Delegation Supports Defense Appropriations Conference Report Which Includes $2.5 Million they Secured for Delaware Bio-Defense Firm,Supports Bill to Fight war on Terrorism, Support Our Military

WASHINGTON, DC -Today Senators Joseph Biden and Thomas Carper together with Congressman Mike Castle supported the $318 million FY 02 Defense Appropriations Conference Report, which boosts programs to combat terrorism and provides the military with the resources it needs to win the war on terrorism and defend our homeland and national security interests. The bill passed both the House and Senate and President Bush is expected to sign this bill into law within days. Biden, Carper and Castle helped secure $2.5 million in the legislation for Quantum Leap Innovations, a Newark-based cutting-edge bio-defense firm, for their integrated biological warfare technology platform, to detect suspicious agents and disease which enter the environment and to organize a rapid response plan to address these issues and protect Delawareans. The computer-based knowledge provided in Quantum-Leap’s Bio-Defense system will be used to detect potential biological or chemical outbreaks through intricate sensors that could be placed on traffic lights, reservoirs or in other areas. The sensors will identify the offending agents, send alerts to the appropriate health and safety centers and allow for real time formulation of response plans to contain and even prevent the disease. “On the whole, this bill contains many provision that are good for our nation and good for Delaware — particularly those efforts that will help us better deal with potential acts of terrorism and the pay increases for our dedicated military men and women,” said Senator Biden. “But, I must admit that I am sorely disappointed that the final bill severely cut the funding the Senate included for C-5 modernization and the additional funding to purchase new Blackhawk helicopters for the Army National Guard. These reductions mean that safety modifications deemed important to our military will be delayed, placing aircrews at risk when they are engaged in missions around the world. At a time when we are asking our military to do so much, denying necessary upgrades doesn’t make much sense. I hope we recognize the error of our ways and rectify this situation next year with increased funding.” “An effective bioterrorist attack may not be imminent in our area, but we must be prepared nonetheless. Quantum Leap, founded by graduate students and professors from the University of Delaware, is leading the way,” Carper said. “Delaware businesses are emerging as national leaders in protecting public safety. Quantum Leap’s innovations hold the promise of saving an enormous number of lives by quickly identifying terrorist threats and coordinating defensive responses. The threat of a bioterrorist attack against Delaware may not be high, but the danger one poses is very real. ” “This kind of innovation is the type of technology our nation needs to respond to the very real threats of anthrax and small pox as well as the broader issues of nuclear and chemical warfare. The Quantum Leap project illustrates the crucial role intelligent software can play in the antiterrorism efforts and the capabilities of Delaware high-tech companies and universities to be major players in that effort. The State of Delaware is quickly becoming a center for technology in the Mid-Atlantic region,” Castle said. “This legislation includes many important initiatives supporting our military personnel at home and abroad in their efforts to root out terrorism.” Other initiatives which are funded in the Fiscal Year 2002 Conference Report:

  • Efforts to sustain military personnel, develop and purchase military hardware and maintain the operational readiness of U.S. forces;
  • Weapons procurement and modernization;
  • Programs dedicated to protection of U.S. homeland, deployed American military forces, U.S. interests overseas and our allies from non-traditional threats;
  • 4.6 percent military pay raise for Members of our Armed Forces.