A US senator and congresswoman from Illinois are pushing the Army to bring the Rock Island Arsenal into the 21st century.
Michelle O'Neill reports this morning, Dick Durbin and Cheri Bustos joined General Gus Perna, Commander of the Army Materiel Command, and Under Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, to take a tour of Arsenal Island.
After the tour, US Senator Dick Durbin announced the Army has just implemented a new policy called, "Make It or Buy It." It will require the Army to evaluate the capabilities of its three arsenals and other Army units before looking for private companies to manufacture equipment and supplies.
In addition, Under Secretary McCarthy says the Army has created a new, Futures Command, to streamline its processes and make the entire organization operate more efficiently.
General Perna says it's all part of the Army's need to modernize. That should help ensure the future of the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, or JMTC which employs about 1,100 people.
Last year, the Arsenal Support Program Initiative expired, and Congress did not renew it. It was designed to help the Arsenal compete in the leasing market, and offset the cost of overhead due to the glut of available space on the island.
Bustos is working on another way to accomplish that. She calls it, "Look before you lease." It would require the Army to use its own facilities before renting from the private sector or other government agencies.
At the manufacturing center on Arsenal Island, the under secretary and general got to see a wide range of its capabilities, from the foundry to 3-D printing.
The file below is a statement made by Sec. of the Army, Mark Esper, before the US Senate Committee on Armed Services in December, 2017. It includes his remarks about the current state of Dept. of Defense "Acquisition Enterprise and Associated Reforms," (aka: moderization).