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House to consider defense spending bill that includes Oklahoma projects

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The U.S. House will consider a defense spending bill that includes three defense-related projects being developed in Oklahoma.

The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill on Tuesday that includes $5 million for an Urban Warfare Analysis Center for Shawnee and $3 million for an Oklahoma State University project to create new body armor, Rep. Ernest Istook, who chairs the committee, said Tuesday.

The planned center, which would analyze internal military reports from Iraq to better prepare troops to fight terrorists in urban areas, would create at least 100 jobs with average annual salaries above $70,000, Istook, R-Okla., said.

``This is great news that helps our men and women in uniform and also helps Oklahoma,'' said Istook, who sponsored the creation of the center and whose district includes Shawnee.

Shawnee Mayor Chuck Mills called the center the first step in building a foundation for growth in aerospace technology.

``Because of our proximity (to) Tinker field, Shawnee is the perfect location for this facility and future industries of this type,'' Mills said in a prepared statement.

The new body armor, slated for development at OSU's Institute for Protective Apparel Research Technology, will be designed to help protect U.S. troops.

Another $2 million also was included in the bill to fund a grant for a private firm in Stillwater that is developing mine-detecting technology for U.S.-led forces fighting in Iraq, Istook said.

``The technology we are producing in Oklahoma will not only reduce the amount of serious injuries suffered in combat but also allow our troops to detect roadside bombs and mines,'' he said.
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