UPDATE: Energy Department Accepts Bridenstine Request to Stop Selling Military Technology to Russia
In response to a Congressional inquiry led by Congressmen Jim Bridenstine and Mike Turner, the Department of Energy said it will no longer request funding to provide the Multiple Integrated Laser System (MILES) system to Russia. Bridenstine, Turner, and 16 additional House Republicans objected to DOE’s proposal to provide Russia with U.S. military equipment for infantry training. MILES is essentially a high-tech “laser tag” system used by the U.S. military in tactical force-on-force training.
Congressman Bridenstine said, “DOE made the right decision by rescinding its request to provide Russia with U.S. military equipment. U.S. taxpayers should not be funding any military equipment for Russia. I look forward to DOE’s response regarding if it is transferring any other military equipment to Russia. Such transfers are not in the U.S. national interest.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, and House Armed Services Committee Member Jim Bridenstine along with sixteen House colleagues, sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Moniz regarding the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) FY15 proposal to provide the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES).
Employed by the U.S. military for training purposes, the MILES is a tactical force-on-force trainer, which uses a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat for soldiers. While a military-grade technology, MILES could be compared to a “laser tag” system available in some commercial markets. Both Turner and Bridenstine are concerned that the Administration’s planned supply to the Russian Federation is grave mistake given the recent invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
The letter said, in part, “In the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, it has come to our attention that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been, and is planning to continue providing the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) to the Russian Federation free of charge.”
“It’s ludicrous that U.S. taxpayers are paying to give Russia free military equipment after President Obama announced a suspension in military engagement with Moscow. It’s just another example of how the President is hanging on to his failed “reset with Russia” policy despite Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine. I expect Secretary of Energy Moniz to act quickly and stop irresponsible military equipment transfers,” said Bridenstine.
“Putin has proven that he has a brazen disregard for the sovereignty and stability of Eastern Europe and that he will continue manipulate and disregard international law. Despite this overwhelming evidence that Putin is not our ally, it is astonishing that the Obama Administration would still provide superior, U.S. military technology to an aggressive and advancing Russia. The United States must seriously redirect its approach and immediately terminate all military aid to Russia,” said Turner.