Illinois & Iowa Delegations Call for Meeting with Army Secretary to Discuss Reports of Possible JMTC Closure at Rock Island Arsenal

WASHINGTON, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–May 27, 2011.  After learning that an internal task force at the Army Materiel Command (AMC) is considering relocating Rock Island Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC), a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Illinois and Iowa Congressional Delegations called for a meeting with the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, as soon as possible to discuss their concerns about the cost associated with conducting such a move as well as the impact it would have on the Rock Island Arsenal.

Members signing on to today’s letters include: U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) along with U.S. Representatives Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17), Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02) and Bruce Braley (D-IA-01) .

“It is our understanding that the Army Materiel Command (AMC) has formed an internal task force charged with cutting $3 billion from the overall AMC budget. These recommendations are due in July as part of an Army-wide effort to find savings in a time of tight budgets. We understand that closing Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) is a potential approach being considered by this task force,” the Members wrote. “Given the urgency of this matter, we request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss these matters as they may impact Rock Island.”

The Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) is a one-of-a-kind U.S. Army facility which manufactures critical equipment for our troops around the world. The more than 1,700 individuals employed at JMTC specialize in manufacturing artillery, armor, small arms, and mobile maintenance kits for use on the front lines. The JMTC, perhaps best known for howitzer production, operates the Army’s only foundry and since 2003 has produced half of all armor for Army tactical wheeled vehicles. Veterans make up more than half of JMTC’s highly-skilled workforce.

A similar letter was sent to General Ann Dunwoody, the Commanding General of the Army Material Command which oversees the JMTC’s operations and would have firsthand knowledge of the internal task force. Today’s letters follow up on a previous request to meet with General Dunwoody who is not available to meet until July, the same month the task force will report its cost-cutting recommendations.

[Text of the letters below and attached]

May 26, 2011

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We hope to meet with you as soon as practicable to discuss the importance of Rock Island’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center to the Quad Cities region.

It is our understanding that the Army Materiel Command (AMC) has formed an internal task force charged with cutting $3 billion from the overall AMC budget. These recommendations are due in July as part of an Army-wide effort to find savings in a time of tight budgets. We understand that closing Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) is a potential approach being considered by this task force.

As you know JMTC is a state of the art manufacturing facility that can rapidly respond to warfighter needs. It has produced armor that protected our troops overseas and has produced almost every howitzer in the Army inventory. JMTC employs more than 1,700 jobs and is an anchor in the local and regional economy.

Given the urgency of this matter, we request a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss these matters as they may impact Rock Island.

Sincerely,

May 26, 2011

General Ann E. Dunwoody

Commanding General

US Army Material Command

9301 Chapek Road

Fort Belvoir, VA 22060

Dear General Dunwoody:

Earlier this month, we requested a meeting with you through the Army Liaison’s Office but were told you would not be available until July at the earliest. However, recent events highlight the need for this meeting to take place as soon as possible. It is our understanding that Army Materiel Command (AMC) has formed an internal task force charged with cutting $3 billion from the overall AMC budget, which will report its recommendation in July. We understand that closing Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center is a potential approach being considered by this task force.

Given the urgency of this matter, we request a meeting with you as soon as possible and would be happy to host you in Washington as early as this Friday, May 27, 2011.

Sincerely,

Source: durbin.senate.gov