LIMA — On Monday, President Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, a law that will provide funding for upgrades of Abram tanks and Stryker Vehicles at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.
The new law authorizes $1.5 billion in funding to upgrade 135, or 1.5 brigades worth of Abrams tanks, with $225 million for upgrades of Stryker vehicles at JSMC. The funding for the Stryker upgrades was $203 million over the president’s budget request.
The funding will allow the JSMC to increase the rate of production of the newest Abram tanks to ensure the tanks are equipped with the latest and greatest capabilities, according to Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) in a news release.
“This bipartisan law is a big win for Lima and the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, which supports our troops both at home and around the globe,” said Portman in a news release. “The newest Abrams tank is a vital investment for our soldiers to meet the realities highlighted in the latest National Defense Strategy and they have already started coming off the line at JSMC in Lima. This is important for our armored formations and for Lima and its irreplaceable workforce.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who is also a supporter of the this law, believes that the funding will greatly benefit JSMC.
“I had two goals on this conference committee — to fight for Ohio jobs, and to protect our national security,” said Brown in a news release. “I’ve seen firsthand the critical work performed at Ohio’s military installations like Lima’s JSMC, the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Camp Ravenna, and more, and I will always work to make sure Ohio and its workforce have the resources needed to continue their important work of defending national security and keeping Americans safe.”
Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), who served on the Conference Committee that worked on versions of NDAA, also believes that the funding will have a tremendous impact on the military.
“The rebuilding of our military after nearly a decade of drawdowns is another important action taken by the President and the Republican-led Congress,” said Latta. “Our armed forces should have the resources they need to confront threats in an increasingly dangerous world.”
The Lima News reached out to Hank Kennedy, director of plant operations for General Dynamics Land Systems, but did not receive a response.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.