U.S. Secretary of the Army Visits Rock Island Arsenal

[MOLINE] – At the invitation of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), U.S. Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited the Rock Island Arsenal today for the first time since 2010. McHugh toured the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center and met with local mayors and community leaders to discuss the importance of investing in the Arsenal’s future. Durbin is the chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees discretionary spending for our nation’s military, including bases.

“The Rock Island Arsenal is a crucial asset for both our national security and the economy of the Quad Cities region. That’s why I’ve included provisions in the Defense Appropriations Bill that will boost the Arsenal’s competitiveness with the private sector and maintain a steady and reliable workload,” Durbin said. “Illinois has long taken a leadership role in our nation’s defense and I’m glad Secretary McHugh was able to see firsthand the great work that happens here at Rock Island. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary McHugh to assure that the workload at the Arsenal and its Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center remain strong.”

“The Rock Island Arsenal and its workers not only manufacture equipment that arms and protects our troops, but it is also the engine that drives our region’s economy,” Bustos said. “Secretary McHugh’s visit was a clear indicator of how critical the Arsenal is to U.S. Army readiness, and today we got to showcase firsthand not only the Arsenal's capabilities, but the high-quality workmanship of our region’s workers. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary McHugh and Senator Durbin to ensure the Arsenal remains strong into the future.”

“Today was a great opportunity for us to show Secretary McHugh what we are doing to make Illinois even more welcoming to military families. This summer Illinois enacted legislation I initiated that makes it easier for military students to transfer in and out of our schools, and we are committed to prioritizing the needs of these families that sacrifice so much for our country,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, chair of the state’s Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee. “Senator Durbin is a strong and vocal advocate for Illinois’ military families and our military communities, and I appreciate his dedication to showing Washington what we can offer in Illinois.”

Chairman Durbin’s FY15 Appropriations Bill requires the Secretary of the Army to main a minimum workload at Rock Island Arsenal and includes $225 million in funding for Industrial Mobilization Capacity (IMC) to help arsenals keep their work rates competitive. This funding helps Rock Island Arsenal and other arsenals compete more effectively for public-private partnerships and other business to help sustain capacity, cost efficiency and technical competence in peacetime, while preserving the ability to provide an effective and timely