Sen. Wicker proposal for 355 ships signed into law

Roger Wicker

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today announced that his bicameral, bipartisan “Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Act” was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump as part of the FY2018 “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA).

Posted: Dec 12, 2017 2:20 PM

WASHINGTON (Press Release) –  U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today announced that his bicameral, bipartisan “Securing the Homeland by Increasing our Power on the Seas (SHIPS) Act” was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump as part of the FY2018 “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA). Wicker’s proposal makes it the official policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s minimum requirement for a 355-ship fleet. Currently, only 279 ships are in the battle fleet. Wicker is Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee.

“With his signature, President Trump has confirmed the United States’ resolve to meet the growing needs of our U.S. Navy,” Wicker said. “Building up our nation’s fleet is essential to protecting our national security and projecting American power around the globe. We are asking too few ships to do too many things, and today the President took a major step toward rectifying that problem. In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with my colleagues to put together a budget that fully supports our American military personnel and keeps us focused on our goal to achieve a full 355-ship fleet.”

The defense bill authorizes nearly $700 billion in funding for America’s service members, military installations, and industrial base. The bill includes a nearly $5 billion increase for shipbuilding above President Trump’s budget request, and gives active-duty military personnel a 2.4 percent pay raise.

The bill also makes permanent the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance payments to surviving military spouses. The more than 60,000 Americans whose spouses died either on active duty or during retirement will continue to receive $310 per month plus cost-of-living-adjustment indefinitely.

Additional provisions added by Wicker to the defense bill that could impact Mississippi include:

Capital Region

  • Encouraging the Navy to continue developing cutting-edge electronic jammer technology.  Jammers prevent enemy air defenses from detecting and shooting down American fighter and bomber planes. 

Golden Triangle

  • Directing the Air Force to study opportunities to increase use of civilian airports to support pilot training, which could inform how Columbus Air Force Base makes cooperative agreements with nearby airports; and
  • Mandating that the Pentagon reviews its protected vehicle inventory, including Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles.

Gulf Coast

  • Authorizing multiyear procurement contract authority to allow the Navy to buy up to 15 DDG-51 Flight III Destroyers;
  • Authorizing $1.75 billion funding for an additional Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyer (DDG-51) plus $250 million to buy long-lead items;
  • Authorizing $1.5 billion in funding for an additional Marine Corps amphibious transport ship (LPD-30);
  • Encouraging the Navy to accelerate procurement of 9th Amphibious Assault Ship (LHA-9); and
  • Requiring the Navy to evaluate expanding its test and training range locations for unmanned maritime systems.

Wicker also added a provision to the defense bill to help military officials identify the cause of recent physiological episodes (PE) experienced by Navy and Marine Corps pilots at NAS Meridian and other training facilities. The plan would authorize the Secretary of Defense to offer a $10 million prize – similar to the XPrize – to incentivize the brightest minds in academia and industry to help find the root cause or causes of PE.

The defense bill also includes a proposal spearheaded by Wicker and Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., to allow National Guardsmen, Reservists, and their dependents to sign up for TRICARE 90 days prior to deployment and keep TRICARE for 90 days after they return.  Currently, Guardsmen and Reservists have no lead time to switch their families to TRICARE and no grace period when they come home.

Another Wicker-sponsored provision would require the TRICARE pharmacy contractor to update its prescription drug-pricing standard regularly, something that Medicare Part D sponsors already do.  This would result in greater drug price transparency for beneficiaries and community pharmacists, as well as lead to more access to cost-effective generic drugs.

Finally, Wicker and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., were successful in adding their proposal to improve the nation’s cybersecurity workforce pipeline by expanding and enhancing an existing federal scholarship program for students pursuing degrees in cybersecurity fields. The “Cyber Scholarship Opportunities Act” would expand and improve the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) CyberCorps: Scholarship-for-Service program, which provides ROTC-style scholarships to students pursuing degrees in cybersecurity, helps colleges and universities develop cybersecurity programs, and sponsors cyber boot camps for K-12 students to increase cyber literacy among America’s youth.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307836

Reported Deaths: 7119
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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