Brown Goes to Bat For Lima Tank Plant Jobs in Meeting With New Defense Secretary Panetta

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a meeting today with the new U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) pushed to save and create jobs at the Lima Tank Plant by maintaining the modernization of the M1A2 Abrams tank and the production of a replacement vehicle for the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV.)

“Keeping the Abrams modernization and production program going is critical for our national security and military readiness,” Brown said. “That’s why I have continued to make saving the Abrams program a priority, and have urged Secretary Panetta and the Obama Administration to continue production of at least 70 tanks per year.”

“I’ve also asked the Secretary for an update on the replacement vehicle for the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, and urged him to assign production of this new assault vehicle to General Dynamics and the workers in Lima. Our workers know better than any how to make the best defense vehicles in the world, a point that I stressed in my meeting with Secretary Panetta today,” Brown continued.

Brown has been a longtime champion of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.  He sent letters to SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and the Obama Administration urging them to reject plans to end the M1A2 Abrams tank modernization program.

Brown has also been a steadfast supporter of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program, which could contribute approximately $144 million to the Ohio economy each year, helping support more than 700 jobs and 25 Ohio-based suppliers. In February, following the release of the President’s FY2012 budget outline which proposed elimination of the EFV program, Brown pledged to fight its elimination. The month prior, Brown led a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to prevent the Department of Defense from cancelling the EFV program. Brown last visited the Lima Tank Plant in August 2010.

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