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Enzi, Senate pass defense spending

Bill includes provisions for five Wyoming companies

October 4, 2007

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., voted in favor of legislation today that would provide over $22.5 million to Wyoming-made military projects and research and fund the nation’s military for another year.

The Senate passed the Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill Wednesday. The bill contains about $459 billion for the DoD for fiscal year 2008.

The bill appropriates funds to cover current costs of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and includes military pay raises, allowances, bonuses and change of station moves. Enzi said this bill is the life blood for our troops who continue to fight the war on terrorism. The bill provides for procurement, personnel, operations, maintenance, research and development, and other programs that are essential to protecting our troops and our country.

"I am proud that Wyoming researchers continue to look for new and better ways to make us all safer. The Department of Defense has recognized Wyoming’s potential and has directed funding for the purchase of products and research based in our state. Wyoming has an entrepreneurial spirit and this bill helps tap into that spirit to provide more safety for our soldiers on the ground," Enzi said.

The Department of Defense Appropriations bill, H.R. 3222, allocates $1.4 million to purchase the ObserveR System for Detection of Biologic Material from DeltaNu, Inc. based in Laramie. The bill also includes $600,000 for the purchase of Robotic Manipulators for Explosive Ordnance Disposal from Square One Systems Design in Jackson. This is the first time the Senate has included these two companies in a Department of Defense appropriations bill.

The bill allocates $5 million to purchase the Palmtop Emergency Action for Chemical (PEAC) system produced by AristaTek of Laramie. The appropriations bill also contains $6 million for the Electroconversion of Energetic Materials research and development project headed by Nanomaterials Discovery Corporation of Cheyenne. The bill allocates funding of $2 million for a Multicontinuum Technology for Space Structures project by Firehole Technologies Inc. of Laramie.

The Joint Robotics Program for Camp Guernsey is also allocated $8 million in funding under the bill.

The Robotic Manipulators for Explosive Ordnance Disposal products produced by Square One Systems Design in Jackson are designed to detect and respond to subtle variables when handling blasting caps, arming wires and other sensitive elements of an improvised explosive device (IED).

The ObserveR System for Detection of Biologic Materials produced by DeltaNu, Inc. of Laramie provides long-range detection technology for early warnings for chemical or biological weapons.

PEAC is a handheld system that provides emergency information about hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction. It currently stores information for 10,000 chemicals and their physical properties, as well as hazard ratings, respirator recommendations and suggestions for chemical protective clothing.

Nanomaterials Discovery Corporation is working with the Army Material command at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey to develop fuel cells powered by high energy materials such as propellants and explosives. This technology can provide applications for portable power for soldiers, enabling development of miniature power supplies for fusing and arming of munitions and for "self-sterilizing" smart land mines that render themselves harmless after a certain period of time. This technology could also enable the reuse of obsolete ammunition by converting its explosive components into electrical power.

The Multicontinuum Technology for Space Structures project plans to develop an accurate and reliable analysis tool to understand the durability and breaking point of composite materials that are used in space structures.

The Senate bill will now go to a conference committee where it will be reconciled with the House version. The House passed its version of the fiscal year 2008 Defense Appropriations bill on Aug. 5, 2007 by a vote of 395-13.