WASHINGTON, DC – March 6, 2014 – President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, released earlier this week, makes a significant investment in a major military program run out of Massachusetts’ Hanscom Air Force Base.
The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) has become one of the most reliable surveillance systems in the world, providing unparalleled reconnaissance resources and efficient communications capabilities. The FY2015 budget commits $73 million in funding to establish a new platform for JSTARS. The new program will be run out of Hanscom AFB.
JSTARS was one of Hanscom’s largest development programs in the 1990s, and perhaps the greatest technological achievement of the Gulf War. Air Force officials, including Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh, have indicated that replacing JSTARS is a top priority for the Air Force, which has the potential to save billions of dollars.
Former Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley committed to the Massachusetts delegation that the Air Force will seek to retain the core mission at Hanscom and the JSTARS program is widely considered part of that core mission.
Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation released the following statements in appreciation of the Air Force continuing to deliver on its commitment, and in support of the President including funding for the recapitalization of the JSTARS platform in his budget.
“Hanscom is the birthplace of modern radar and airspace management,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-3), member of the House Armed Services Committee and Co-chair of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force. “Headquartering the JSTARS recapitalization program at Hanscom continues the installation’s role in developing some of the most cutting edge military technology and hi-tech resources. I appreciate that the President recognized the value of this critical program by including the funding in his budget, and as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will be working to support this request as it makes its way through the legislative process. The President’s commitment combined with Massachusetts’ unique regional ecosystem of world class academic institutions, remarkable federally funded research and development centers, and top-notch companies will ensure that Hanscom continues to provide our military with unparalleled advantages.”
“Hanscom is a national leader in innovative defense work, and JSTARS is a great example of the installation’s long-time commitment to developing new military technologies,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “I’m pleased the President has included funding for the JSTARS recapitalization program in his FY15 budget. This support will help sustain the critical, cutting-edge military work that goes on at Hanscom.”
"I am pleased that the President’s budget included funding for the JSTARS system at Hanscom Air Force Base. The JSTARS program supports job creation in Massachusetts and helps the Air Force provide critically-needed surveillance on maritime targets. Thanks to the resources at Hanscom Air Force Base and all of Massachusetts military installations, the Commonwealth will continue to play a leading role in our nation's national defense, cyber security, and air superiority," said Senator Ed Markey.
“I join my colleagues in commending the President for including funding for JSTARS recapitalization in his budget. As the budget process moves forward, I will continue my efforts to support and retain this funding. Hanscom Air Force Base performs a critical military function, and the complex work occurring at the installation will only be more and more important in the years ahead as the Air Force continues its efforts to address cyber threats and electronics challenges,” said Congressman John Tierney (MA-6).
“I’m pleased that the President has recognized Hanscom’s unique role in the future of military technology,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5). “Hanscom is a celebrated industry partner for Massachusetts communities, creating job opportunities for thousands in our technology sector. Having seen their talent and innovation firsthand, I’m confident that strengthening our investment in Hanscom will help keep Massachusetts and America on the front lines of emerging technologies. I look forward to working with President Obama and my colleagues to secure this vital investment.”