Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DOD Aids Sandy Recovery, Urges Authorization Bill Passage

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2012 - The Defense Department continues its
assistance with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, Pentagon Press
Secretary George E. Little said here today.

About 1,000 National Guardsmen and more than 300 Army Corps of
Engineers personnel remain in New York and New Jersey, he said.

"Our personnel have made a significant contribution to the recovery
effort," Little said.

"Since the storm struck, the Army Corps of Engineers has installed 198
power generators in critical locations, and removed over 475 million
gallons of water at 14 strategic sites -- the equivalent of 720
Olympic-sized swimming pools. They've also removed more than 340,000
cubic yards of debris," he said.

In addition, more than 9 million gallons of fuel and more than 6
million meals have been delivered to affected areas by the Defense
Logistics Agency, Little said.

The fact that DOD can carry out such large-scale operations while
simultaneously conducting operations in Afghanistan and around the
world is a testament to the department's high level of readiness and
its ability to plan for a wide range of potential contingencies, he
said.

"I point this out because if Congress does not enact defense
authorization legislation for fiscal year 2013 in a timely fashion, it
could seriously hamper our ability to plan and to operate," Little
said.

A number of adverse situations will arise if Congress fails to pass
the 2013 Defense Authorization Act, he said.

"For example, important new military construction projects --
including critical infrastructure upgrades -- could not be initiated,"
he said.

"Authorities to provide counterterrorism support to law enforcement
agencies and several important counter-narcotics authorities --
including support to the government of Colombia -- would expire,"
Little said.

For service members, bonuses and special incentive pay would end,
Little said, hurting troop morale and potentially impacting recruiting
and retention.

These examples explain why -- beyond preventing sequestration -- one
of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta's highest priorities for the
current Congressional session is for lawmakers to pass the defense
authorization bill, he said.

"In the coming days, it is his hope that Congress comes together to
help this department accomplish this mission by acting on this
critical legislation," Little said.





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