Schilling, Loebsack Provision to Boost Rock Island Arsenal included in FY13 National Defense Authorization Act?

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Congressmen Bobby Schilling (IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) announced today that the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act does not authorize additional rounds of Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) in either FY 2013 or FY 2015 as had been called for by the Department of Defense (DOD). 

The Congressmen also were successful in adding a provision to the committee report that directs the DOD to identify the critical manufacturing capabilities provided by arsenals and determine the amount of work that is required to maintain them in peacetime.

 ??“One of the greatest assets provided by the arsenals is an ability to readily surge manufacturing capacity and to quickly and efficiently manufacture needed items.  That capability has proven essential time and again to our ability to supply our troops rapidly with the equipment they need.  It is essential that the arsenals maintain the ability to respond to a national security emergency and that we maintain our ability to rapidly equip our troops for a future contingency,” said Loebsack.  “I strongly question the wisdom of BRAC rounds at this time and their impact on our national security.  I was proud to vote to ensure they were not included in this bill and to work with Congressman Schilling on these provisions.

”??“Arsenals like ours in Rock Island have repeatedly proven their worth to our national security over the years,” Schilling said.  “I’m pleased that we are building this year on our successes of last year, and also pleased that this defense bill does not include any BRAC-authorizing language.  It is absolutely critical to keep the industrial base warm and ready in order to secure its future, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with Congressman Loebsack in protecting the interests of the Quad Cities and the Rock Island Arsenal.  I am hopeful that our colleagues in the Senate will work to include provisions supporting the arsenal in their defense package, and that they will support the final package when it comes before them for a vote.

”??The Department of Defense’s FY 2013 budget request included a request for authorization to carry out two rounds of BRAC – one in FY 2013 and one in FY 2015.  The House Armed Services Committee’s FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act explicitly prohibits the use of funds for a BRAC in FY 2013 and does not authorize BRAC in FY 2015, helping reassure Rock Island Arsenal’s employees that there is not Congressional support for the BRAC process to move forward.   ??

The language Congressmen Schilling and Loebsack included will help ensure DOD recognizes the critical manufacturing work done at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal, and reviews how to maintain those skills and therefore the people who do the work.  By requiring arsenals’ manufacturing capabilities to be part of the national security strategy, the Congressmen worked to push the DOD to review and recognize arsenals as a critical part of our national security.