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Press Release - Senate, House Approve FY2007 Defense Appropriations Conference Report

Location: Washington, DC

Press Release - Senate, House Approve FY2007 Defense Appropriations Conference Report

WASHINGTON, DC - Delaware's Congressional Delegation -- Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper and U.S. Representative Mike Castle -- today announced that the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have approved $35.9 million for military research, C-5 modernization and equipment made in the First State. Castle and Carper were also successful in adding language regarding wasteful defense contracting. The bill will be signed into law shortly.

The funding comes as part of the fiscal year 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations Conference Report and breaks down as follows:

· $9.5 million for the Army to continue providing Extended Cold Weather Clothing System for our Guard and Reserve soldiers;

· $9.75 million for the University of Delaware's Center for Advanced Composite Materials to continue their work with the Army developing composite materials for the Future Combat System and developing lighter, stronger, and more protective armor for existing Army vehicles;

· $1.25 million for the University of Delaware's on-going work using millimeter

terrahertz imaging to see through fog and dust and other obscurants on the battlefield;

· $3.35 million for Quantum Leap Innovation, a Newark-based company, to work with the Navy to provide better decision making tools for urgent battlefield medical care, particularly where biological agents are used;

· $3.15 million for Fraunhofer, USA, also in Newark, for development of an innovative, more effective, less expensive, plant-based anthrax and plague vaccines;

· $2.9 million for continued development of ANP Technologies' less expensive, lighter, and more accurate handheld biological agent detectors;

· $4 million for Micropore Inc. to lower the production costs of their lighter, more effective carbon dioxide absorbent used by Navy submarines, SEAL teams, for smoke hoods, and for coal mine safety;

· $2 million for the Delaware Air National Guard's new 166th Information Operations unit to continue its counter-terror work.

Congress also provided $379.687 million for C-5 Modernization. That includes $5.4 million more than the President requested so that more C-5s can receive avionics upgrades. Avionics upgrades are installed at two locations, including Dover Air Force Base. The entire fleet is scheduled to be fully upgraded by mid-2009.

"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."

Castle-Carper Amendment on Defense Contracting

The legislation also includes language offered by Rep. Castle and Sen. Carper to cut down on defense-spending waste by prohibiting funding for award fees to defense contractors whose performance is determined to be "less than satisfactory," -- i.e. those that have resulted in cost increases, late deliveries, and significant performance shortfalls. Over a four-year period the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that $8 billion in taxpayer money has been paid out in award and incentive fees, regardless of whether the desired outcome is achieved.

"The funds in this bill demonstrate the commitment and excellence that Delaware's private companies bring to our armed forces, whether it's clothing and protecting our troops or addressing the threat of terrorism at home and abroad," said Carper. "Also, I am pleased this legislation includes language to ensure that defense funds are spent productively and that monetary incentives achieve their real purpose - high performance standards and exceptional work."

"Our armed forces need and deserve the best equipment and best protection possible and I am pleased that Delaware is doing its share of making that happen. This funding will go a long way to protecting those in theater," said Castle. "Additionally, this legislation included provisions I authored to cut down on wasteful defense contracts and spending so soldiers may have access to the equipment they need, which is critical as we continue to fight the war on terror."

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