Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 108 Part 4.djvu/50

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108 STAT. 2684 PUBLIC LAW 103-337—OCT. 5, 1994 (2) Extensive testimony received by the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate in 1994 and prior years from military and civilian officials of the Department of Defense provided compelling support for a military requirement for 12 Amphibious Ready Groups. (3) Twelve Amphibious Ready Groups is the correct number of amphibious ready groups necessary to sustain forward deplo5ment and contingency requirements of the Navy. (4) A report of the Department of the Navy (prepared pursuant to requirements of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993) clearly stipulates that a seventh LHD amphibious assault vessel is required in order for the Navy to achieve a force of 12 Amphibious Ready Groups. (5) A significant shortfall in amphibious shipping and amphibious lift exists, both in the fiscal year 1995 budget request and in outyear force structure projections. (6) The Department of the Navy has identified funds in outyear budget projections for the purchase of the amphibious assault vessel designated as LHD-7. (b) SENSE OF CONGRESS. —It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of the Navy— (1) should plan for, and budget to provide for, the attednment of a twelfth Amphibious Ready Group as soon as possible; and (2) should extend the existing contract option on the LHD- 7 Amphibious Assault Ship to facilitate achieving 12 Amphibious Ready Groups. (c) LHD-7 CONTRACT OPTION EXTENSION.— (1) The Secretary of the Navy is authorized to extend the existing contract option for the LHD-7 Amphibious Assault ship if the Secretary determines that the extension would be in the best interest of the United States. (2) The Secretary of the Navy shall immediately begin negotiations to extend the existing contract option for the LHD-7 Amphib- , ious Assault Ship Program. (3) On and after the date that is 30 days after the date on which the Secretary notifies Congress of an intention to do so, the Secretary may use for such contract option extension funds that are authorized to be appropriated for other Navy programs. The notification shall include a description of the intended use of the funds. (d) REPORT REQUIREMENT.— The Secretary of the Navy shall submit to Congress, after December 31, 1994, but before March 31, 1995, a report stating the Secretary's intentions regarding exercise of the existing contract option for the LHD-7 Amphibious Assault Ship. The report shall include an explanation of the Secretary actions regarding attainment of a twelfth Amphibious Ready Group and the costs and benefits of extending the existing contract option on the LHD-7 Amphibious Assault Ship. Subtitle D—Air Force Programs SEC. 131. INTERTHEATER AIRLIFT PROGRAMS. (a) AUTHORIZATION. —Of the amount provided in section 103 for procurement of aircraft for the Air Force—