Government

Loebsack seeks Arsenal designation

Proposal would advance manufacturing capabilities

Rep. Dave Loebsack

D-Iowa
Rep. Dave Loebsack D-Iowa

Two U.S. representatives are seeking to create a “center of excellence” at an Army arsenal for advanced and additive manufacturing, a move that could help the Rock Island Arsenal.

Reps. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., inserted the language in a defense policy bill Wednesday that would establish such a center.

The measure didn’t specifically earmark the designation for Arsenal Island, but the Army Materiel Command said recently it plans to invest about $30 million at the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center there to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities.

The idea is to speed up manufacturing of basic repair parts for Army units.

Bustos and Loebsack said the designation they proposed would support the Army’s effort to develop those advanced manufacturing capabilities.

It also says the Army may develop those techniques through public-private partnerships with organizations like community colleges, research universities and state and local governments.

The provision was added to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019, which cleared the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

This is one of the first steps for the legislation, which will establish policies for the military for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins in October.

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