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Defense Appropriations Passes Senate; Bill Includes Important Delaware Projects

Location: Washington, DC

Defense Appropriations Passes Senate; Bill Includes Important Delaware Projects

U.S. Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper announced today that late last week, the United States Senate approved annual legislation that provides critical funding for Department of Defense measures to strengthen the United States' and Delaware's military capabilities.

The $440.2 billion Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Appropriation Bill passed by the Senate today, includes funds for a 3.1% across-the-board pay increase, $50 billion to support ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and increases by $30 million the amount of money the President requested for C-5 modernization. In addition, Senators Biden and Carper were able to secure additional funds for Air Guard C-130 radars and additional MedEvac UH-60s for the Army, increasing the total funding for these critical systems by $105 million.

According to the Senators, the bill also contains several provisions important to Delaware totaling more than $72.7 million. They are as follows:

• $12 million for ANP Technologies, a Newark based biotechnology firm, to produce a handheld device capable of detecting and identifying multiple biological threats in the field.

• $7.5 million for Micropore, a Newark plastics company, to improve their ability to produce reactive plastic carbon dioxide absorbents used to filter carbon dioxide in submarines and Navy SEAL diving equipment.

• $7.5 million for Newark's Quantum Leap Innovations to create a system for the Navy that can dynamically analyze threats and integrate all of the information needed to effectively respond to biological attacks on ships and in the state.

• $7 million for Fraunhofer USA to develop new, safer, and less expensive plant-based vaccines for anthrax and other biological threats.

• $18 million for the University of Delaware -- $4 million for the completion of a new Navy research vessel; $14 million for the Center for Advanced Composite Materials which is working on making lighter and stronger armor and material for Army and Navy vehicles and ships.

• $12 million for W.L. Gore broken down as follows: $8 million for the Marine Corps to field the All Purpose Environmental Clothing System; $2 million for Army Reserves to field the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS); and $2 million the Army Guard to field ECWCS.

• $6 million for the Vaccine Health Care Centers to ensure that military personnel needing specialized care following mandatory vaccines have access to it.

• $2.7 million for 166th Information Operations Unit of the Air National Guard to continue its work using technology to fight terror and to protect defense assets.

"This bill continues to meet our commitment to the troops in the field today and to our future security," said Biden. "As we look at the complicated new threats facing the nation, we are fortunate that so many organizations in Delaware are able to think outside the box to develop technologies that will keep us one step ahead and well-prepared to face the challenges of today and tomorrow."

"The defense bill highlights Delaware's strategic, scientific and technological importance at a time when the nation is facing continued security threats here at home and abroad," said Senator Carper. "The funds for C-5 modernization will strengthen our military's strategic airlift capacity, while other funds in the bill will help clothe and protect our troops - not only against military threats but also bio-terrorism and other dangers."

The bill must now be reconciled with a similar bill passed by the House of Representatives in June.

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