All Roads Lead to Lima

The fight over the defense industrial base—and in particular, the fight over the defense industrial base in Lima, OH., where General Dynamics makes the Abrams M1 Main Battle Tank—has been joined yet again.

On Friday, Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Congressman Mike Turner announced that the Marine Corps is planning to maintain its Hull Machining Line at the Joint Services Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima, rather than move it.

The Marines has originally planned to move the facility after the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program, but the two Congressmen “worked with the Marine Corps to ensure proper consideration was given before a final decision was made,” a statement on Turner’s Web site says.

More from the statement:

“When it comes to manufacturing combat vehicles, the skills and expertise at Lima are unparalleled anywhere in the world.  I’m pleased to see the Marines have agreed to work with us, to make sure we maintain the proper resources at the plant and avoid negatively impacting this critical capability,” said Senator Portman.

The Marines will undertake a Business Case Analysis (BCA) that will allow them to compile a cost/benefit analysis of all potential disposition alternatives. The BCA will focus on maintaining the Defense Industrial Base, of which the Lima facility is a key part.

“This decision is important for the continued success and strength of the Lima Tank Plant. Having visited the facility a number of times, I know the workforce is dedicated to producing vehicles for the defense of our nation and our allies around the world. I am glad the Marine Corps is conducting this analysis, and understands the significant importance of our defense industrial base, not only to Ohio, but the United States,” stated Congressman Turner.

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Paul McLeary

McLeary covers national security policies at the White House, Pentagon, the Hill, and State Department.
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