When troops are looking for car bombs, they’re be using Missouri technology. Lincoln University is helping soldiers in the Middle East survive. It’s also helping those who return survive.

The Historically Black College in Jefferson City is heading up Suicide Prevention Research; Laser-based Detection of Unexploded Ordnance and IEDs; Land Mine Detection Training Improvement; and a Missouri Multi-Threat Detection Initiative.

Lincoln President Carolyn Mahoney says the college was founded for and by civil war soldiers, and continuing that tradition is important.

Senator Bond, who helped secure funding for the project, says the fate of our young men and women in harm’s way is directly related to the work being done at Lincoln.

Senator Bond is vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He helped secure funding for the initiative.

Bond says it’s all about staying one step ahead of the enemy, using engineering, technology and science … and that’s where Missouri’s brightest excel in saving lives.

James Rooney has been a math professor at Lincoln for three decades and now works with the military and the Department of Defense. He says many don’t realize all that goes on in Central Missouri to advance our military strategies.

“Lincoln can be proud of what they are doing right now, today, to improve the lives and future prospects of today’s students. And thanks to the many activities now underway, Lincoln also has a very bright future ahead,” said Bond.

The Senator pointed out that the research being done at Universities like Lincoln can keep our troops safe overseas – like Lincoln’s research on Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) – one of the biggest killers of American service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, Lincoln’s research on suicide prevention is critical to helping the growing number of troops suffering from “invisible” injuries, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“There is a direct link between what happens on the battlefields of Afghanistan or Iraq and what happens here at home in our research labs,” said Bond. “The fate of our young men and women in harm’s way is directly related to what you are doing here. The safer we can make their very dangerous jobs, the better.”

Lincoln University’s engineers are working with a group called Alakai to develop a single detection system capable of sensing multiple threats: whether chemical, biological, nuclear, or explosive. Bond provided $2 million in federal funding for this initiative in the fiscal year 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill.

Bond also called attention to the expertise Lincoln University is providing to the Missouri Guard’s successful Agriculture Development Team. The Missouri Guard ADT, along with Lincoln and other partners like the Missouri Farm Bureau, are revitalizing and rebuilding agribusiness capacity within Afghanistan. Currently, Lincoln has under development projects relating to food storage, harnessing energy and Afghan cultural issues. Bond stressed that using this type of “Smart Power” is absolutely critical in places like Afghanistan, where the people are very poor and need a better agriculture infrastructure just to feed their people.

“If we want to fight terrorism, we must think beyond our military to what we can provide the people to help them feed their families and live their lives,” said Bond.

Jessica Machetta reports [Download / listen, Mp3, 1:45]