LIMA — Over a billion dollars worth of funding was proposed in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget as a bipartisan effort to provide upgrades to Abrams Tanks and Strykers at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, according to both Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The funding, which is an extension of the National Defense Authorization Act, was made in an effort to increase the rate of production of the newly upgraded Abrams tanks in Lima and to ensure that the tanks have cutting-edge capabilities, according to a news release.
“We must invest in our men and women in uniform and give them the tools they need now and in the future to do their jobs,” said Portman in a news release. “The president’s budget for 2019 proposes an important down payment on those needed investments.”
$1.53 billion will go towards upgrading 135, or 1.5 brigades worth, of Abrams tanks at JSMC. The new funding will allow the tank plant to produce more than 10 upgraded tanks a month, which is 10 more than the plant produced last month, according to Portman.
An additonal $21 million will be designated to funding Strykers at the Lima location, according to Emmalee Kalmbach, Portman’s Press Secretary.
Both Brown and Portman have acknowledged that the funding will not only have a positive impact on JSMC, but on the military, as well.
“As the Army plans to continue to grow their armor formations, this increased production will be enormously important,” said Portman. “It’s also tremendously important for Lima. I am pleased that the president’s budget supports the skilled JSMC employees. I believe it will make a difference for our military and allow JSMC to continue assisting our men and women in uniform.”
“JSMC’s workforce helps advance national security and the safety of our troops through its work on Abrams Tanks and Stryker Vehicles,” said Brown. “I’m glad President Trump included these investments at JSMC in his budget proposal, and I’ll work with my colleagues to secure funding for these projects as Congress completes its budget process.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.