By DeAnn Komanecky , Savannah Now, Aug 16, 2018

The presidential signing last week of the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act is good news for a number of Georgia businesses.

The act provides $716 billion overall for national defense in fiscal year 2019.

In addition to upgrades at military bases and improved medical care for service members, businesses from all over the state, including Savannah and Southeast Georgia, will benefit financially.

Senator David Perdue, (R-GA), who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the bill contains more than 30 items important to Georgia’s military community.

“President Trump has shown he is committed to modernizing our capabilities and ensuring the United States has the strongest military in the world,” Perdue said. “Earlier this year, Secretary Mattis started the first audit of the Department of Defense in history. This review will make sure the Pentagon’s resources are spent responsibly as our women and men in uniform combat evolving threats around the globe. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a member of the select Conference Committee that finalized this defense authorization, I am very pleased that Congress is backing up President Trump’s commitment to rebuild our military.”

Bryan County’s Daniel Defense is on the list with $4.2 million added to the president’s budget request for M4 Carbine Mods for free-float extended rails. The rail, or handguard as it is commonly referred to, is an accessory used on AR-15 rifles to provide stability and a grip on the weapon. It protects the user’s hands from the rifle barrel, which can become very hot when firing. The rail also allows room for attachments such as sights, bipods, flashlights and even grenade launchers.

“Our rail systems have been used by U.S. Army Special Forces for the past 13 years,” said Daniel Defense President and CEO Marty Daniel. “These rails are tested and proven by the military to be the most effective in the firearms industry. We originally provided the rail exclusively to the Special Forces, but soldiers’ mounting requests for the product led to the adoption of the rail across many army units.”

Perdue’s spokesperson, Casey Black, said the Senator directly supported and asked for the inclusion of Daniel Defense.

Perdue also worked to repeal a provision from fiscal year 2017 that stopped worked on Compass Call Aircraft.

Compass Call is an Air Force electronic attack aircraft. The systems integrator contract was awarded to L3 Technologies. L3 is a provider of global ISR, communications and electronic systems for military, homeland security and commercial aviation customers with headquarters in New York, NY. L3 officials told Defense News last year that ”…they had decided to use the Gulfstream G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft as the new platform.”

Another impact for Gulfstream could come from the extension of the JSTARS fleet. JSTARS aircraft are used for surveillance.

Gulfstream’s website states: “The G550 is under consideration as a new platform for JSTARS, a U.S. Air Force Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System. JSTARS tracks moving targets on the ground over wide areas and communicates those movements to military personnel on the ground, in the air and at sea.”

Gulfstream spokesperson Heidi Fedak said Northrop Grumman Corp. is the primary contractor on JSTARS and directed that any comments should come from them. Northrop did not return a call for information.

Perdue said the JSTAR fleet will be fully funded for manning, maintenance, and operations for the full fleet in FY 19 and includes plans for the next 10 years.

JCB of Pooler should see a boost to their bottom line as well, with $71 million included in the act for High Mobility Engineer Excavators, according to Black.

The ACT provides $250 million for the “revitalization and long-term sustainment of the Columbia Class submarine that will benefit businesses and King’s Bay submarine base.

Also in the Savannah area is Roberts Calibration, Inc. Roberts Calibration is one of about 51 suppliers statewide that are submarine base suppliers.

Southeast Georgia has 20 businesses that provide services or supplies to the submarine base that account for $402 million in awards and contracts, Black said.

“Many of the suppliers are in Brunswick and St. Marys,” Black said.

Other Georgia winners in the act include Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. Sen. Perdue grew up in Warner Robins.

Robins will host the new Advanced Battle Management System, which gives access to restricted and non-restricted air space. Robins will also see $129 million for engine upgrades for C-130 aircraft and $154 for propeller upgrades.

A-10 aircraft will get $65 million for re-winging work. Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta is the base for some A-10s.