Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - The United States Senate today passed a critical military spending bill that includes funding for important national security research and production being pursued in Delaware and other major items, like a 4.1% pay increase, that are vital to men and women in uniform. The Fiscal Year 2003 Defense Appropriations Conference Report, which was supported by the Delaware Congressional Delegation, funds the important quality of life improvements, equipment purchases and modernization, and research needed to give America's military the very best capabilities. "The investment in C-5 modernization is critical given its superb performance in Afghanistan and the clear need to increase our strategic lift capability. I was also very pleased to see our colleagues recognize the leading role some of Delaware's scientists and engineers can play by providing $14.626 million for their research with the military. Those funds will help move the Army and the Navy toward lighter and stronger weapons platforms and will enhance the military's ability to respond to biological weapons," said Biden. "There is also $10.4 million to provide much needed protective clothing for the Guard and Reserve and funds to fill their full-time manning needs. In addition, the $5 million for the Army Worker Safety Program that DuPont is running is a great investment in meeting the Secretary of Defense's goal of reducing workplace injuries throughout the military by fifty-percent." "The funding included for Delaware projects is substantial and mission essential. These programs are critical to protecting our Armed Forces. The future of Dover Air Force Base has been strengthened," 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." "Delaware is leading the way with many cutting-edge national defense projects, such as Quantum Leap's biological detection system and Patrick Powers' light-weight engine. We are also working to upgrade and modernize our C-5 cargo planes, 36 of which are currently located at the Dover Air Force Base," Castle said. "In uncertain times, it is more important than ever that our defense is bolstered and our military strong. Our nation must have the best equipment, the highest technology, the most agile resources and fully prepared troops. This funding continues our commitment to this national priority." The delegation announced the following Delaware-specific appropriations included in the Fiscal Year 2003 Defense Appropriations Bill: DELEGATION SECURES OVER $30 MILLION FUNDING FOR DELAWARE DEFENSE PROJECTS $350.503 million for C-5 Modernization Programs which will enhance the capabilities of C-5s based at Dover Air Force Base and throughout the nation. Of that, $236.098 million will go to the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program and $106.551 million will go to the Avionics Modernization Program. $4 million for Quantum Leap's work with the Navy on the Integrated Biological Warfare Technology Platform. Quantum Leap is located in Newark and is leading this effort to create innovative software to detect and analyze biological incidents and then create individualized response plans for both land and sea situations. $3 million for Patrick Power Products to work with the Army to develop a new lightweight, more efficient, and smaller auxiliary engine that will go in platforms ranging from the Light Armored Vehicle to the Abrams tank. Once research and development are complete, the engines will be made in Georgetown, Delaware. $5.926 million for the University of Delaware's Advanced Composite Materials Center to do research for the Army and the Navy on composite materials manufacturing and quality control in order to reduce the weight and flammability of both the Army Future Combat System and for shipbuilding. In addition, some of the funding will expand work on composite body parts to replace corrodible and heavier steel parts. $1.7 million for the University of Delaware's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department to work with the Navy on millimeter wave infrared imaging. This project will address a growing need to be able to detect concealed objects and to see images when there is degraded visibility or something obscuring the line of vision. $5 million for DuPont's work with the Army on an Innovative Worker Safety Program. The program will be expanded at its current locations at Ft. Bragg, NC and Watervliet, NY, and a new site, Ft. Eustis, VA will be added. The program is expected to dramatically reduce workplace injuries and the hundreds of millions in associated costs in the Army. $10.4 million for the Army Reserve and National Guard and the Air National Guard to purchase additional Extended Cold Weather Clothing Systems (ECWCS) for their personnel. ECWCS is manufactured by W.L. Gore. In addition, the Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology in Newark has an innovative plant vaccine project that is one of only 23 eligible to receive funding in a new $25 million Chemical-Biological Defense Fund. The Secretary of Defense will determine the final funding levels for each of the 23 projects. Last, the delegation was pleased to see continued progress in purchasing more Blackhawks. $270 million was included for 19 new UH-60Ls. This is 12 more than the President requested. The Delaware National Guard continues to need additional new UH-60Ls, particularly for its MedEvac mission. This bill added 3 UH-60 MedEvacs for the Guard and 2 regular UH-60Ls for the Guard. This bill passed the House of Representatives and the Senate and now goes to the President for his signature.