Congressman Mike Turner (OH-3) commended the inclusion of language supporting Abrams tank modernization in the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Mark of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This language, which Turner advocated for, supports upgrading M1A2 Abrams tanks over the next year. Thousands of workers contribute to the production of the M1A2 at the Lima, OH facility. Turner has been a consistent voice for the plant and its workforce.
"I want to commend Chairman Bartlett for including this language in his Mark of the NDAA. He recognizes that it would in fact cost more to shut down this plant. The impact of a plant shutdown would not only result in the loss of thousands of jobs in Ohio and across the U.S. but also technological expertise which may never return," stated Turner.
Congressmen Turner invited House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Chairman Roscoe Bartlett (MD-6) to the Lima Plant and together they toured the facility in 2011. Prior to the Chairman's Mark, production of the Abrams M1A2 was set to end in 2013 and was not planned to start again until 2016. Lima is the only facility in the country that builds these tanks for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. During their visit, the lawmakers received an overview and tour of the production facilities, as well as a demonstration of the M1A2 tank and met with the Ohioans who produce the M1A2.
"Keeping the plant open will not only allow the facility to focus on modernizing tanks for our troops, but also on the production of tanks for our allies around the world. These workers produce the most lethal and survivable combat vehicle we have to offer our servicemembers. Their work is key to the defense of this nation and I look forward to continuing to advocate on behalf of the plant as this bill heads to the full committee," added Turner.
This past week Turner joined 173 of his House colleagues in writing in Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, advocating for the plant to stay open and for the Department to prioritize funding for it in the FY 2013 budget.