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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said legislation passed today by the Senate will provide over $14 million to southeastern 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 by a vote of 98-0 Thursday. The bill contains about $454 billion for the DoD for fiscal year 2007.

The bill appropriates funds to cover current costs of military operations in Iraq and includes military pay raises, allowances, bonuses, death benefits, and change of station moves. Enzi said this bill is the life blood for our troops who continue to fight the war on terrorism.

"This bill provides for procurement, personnel, operations, maintenance, research and development, and other programs that are essential to protecting our country," said Enzi. "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. To provide the essential operating funds for our military this bill taps Wyoming companies who provide products that benefit our entire nation."

The Department of Defense Appropriations bill, H.R. 5631, allocates $7 million to purchase the Palmtop Emergency Action for Chemical (PEAC) system produced by AristaTek of Laramie. The appropriations bill also contains $5 million for the Electroconversion of Energetic Materials research and development project headed by Nanomaterials Discovery Corporation of Cheyenne. The bill allocates funding of $2.2 million for a Multicontinuum Technology for Space Structures project by Firehole Technologies Inc. of Laramie.

PEAC received $3.5 million in last year’s DoD Appropriations conference report and the Electroconversion of Energetic Materials received $3.75 million.

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.

Emergency Fire Funds

The bill also provides a one time supplement of $275 million for state emergency wildfire suppression funds. The funds will be split, $100 million for the Department of Interior and $175 million designated to the Department of Agriculture to conduct emergency wildfire suppression activities.

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 2007 Defense Appropriations bill on June 20, 2006 by a vote of 407-19.