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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: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto952799
Hinds9520193
Harrison6801105
Jackson6043116
Rankin521996
Lee477094
Madison4595102
Forrest360685
Jones341687
Lauderdale3340142
Lafayette312047
Washington3043106
Lamar273849
Bolivar237583
Oktibbeha237460
Lowndes227562
Neshoba2170113
Panola210347
Marshall206547
Leflore200389
Pontotoc192527
Monroe188877
Sunflower188754
Lincoln183664
Warren171757
Tate163049
Pike159958
Union159025
Copiah158840
Yazoo149538
Scott149429
Coahoma146742
Itawamba144433
Simpson143153
Alcorn142724
Pearl River142067
Prentiss138426
Grenada135844
Adams134148
Leake131643
Holmes124261
George121523
Tippah120430
Covington116434
Winston115824
Wayne115522
Hancock113337
Marion109046
Attala106133
Tishomingo105542
Newton102829
Chickasaw102132
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88153
Clay86226
Jasper80421
Walthall73728
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Stone71014
Carroll70114
Lawrence69814
Noxubee68917
Smith68616
Yalobusha67626
Perry63925
Tunica59519
Greene58222
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis53817
Humphreys52318
Amite50714
Benton48217
Quitman4766
Webster41614
Kemper40615
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson33511
Franklin3155
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1094
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 232506

Reported Deaths: 3457
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30318491
Mobile19260356
Tuscaloosa12446148
Madison12204146
Montgomery12000232
Shelby971276
Baldwin819984
Lee750464
Morgan610447
Calhoun5964113
Etowah585764
Marshall579453
Houston503338
DeKalb460835
Cullman409636
Limestone400844
St. Clair396055
Elmore391061
Lauderdale378353
Walker348096
Talladega334042
Colbert294341
Jackson290524
Blount275436
Autauga261739
Franklin243633
Coffee230315
Dale225454
Dallas219631
Russell21753
Chilton216137
Covington212333
Escambia194031
Tallapoosa168590
Chambers167548
Clarke154919
Pike154714
Marion133935
Winston122523
Lawrence121436
Geneva11678
Marengo116424
Barbour116010
Pickens114118
Bibb113617
Butler113341
Randolph99521
Cherokee98524
Hale91531
Washington89818
Clay88823
Henry8386
Fayette83116
Lowndes78529
Monroe76811
Cleburne74214
Crenshaw70030
Macon69420
Bullock68919
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Wilcox62318
Lamar6227
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene39917
Coosa3064
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