April 22, 2011

At Gillibrand's Urging, Defense Department Grants Crucial Extension for Hudson Valley Company's I.E.D. Technology Program

Gillibrand Applaud's Defense Department: "This Decision Could Save Lives"

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that the U.S. Army Geospatial Center will grant a critically needed period-of-performance extension for Fishkill-based Advanced Reconnaissance Corp. that is developing technology that could have the potential to detect Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs), which could help save the lives of troops on the ground. Without the extension, the further development of this promising program would have come to an end.

The Hudson Valley company is developing the technology for the Fisher Program, administered and managed by the Army Geospatial Center on behalf of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), and is currently under consideration for the implementation of its second phase.

“I applaud the decision by the Army Geospacial Center to extend a period-of-performance for the Fisher Program,” Senator Gillibrand said. “IEDs pose a serious threat to our troops in Afghanistan.  The research conducted by the Fisher Program has the potential to save lives, and greatly reduce the trauma imposed on our brave men and women in uniform.”

John MacEnroe, President and CEO for the Dutchess Economic Developpment Corporation said, “I am delighted that Senator Gillibrand and the United States Army were able to obtain a period-of-performance extension for the Fisher Program.  It is my expectation that the success of the Fisher Program will enable Advanced Reconnaissance Corporation to prove its capability in detecting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).  The success of this company is important to the economy of Dutchess County and the State of New York.  As a retired US Army officer, I am thrilled that this technology will be able to be deployed and that it will save lives of our soldiers.”

Mark Westfield, Chairman and CEO for Advanced Reconnaissance Corp. said, “This technology represents over 8 years of development work at ARC, and our team is excited that we now are able to continue, and potentially see our efforts pay off by helping to save our forces in harms way from the harm that these horrific devices inflict.”

The Fisher Program has completed their first phase in developing technology that has the potential to help U.S. troops detect IEDs on the ground.  If proven successful, the technology could help prevent serious trauma due to IED explosions.

JIEDDO is now considering funding for phase two of the Fisher Program.  While they intended to fund the program, the decision has been put on hold due to the FY 2011 appropriations process.  JIEDDO will be unable to come to a conclusion on the funding of phase two prior to the end of the current period-of-performance on April 30th.

Senator Gillibrand’s full letter to the Dr. Joesph F. Fontanella, Director of the U.S. Army Geospatial Center is attached.