Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that its soldier power program has been allocated $1.7 million of funding in the fiscal year 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill. The soldier power program is a joint effort with Protonex Technology Corporation which is funded by the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. The defense bill funding will support the procurement of Protonex 30-watt portable soldier power systems (“P2”) for use in reliability and field testing to be conducted by the U.S. military throughout 2006. The Protonex P2 power system utilizes chemical hydride fuel cartridges with Millennium Cell’s Hydrogen on DemandÂ® technology which are integrated with Protonex’ advanced fuel cell technology. [ more ] MCEL opened up this morning with a nice 8% gain on this news.