WASHINGTON, D.C. â?? The Idaho Congressional Delegation announced that Congress today approved several projects to be based at the University of Idaho in addition to funding for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. The projects are included in the Fiscal Year 2005 Defense Appropriations bill. â??Idaho should be proud of its role in our nationâ??s defense. These projects underscore the amount of research, development, and training Idaho provides and will continue to provide,â?? said Craig. â??More importantly, this bill continues funding our troops who stand in harmâ??s way to protect our freedoms and to spread those freedoms worldwide.â?? â??This bill funds Idahoâ??s work in keeping our nation safe and free,â?? Crapo said. â??Individuals and facilities in Idaho are fully involved in meeting these critical objectives, with efforts now underway in intelligence gathering, counterterrorism activities, and biological defense. I commend Senator Craig on the work he has done in securing these funds for Idaho.â?? â??Through the tremendous skills of the men and women at Mountain Home, Gowen Field, the INEEL, and our state's institutions of higher learning, Idahoans are deeply engaged in many crucial efforts to protect our nation and its citizens,â?? said Congressman Mike Simpson. â??Each of these projects will allow Idaho's institutions, men and women in uniform, and talented researchers to further contribute to our national security.â?? Congressman Otter said, â??Providing for the common defense has been a proper and essential role of government from the beginning of our republic. It's enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution, and it is a function of Congress to ensure the men and women on the ramparts of liberty have the means to do their duty. Having just spent some time with members of my old National Guard brigade preparing for deployment to Iraq, I'm particularly pleased that this bill recognizes Idaho's role in keeping America safe and free.â?? The projects include: â?¢ $1.2 million for Secure Group Communications (U of I): More than ever, the armed services are dependent upon high-speed computer networks that are distributed around the world, are often shared with our allies or coalition partners, and that may need to be rapidly deployed in hostile environments. This project seeks to provide higher levels of security within the network, especially when that network is shared. â?¢ $1.8 million for Miniature Autonomous Vehicles (U of I): The U of I is developing, along with private and public partners, a range of vehicles capable of autonomous navigation on land, in the air, and on and under the sea. These vehicles will generally be quite small, in the order of one kilogram, but will be capable of a vast range of tasks not suited for humans. â?¢ $1 million for Advanced Lead Acid Battery Development for Military Vehicles (U of I): The U of I has a renowned history in battery development, and is a logical partner in the research and design of increasingly superior batteries for our military. â?¢ $1.2 million for Magnetic Random-Access Memory (MRAM) Innovative Communications Materials (U of I): This research will combine MRAM cells, which are intrinsically radiation-hard, with radiation-tolerant microelectronics, leading to low-power, nonvolatile memories that function in space. This will enable more capable spacecraft instruments, data collection, and communication, which will yield a higher quantity of surveillance data and faster and more reliable communications. â?¢ $1.2 million for Advanced Microwave Ferrite Research for RF Systems (U of I): Critical to point-to-point communication and RADAR systems are the class of microwave devices that employ ferrite materials. Incorporating these into smaller and more portable microwave communication devices is an important research thrust of the military. â?¢ $1.9 million for Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration Support: This funding supports the Army National Guard operations along the nation's Lewis and Clark Trail, including Guard responsibilities for providing security and ensuring the safety of participants in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration. This money is shared among several states along the trail. The overall bill includes $416 billion in defense-related spending, including $25 billion in a contingent emergency reserve fund for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as requested by the President. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.