Two Chippewa Falls companies are being awarded department of defense grants for projects aimed at improving the quality of life for America's soldiers overseas. Senator Herb Kohl, who helped secure the grants, visited both sites Monday.
Pliant corporation is currently working on two projects. One is to develop more flexible power sources. The other is to improve the quality and packaging of the meals ready to eat or MRE's the soldiers use, which have a three year shelf life.
"The soldier is on everybody's mind on a daily basis and if we can contribute to enhance their stay, wherever they're at, Iraq or otherwise, all the better for pliant and us as individuals as well," says Greg Gard, a company spokesman.
Kohl says not only are the companies doing important work for the defense department, but they are also providing excellent employment in the Chippewa Valley. "When I have an opportunity to help out these companies with dollars that relate to research and development to make us more effective militarily, then I'm really interested and able and willing to do that," says Kohl.
Kohl also visited Extrusion Dies Industries just up the road. They are currently developing technology to produce more effective batteries for soldiers' use in the field.