Press Release

October 4, 2007
Includes $74.5 million for Maryland projects

“We need to do everything we can to support our troops with the equipment they need on the battlefield, the benefits and services they deserve when they return home, and support for their families on the home front. We know how critical these funds are for our troops to fulfill their mission and return home safely,” said Senator Mikulski. “I will keep fighting to put money in the federal checkbook for our troops.”

“Our greatest obligation as elected officials is to take care of our troops and their families who have sacrificed on our behalf,” said Senator Cardin.  “This bill sets the right priorities by providing critical equipment and training, strengthening military health care for our troops and their families, and giving our military families the pay raise they deserve.”

The $15 million for Harford, Cecil and Carroll County defense projects includes:

— $4 million for Extended Cold Weather Clothing Systems for the Army National Guard from W.L. Gore in Cecil County to provide extraordinary protection during cold and/or wet weather for troops deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

— $4 million for Laser-based Explosives and Chemical/Biological Standoff and Point Detectors to develop faster and more accurate sensors to detect Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other explosives at safe distances.

— $3 million for a Perimeter and Maritime Sensor Network at APG to improve security surveillance and emergency preparedness for the installation.

— $2 million to complete the Rotorcraft Survivability Assessment Facility at APG to test and improve force-protection for helicopters to address the immediate need to reduce helicopter vulnerability on the front lines.

— $2 million for new payloads and sensors for the Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) System to improve USVs to allow them to conduct mine-countermeasure operations from the Navy’s next generation warship, the Littoral Combat Ship.

In the next step of the legislative process, the House and Senate will meet in Conference Committee to work out the differences between the two versions of the bill. The Conference report will then be voted on by both Houses of Congress. Once passed by the House and Senate, the spending bill will go to the President for his signature.

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Senate has approved the Department of Defense 2008 spending bill, which includes $74.5 million for defense projects in Maryland, including $15 million for defense projects in Harford, Cecil and Carroll Counties. The legislation funds the Department of Defense and will go toward critical research, development, test and evaluation programs, as well as weapons and equipment required for the U.S. Armed Forces. Senator Mikulski is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee.