Senate approves nearly $40 million for Montana defense projects

Measure includes pay raise for troops, critical funding for wildfires, LIHEAP

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana U.S. Senators Max Baucus and
Jon Tester today praised the Senate for passing a measure that contains $39.6
million for various military and defense research projects across the Big Sky State.

The money is part of an overall bill that funds the U.S.
Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans’

The legislation also increases pay for
U.S. troops by 3.9 percent.  It also
boosts funding for millions of Americans who rely on the Low Income Home Energy
Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, raising the average grant from $355 to $550.  And
it increases funding for fighting western wildfires by $910

The Senators secured funding for the following


  • $1.6 million for
    Montana State University’s Mil
    Tech Extension Program
    , which helps small business bring critical new
    technology to the U.S. military.



  • $1.6 million for
    the Blackfeet Nation’s Adaptive Lightweight
    Materials Technology for Missile Defense
    project, which builds and
    tests lightweight materials to improve missile performance at lower costs.


  • $1.6 million for
    MSE’s DEPUTEE program

    to develop a non-lethal vehicle disabling technology to protect
    sites important to national nuclear security.

  • $2 million for
    Montana Tech’s Low Acoustic and Thermal
    Signature Battlefield Power Source
    research, which is developing a
    battlefield fuel cell for use as a power source.

  • $1.6 million for
    MSE’s Cryofracture/Plasma Arc Demobilization
    , which will build a system that freezes, crushes and safely
    destroys dangerous or outdated munitions.

  • $3.2 million for
    MSE’s Mariah Hypersonic Wind Tunnel
    Development Program
    , which is developing state-of-the-art wind tunnel
    technology required to test a new generation of missiles, space vehicles and
    aircraft using new propulsion technology. 

  • $800,000 for MSE’s
    Watchkeeper Program, a rapidly
    deployable and self-contained sensor network that can identify hostile forces
    for the U.S.

  • $3 million for
    Universial Technical Resource Services’ Titanium Extraction, Mining and Process
    project, which will produce low-cost titanium that will directly
    benefit the United
    military and commercial applications.


  • $10
    for Malmstrom Air Force
    to complete the first phase of its new weapons storage
  • $3
    for the Montana National Guard’s I-HITS training program, which provides
    both training and live-combat technology to help American troops better identify
    friendly forces on the battlefield.
  • $2.4
    for Synesis 7’s CPI-Metamorphose / i3 Tech Data Conversion
    project, which converts the technical data from physical copies of maintenance
    manuals into standardized electronic format.  This electronic format makes it
    easier to train maintenance workers, improves safety, and increases the
    efficiency of repair efforts on military aircraft.


  • $1.6 million for
    Western Computer Services’ Marine
    Expeditionary Rifle Squad
    U.S. troops in all-weather,
    all-combat conditions.
    project, which uses high-tech sensors to
    improve vision for


  • $1 million for
    St. Patrick Hospital’s International Heart Institute/U.S. Army Vascular Graft
    Project.  The
    project is developing freeze-dried vascular grafts made from animal tissue,
    which reduces the need for temporary shunts used in battlefield surgery.

  • $1 million for the
    University of
    ’s Amelioration of Military Hearing Loss
    , which treats hearing loss associated with battlefield

  • $1.6 million for
    the University of
    ’s Defense-Critical Languages and Cultures
    , which teaches better proficiency in Chinese, Arabic and
    Persian languages.

  • $1.6 million for
    American Eagle Instruments’ Advanced Surface
    Technologies for Prosthetic Development
    project, which will provide
    wounded troops with high-tech prosthetic limbs.

  • $2 million for
    TerraEchos’ Adelos Nuclear Security Sensor
    . TerraEchos Inc. will use the money to develop a high-tech
    sensor system designed to protect nuclear weapons.

“This is a tremendous investment in the security of
Montana and America,” Baucus
said.  “These projects will help make Montana a world a leader in cutting-edge
military research, help create good-paying jobs and will provide new
opportunities for economic growth across the Big

“These are good projects that will make our country
stronger and more secure,” Tester said.  “And they will keep Montana businesses on the
cutting edge of important research and development, which brings more jobs to
our state.”

In addition to funding Montana projects, the measure sets aside $570
million to ensure that the National Guard and Reserve have the resources they
need after years of shortfalls.  It also sets aside billions to improve the
nation’s army barracks, military hospitals, and to improve oversight of defense

The U.S. House has already passed the measure.  It now
goes to President Bush to be signed into law.