Senate Secures $5 Million for ASU and Jonesboro Defense Projects

SEPTEMBER 8, 2006 - Posted at 11:07 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON - Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln this morning announced that the U.S. Senate has approved funding for several projects critical to Arkansas' military installations, research institutions and defense contractors.

These projects are a part of the Fiscal Year 2007 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, which will provide $468.4 billion for military personnel, operations and maintenance, and equipment procurement.

Pryor and Lincoln helped secure $4 million to assist Arkansas State University, in conjunction with industry, for the Standoff Hazardous Agent Detection and Evaluation System (SHADES).  The money is expected to help further sampling and analysis technologies to detect ultra-low concentrations of weapons of mass destruction.  These technologies will include Solid Phase Micro-Extraction samplers and unique Gas Chromatography and Laser Spectroscopy techniques.

The Senate also approved $1 million for the Artic Warfare Mountaineering Boot project at Wolverine World Wide of Jonesboro.  The money is to be used for the company to establish high-performance boots for use by all special operations warfighters.  Current cold weather boots are outdated and lack characteristics necessary for crampons, snowshoeing or movement on skis.  Significant advancements have been made in boot technology, however there is a lack of commercially available U.S. manufactured boots, a void which Wolverine hopes to fill.