LIMA — Results from the Ohio Defense Forum and army upgrades were some of the main topics discussed during the Task Force LIMA meeting at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, Monday.
On Oct. 16 and 17, several Task Force LIMA committee members attended the Ohio Defense Forum in Columbus, a two-day event that focused on connecting Ohio’s defense installations, communities and industries.
“It looks good for employment and it looks good for the city,”said Hank Kennedy, director of plant operations for General Dynamics Land Systems. “The government is making a lot of investments into the structure of the facility. It’s great news because when we first started going down there, we were in the planning stages for what was going to happen and it kind of unfolded here at JSMC.”
Lima Mayor David Berger attended a few sessions that focused on Ohio’s involvement with the task force and the community’s advocacy of the task force.
“They said there was no active state strategy,” said Mayor Berger. “They want to demand that the governor and legislature step up in a strategic way to make sure Ohio comes together like other states.”
Another topic discussed was the need for educational initiatives across the state to train and identify opportunities for the cyber and education industry. Mayor Berger mentioned that he would like to reach out to Rhodes State College and OSU-Lima to discuss a tentative curriculum.
As far as upgrades, JSMC is conducting the first launch of the V.3 Abrams tank, the V.4 Abrams tank will be launched in about two years and the JSMC is continuing to create Strykers, said Kennedy.
Through the Energy Savings Performance Contract, the U.S. Army has allocated $85 million for facility and infrastructure upgrades, such as a railing infrastructure and facility lighting, according to U.S Army Col. Travis Adkins.
The Energy Savings Performance Contract is alternative funding through Congress that provides funding to help federal buildings become more energy efficient.
About $125 million from the contract is still in process, and there is an additional $50 million investment for Fiscal Year 2019. This brings the total to about $175 million towards future facility and infrastructure upgrades.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.