Biden and Carper: U.S. Senate Appropriates Millions for Critical Delaware Defense Projects

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper announced today that the U.S. Senate appropriated more than $41 million dollars for high priority national security programs and projects in Delaware in the 2003 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The legislation includes substantial funding for Newark-based Quantum Leap, Delmarva firm Patrick Powers and a 4.1% across-the-board pay raise for military personnel. The projects in the bill are designed to strengthen the United States’ defense capability and fortify our nation’s Armed Forces. “The money and projects included in this bill are critical to strengthening America’s defense capabilities and ensuring 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 Biden. “The innovative research being done by companies and universities in Delaware give our military the edge they need to be ahead of potential adversaries now and in the future.” “The funding included for Delaware projects is substantial and mission essential,” Carper said. “These programs are critical to reducing the Defense Department’s worker safety costs, to improving the military’s biodefenses and to protecting our forces from extreme weather on the battlefield.” The fiscal year 2003 Department of Defense Appropriations bill includes:

  • $5 million for the DuPont Army Worker Safety Program
  • $5 million for Patrick Powers’ Rotary, Multi-Fuel Auxiliary Power Unit for the Army
  • $8 million for Quantum Leap Innovations for biological warfare technology
  • $14 million for W.L. Gore’s cold weather protection gear
  • $9.826 million for the University of Delaware’s Center for Composite Materials (UD-CCM)
  • $96.3 million for 9 additional UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, bringing the total to 21 new UH-60s.

The DOD Appropriations bill includes $14 million for the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS), which is made by W.L. Gore. It is vital to the deployability and operability of Guard and Reserve units in bad weather, protecting soldiers and airmen from the cold and rainy weather typical in places like Bosnia and the Afghan mountains. The Senators sought the additional funding because the Guard and Reserve, unlike the active duty, have not been able to field their requirement for ECWCS. This funding will bring them closer to meeting that requirement. Sussex County is in line for new jobs and industry, the Senators said, with $5 million included in the bill for the development of a lightweight Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for the Army. This funding will allow Patrick Powers to complete the final phase of engine design and testing. Their APU is expected to provide a much less expensive and lighter alternative to the current turbine APUs being used in multiple military vehicles. Once testing is done, Patrick Powers, a firm with business in both Delaware and Maryland, will build the engines in Georgetown. Newark-based Quantum Leap will continue to work on revolutionary, lifesaving bio-defense software that they are designing for the First State and developing for the Navy. Quantum Leap’s technology will be designed to detect suspicious agents and disease, closely monitor trends and to develop instantaneous, individualized plans for first responders and emergency management officials. “Quantum Leap’s innovations hold the promise of saving an enormous number of lives by quickly identifying terrorist threats and coordinating defensive responses. Their technology is novel and its applications are lifesaving,” said Carper. “With its small size, easy access to state and emergency planning officials and manageable data collection, our state is an excellent arena for technology advances. By giving our state the best system in the nation for coordinating emergency plans, Quantum Leap is making Delaware a model for the nation.” The funding for the University of Delaware Center for Advanced Composite Materials (UD-CCM)will help both the Army and the Navy. There is $3 million for composite materials technology for the Army Future Combat System, which is the Army’s top science and technology priority. It will be an ensemble of fighting capabilities that can be more easily transported than today’s heavy, unintegrated equipment. $9.826 million for Army’s Composite Materials Center of Excellence located at UD-CCM. This will allow the Center to perform a total of $1.2 million worth of basic research for the Army. This basic research is the building block for much of the Army’s transformation work. $3 million for the Composite Body Parts-CAV Transition Technology program which will provide a much needed replacement for sheet metal body parts. The composite parts are less expensive, do not corrode, and are extremely damage tolerant. $3 million for the Navy’s Center of Intelligence, Advanced Materials and Intelligent Processing Center located at UD-CCM. The Center produces the manufacturing technologies needed by the Navy to produce affordable and dependable composite structures for use in ships and airframes. In addition, Senators Biden and Carper also announced that the bill includes $5 million for the DuPont Army Worker Safety Program. This is the second phase of an innovative program that could save the Army hundreds-of-millions of dollars in worker’s compensation costs and lost workers. In addition, this program will help the Army meet the Secretary of Defense’s stated goal of reducing worker-safety levels by 50% throughout the Department of Defense. Last, the Senators pointed out that the bill adds 9 Blackhawk UH-60 helicopters to the President’s original request. This bill provides a total of 21 new UH-60s. “Army aviation needs to be modernized sooner rather than later. This is just another installment in that process, but it is a welcome and much needed one,” said Biden. The different funding levels in the Senate and House passed Defense Appropriations bills will now have to be reconciled into a final Conference bill before going to the President for his signature.