Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) will fully fund the second phase of the Fisher Program, which is administered and managed by the Army Geospatial center on behalf of JIEDDO. It is in the process of developing technology through the Fishkill-based Advanced Reconnaissance Corp. that would allow troops on the ground to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and could potentially save lives. Senator Gillibrand successfully pushed for a crucial period-of-performance extension this past April which gave JIEDDO the additional time needed to make a final decision on whether to fund the program.
“I applaud the decision by JIEDDO to continue funding the Fisher Program,” Senator Gillibrand said. “IEDs pose a serious threat to the brave men and women serving in Afghanistan. The research that Advanced Reconnaissance Corp. conducts through the Fisher Program has the potential to save lives, and greatly reduce the trauma imposed on American troops.”
The Fisher Program completed their first phase in developing technology that, if successful, will improve the military’s capability to detect IEDs buried in the ground. The second phase of the program was put on hold due to the FY 2011 appropriations process. At Senator Gillibrand’s urging, the Department of Defense extended the period-of-performance past its initial April 30 deadline. This extension gave JIEDDO the opportunity to review and make its final decision to fully fund the program.
Senator Gillibrand’s letter to Dr. Joesph F. Fontanella, Director of the U.S. Army Geospatial Center:
Dear Dr. Fontanella,
I am writing to urgently request that you grant a period-of-performance extension for the Fisher Program, the contract for which is administered and managed by the U.S. Army Geospatial Center on behalf of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).
As you may be aware, this program is currently under consideration by JIEDDO for funding for phase two of the program. It is my understanding the JIEDDO intended to fund phase two, but that any decisions have been delayed due to the FY2011 appropriations process and it is my understanding that JIEDDO will not be able to make a determination on whether the phase two of the Fisher Program will be funded before the current period-of-performance expires on April 30th.
The presence of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) poses a serious threat to our armed forces in Afghanistan. The Fisher Program is developing promising technology that has the potential to help our men and women in uniform detect the presence of IEDs on the ground using technology developed by Advanced Reconnaissance Corp in Fishkill, New York. If proven successful, this technology could help to prevent serious trauma due to IED explosions. It is my understanding that phase one, which was to test and demonstrate this technology, was considered successful. Funding for phase two would allow this technology to be fielded.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and it is my hope that you will allow JIEDDO to complete its analysis of whether this program will continue to be funded by extending the period-of-performance deadline.
Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senator