR late last night, and the Senate expects to pass it in the coming days.