(WASHINGTON, DC) —Congressman Chet Edwards announced that the 2008 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill will include his request for $2.2 million for anti-terrorist training and development of NASA robotics technology at Texas A&M. The bill passed the passed the House of Representatives Thursday.
“I want to thank Texas A&M for bringing these important anti-terrorist training and space robotics technology programs to my attention,” said Edwards, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Specifically, Edwards secured $987,000 for the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program at Texas A&M. Edwards secured $300,000 for this program in 2005. This program, administered by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) provides critical training for law enforcement officers, National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty service members who are the first to respond to acts of violence in our communities. Edwards also secured 450,000 for Project Protect, a Texas A&M a program that trains school administrators, community resource personnel, teachers and students in the skills necessary to prepare, prevent, respond, and recover from terrorist activities and violent acts in the school environment.
“These vital homeland security programs at Texas A&M play an integral role in saving the lives not only of our citizens, but also our police officers as they respond to a wide array of dangerous law enforcement situations,” said Edwards. “The training provided by ALERRT and Project Protect will help first responders and educators quickly respond to protect our children and citizens in the event of an attack.”
Edwards also secured $750,000 for Texas A&M to develop new robotic technologies that enable multiple robots to collaborate, under high-level human supervision in exploration and construction activities for NASA lunar and Martian exploration plans. The program is led by Dr. John Junkins, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the governing board of the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science.
“Developing new robotics technology for NASA is an important responsibility for Texas A&M that will help us all learn more about our universe as we explore the Moon and Mars,” said Edwards.
The bill must still pass the Senate and be signed by the President.
“I will continue to work hard in the months ahead in support of this locally initiated project,” concluded Edwards.