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Sen. Toomey Files Amendment To Study Reducing Fighter Pilot Training Costs

Wednesday, Nov 28

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) filed an amendment today to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Defense Department to research a new type of flight simulator that could result in significant savings.

The senator's amendment would require the DoD to study and report on a simulator that would combine the physical effects of supersonic flight with a simulated cockpit. The technology could be produced by companies such as Environmental Tectonics Corporation in Bucks County.

The simulator, if adopted, would prepare pilots to withstand G-forces by placing them in a high-speed centrifuge while providing high-fidelity flight simulation. The simulator could create significant savings for the DoD by replacing a portion of pilots' tactical flight training hours with simulator hours.

This amendment is identical to S. 3554, which Sen. Toomey introduced in September.

"This amendment would require the Defense Department to evaluate potentially cost-saving technology that could be produced by companies like Bucks County's Environmental Tectonics Corporation. While Washington is grappling with trillion-dollar deficits, we need to identify new ways to maintain our armed forces' combat capabilities while saving taxpayers money," Sen. Toomey said.

"We greatly appreciate Sen. Toomey's tremendous leadership on this issue. His efforts to support simulated tactical flight simulation could save taxpayers billions of dollars and improve the combat readiness and safety of our military fighter pilots," said William F. Mitchell Sr., Environmental Tectonics Corporation's president and chief executive officer.

The National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3254) is currently pending on the Senate floor.

Sen. Toomey also filed six additional amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act. These amendments would:

• Establish a one-year pilot program at the Labor Department's One-Stop Centers to reform and streamline how veterans search online for jobs. The new search program would match veterans with available jobs based on the skills they've gained in the military, and employers would be able to post vacancies. This amendment is identical to S. 3316.

• Limit funds authorized to be appropriated for U.S. participation in joint military exercises with Egypt if the Egyptian government abrogates, terminates, or withdraws from the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

• Require the Defense Department share a forthcoming report from the Military and Veterans Mental Health Interagency Task Force with Congress. The report will contain recommendations on strategies to improve the mental health of service members, veterans and their families.

• Affirm the sense of the Senate that "abandoning the search efforts for members of the armed forces who are missing or captured in the line of duty now or in the future is unacceptable." This amendment is identical to S.Res. 593.

• Require a Defense Department study on the development of a joint service military history storage and preservation facility.

• Order the secretary of the Army to conduct a study on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle industrial base, including the quantitative and qualitative impacts of a production break for the vehicle.


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