Senate Approves Defense Bill with $30 Million Delaware Projects

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Thomas R. Carper announced that the United States Senate today passed annual legislation that authorizes critical measures designed to strengthen the United States’ defense capability and fortify our nation’s armed forces. The fiscal year 2002 Department of Defense Authorization Bill authorized $343.5 billion for additional personnel, special operations forces, military health care, pay raises, and advanced weapons systems. The bill also included more than $25 million in funding for construction of a new Fire Station and 120 new family housing units at Dover Air Force Base and $266 million for continued modernization of the C-5, America’s largest airplane. “Now more than ever, it is absolutely critical that our military men and women have the capacity, the capability and the resources they need to respond to any and all threats against the United States,” said Senator Biden. “Over the past few decades, our role in the world has changed and we have an obligation to make sure that the people charged with our protection and defense have the most sophisticated equipment and best training available.” “We face a war unlike any we’ve fought in my lifetime or before – unlike World War II where many of our fathers served or Vietnam where I served. Our success in this fight depends on our ability to move quickly large numbers of men, women and material from the United States to other parts of the world,” Carper said. “There’s a lot of air miles to be traveled, a lot of troops to carry, a lot of tanks and helicopters and trucks to move. The C-5 can do it. The adoption of this legislation reinforces our air bridge from this country to other troubled points around the world for this generation and for generations to come.” In addition, Senators Biden and Carper also announced that the bill authorized $2.75 million for the University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Materials. This funding will be used to research and develop new materials to help the Army become lighter and more mobile. In a similar vein, the bill provides for $2 million for Quantum Leap Innovations to develop an automated network with the Navy that links detection sensors to appropriate government, medical, and military personnel. The sensors, small enough to put on traffic lights, would be linked to software able to quickly analyze data so that it is immediately useful to first responders in case of a chemical or biological threat.