Army will keep tanks rolling out of Ohio plant

A new defense spending plan will keep the nation's only tank manufacturing plant operating through the next two years, ending months of worry about the future of the factory where about 800 workers refurbish the Abrams tanks.
Associated Press
Jan 9, 2013

 

Funding for tank upgrades has been on the chopping block the past two years and the debate over the potential cuts backed by the White House entered into the presidential campaign this past fall.

But last week President Barack Obama signed off on a defense bill that includes $136 million to maintain minimal production at the plant in Lima, which is about 80 miles south of Toledo.

The Pentagon had wanted to halt production at the plant, saying it would soon have enough tanks and could restart the plant in a few years when it was ready for the next generation of battle tanks.

Some members of Congress from Ohio, mostly Republicans, fought to restore funding for the tanks against White House opposition, arguing that shutting down the plant and then restarting it would be more expensive than keeping production going. The Army disputed that.

Plant operators also said that a pause in production would mean they'd need to rebuild their network of 800 suppliers nationwide once the plant resumed work.

The possible shutdown came up during the campaign when Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan visited Lima in September.

He warned that Americans could be put at risk overseas by the Obama's administration plan to halt production of the tanks. "We need a strong military," Ryan said.

General Dynamics Corp.'s land systems unit, which operates the government-owned plant, said it's too early to speculate about the impact on jobs beyond the next two years, but added that the funding indicates support for continued production.

"This award shows the Army's long-term commitment to improving the Abrams tank's capabilities," said Donald Kotchman, the company's vice president for heavy brigade combat teams.

General Dynamics also hopes that increased foreign sales will help the plant make up for the minimal funding from the military.

The plant already is doing some work on an armored personnel carrier for the Israeli military, and General Dynamics says it won a $133 million contract last week to continue updating tanks for Saudi Arabia.

The threat of losing high-paying manufacturing jobs was a big concern in Lima where in the early 1980s when there were 3,800 workers and tanks rolled off the assembly lines every day.

Workers there now complete upgrades on one tank about every two days, adding weapons and navigation and communications systems. The plant also makes the Stryker light-armored vehicle.

 

Comments

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

Thank the REPUBLICANS, NOT MARCY OR GRUBBE... Erie Co used to be a republican Co, 20,000 more jobs in those days, now look what you have! Isn't it funny, the highest unemployed regions in Ohio are ALL DEM controlled?!!!! Wake up, get rid of Kaptur, Murray, and especially GRUBBE from the scene!

shucks

.

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

The above folks keep lining their pockets,s as corrupt and jobs are going away.... It as ever in the region, wake up, make a change, and you'll see, more jobs. Fire, police, maufacturing, street, and all facets of infrstructure will grow like crazy, but the above people keep you down....

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

sorry about spelling, lap keeps jumping... you get the idea of my post, and to all the union workers, you have missed out on great opportunity for growth, security, by backing the losers whom you say have your best interest at heart. Until you stop listening to Grubbe and her crew, your families will always suffer!!!

wetsu

I now reside in Lima and the article is misleading. Most of the republican state and federal senators couldn't be found with a search warrant during the tank plant discussions. The most active senator in the fight for JSMC was Sherrod Brown. The R's came around late in the game and for photo ops, but, Brown stood up for the place. I'm no Brown man, but, he deserves credit for doing the heavy political lifting on this project.

Contango

War! What is it good for?

Employment!

OMG.LOL.WT_

Just welfare for the rich. Making tanks the pentagon wanted to pause making. It's a win for our actual government (large corporation lobbyists).

Contango

"A U.S. Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations early next year, part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists and give the U.S. a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the U.S. military emerge."

The Endless War marches on!

http://news.yahoo.com/army-teams...

OMG.LOL.WT_
shucks

Ive heard that tune played a long time ago but never realized the lyrics.

Speakezy

BOTH parties are corrupt and term limits are a MUST!

Speakezy

BOTH parties are corrupt and term limits are a MUST!

OMG.LOL.WT_

You can say that again!

gene44870

Deep six , why don't you stop laying the blame on Democrats ?If you would get off you high hourse and try reading , then you would see that it was your buddy Bush that lie to his own party as well as the American public and got us into a war that for one thing , we could not and should not have been involved with truth be told that was all about an oil man full filling his goal of oil controll' and a way to screw the tax payers by the price that it went to because of the war in Irac .And the good people of the U.S are paying for it
And just how many jobs did the U.S get during that 8 years that he we in office ?
So try and get your facts right before you get on ere to comment ,
Obama is cleaning up the 8 year mess , plus trying to get people back to work .
These wars that we have been involved with isn't cheap and is doing nothing but adding tothe bill that we can not pay .

mikel

and your boy o still has us over there! what a tool.

Don S

Deep Six,doesn't understand that unions has nothing to do about this situation. Union bashing will do NOTHING. If he would leave little six alone(as he implys) he would see that he is under informed. I can understand upgrading the existing tanks, but not to build any new ones. The militaty has a surplus of tanks and need not any new ones. Tanks are one of the least effective systems in modern warfare and are not the leading force on todays battle fields. Aircraft are the leading forces now. Tanks are only good to hold ground in this modern warfare world. Drones have been the most effective in striking our enemy in Afganistan and Packistan. It's way past time to end these wars and that means we have to reduce our production of war goods and reduce troop strenth. Our future is to use these resources to build and maintain our country. OUR country has be in deep neglect over this last decade. We will always have a strong armed force, the best in the world !!! It's just time to throttle back abit.

The Bizness

So let me get this straight...Conservatives are happy when the military industrial complex is up and running, but get mad when money goes to things like solar, infrastructure, bridges, and school?

mikel

solar is a loser. can't make it without being heavily subsidized. i would rather save my money than have it spent on bulldoo. does solyandra come to mind?

Contango

@ The Bizness:

Debt and military adventurism have caused Rome, Spain, France, the USSR and many other great nations and empires to collapse.

We're living beyond our means and essentially it is manditory entitlement spending that is outa control.

Already tried LBJ's "guns and butter." It lead to the severe inflation in the 70s, that we're STILL payin' for.

The Bizness

I agree with you... I guess you are a libertarian not so much a republican

donutshopguy

Biz,

We don't need any more military spending at this time. We don't need any more infrastructure spending at this time.

We need to stop spending more than we make. We need to get a handle on our debt at the federal, state and local level.

So what group do I belong to? Crazy?

The Bizness

I agree with you....I figured most people on here were just typical republicans but seems you are more fiscal conservatives

Mr. D

@deep6. . . If you want to blame anyone for this area being in Congresswoman Kaptur's district blame the republicans. After the 2000 census, the repubs redrew the district lines putting the area in her district. So, she was put here by your republicans!!! How does that strike you?

Mr. D

double post