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McKeon, McCarthy urge continued funding of Airborne Laser program

Posted: March 23, 2009 8:41 p.m.
Updated: March 23, 2009 6:57 p.m.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Reps. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (CA-25) and Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressing concern about reports that the Administration's Fiscal Year 2010 budget may include funding cuts for the Airborne Laser (ABL) Program.

As the letter was sent to Secretary Gates, McKeon and McCarty issued the following statements:

"The benefits of the Airborne Laser technology are great and far-reaching. America's ability to destroy a missile cloaked with a chemical, biological, or nuclear warhead on enemy territory serves as a great disincentive against a hostile enemy attack. And ABL's ability to engage a target with multiple shots or to identify and shoot at multiple targets gives it a great advantage as well.

"Further development in weapon-laser technology will have additional applications that will be beneficial to American national security in the future. A reliable weaponized laser that shoots precisely focused bullets of light traveling at 186,000 miles per second promises to be useful for other missions beyond the scope of missile defense.

"I am proud of the work being done in my congressional district at Edwards Air Force Base by our dedicated engineers and employees. Representative Kevin McCarthy and I strongly encourage Secretary Gates to support funding for this technology, so our country can build upon the progress already made."
-- Rep. Buck McKeon (CA-25)

"The Airborne Laser program is on the cutting edge of our nation's self-defense. In a time of global challenges, I am concerned the Administration is being short-sighted by considering significant budget cuts to our defense budget. I will continue to work with my friend Buck McKeon and other Members of Congress to support the Airborne Laser program being tested at Edwards Air Force Base to strengthen our nation's defense."
-- Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)


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