Congressman Rohrabacher Announces Largest Defense Research Grant to California State University Long Beach
Washington, Aug 27, 2004 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 August 2004
(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) today announced a combined research grant award from the Department of Defense in the amount of $ 9.3 million to California State University Long Beach, the largest such grant in the institution’s history, to conduct ongoing research into the design of high speed vessels and agile ports to speed up the handling of both commercial and defense cargoes in the ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach-the nation’s busiest port complex.
The grant was included at the Congressman’s request in the Fiscal Year 2005 Defense Appropriation measure (Public Law 108-287) recently signed into law by President Bush. Rohrabacher praised the President’s action as especially timely in light of the current backup of vessels in the port complex and the recent announcement to recall 70,000 troops from overseas over the next ten years, which in the President’s words “makes rapid deployment a vital critical element in our national defense strategy”.
Rohrabacher, Chairman of the Space Subcommittee and a California State University alumnus himself, called the centerpiece of the grant award “ 4.3 million in new Federal appropriations to conduct a pilot project called Strategic Mobility 21 to demonstrate the use of short haul rail and inland rail facilities –getting up to half the container trucks off the highways-to alleviate regional congestion in the ports and highways highlighted by the growing backup of vessels from Los Angeles to Huntington Beach!”.
Rohrabacher said he invites “all the stakeholders in the region including the ports, railroads, Alameda Corridor, marine terminal operators, communities and organized labor to join in the demonstration project to prove the feasibility of short haul rail” as part of what he called “a comprehensive long term solution to the region’s systemic congestion problems along with 7-24 hours of operation in the marine terminals and on the freeways like the I-710!”.
Rohrabacher said he expected the current Administrations in both Washington and Sacramento to closely follow the progress of the landmark study as a national model of “freight transportation gateways” and as a means of restoring California’s economic competitiveness and creating high technology jobs in transportation and logistics calling Los Angeles the “Pacific Rim gateway for 45% of the nation’s imported goods.”