LIMA, OH – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) brought Under Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy to Lima today for a tour of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC), which does critical work on the military’s Abrams Tank and Stryker Vehicle. Brown, Portman, Murphy, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-4) toured the facility and saw a demonstration of the Abrams Tank.

Brown and Portman have been longtime champions of the JSMC and have worked over the years with the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) leadership to promote the work done in Lima.

This facility exemplifies the best in Ohio manufacturing – it supports our men and women in uniform, and supports good-paying jobs for Ohio workers,” said Brown. “We worked with the JSMC, with the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees, and the Department of Defense to make sure folks in Washington saw the value of the work folks are doing here in Lima. Under the leadership of Under Secretary Murphy, the Army recognizes the importance of these vehicles and maintaining our defense industrial base, and we expect production to increase over the next few years.”

“The best tanks and armored vehicles in the world are made in Lima, Ohio,” Portman said. “The JSMC and our Ohio workers are not just making our country safer, they’re supporting our allies around the world during some very dangerous times. I was happy to show off these Ohio manufacturers to the Under Secretary and to reiterate to the Obama Administration the critical role they play in our national security.”

 “Lima, Ohio is the only place in the country where they still put together Abrams tanks. I was thankful for the opportunity to show the plant to my former colleague Undersecretary Patrick Murphy. I know he will take the message back to Washington that this is vitally important for the nation’s defense and for our military infrastructure,” said Jordan.

In February 2016, Brown applauded the inclusion of funding for the Abrams Tank and the Stryker Vehicle in President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget proposal. The budget proposal included more than $480 million to support modifications to the Abrams Tank and more than $590 million for the Stryker Vehicle. The bill also included more than $9 million for Joint Assault Bridges – folding bridges that deploy from Abrams Tanks. Brown wrote to U.S. Secretary of the Army John McHugh in August 2015 to request these funds.

In December 2015, Brown announced that the FY 2016 omnibus appropriations bill includes approximately $508 million in funding for the Abrams Tank and approximately $1.1 billion for the Stryker Vehicle. Brown supported the President’s FY 2016 budget request for both Abrams and Stryker and wrote a letter to leaders of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees in May 2015 in support of increasing the lethality of Stryker Vehicles.

In October 2015, Brown and Portman announced that, following their letter in support of Phase Two grant funding for Allen County, DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment awarded $3,013,590 to the county. Allen County qualified for this grant due to job loss at the JSMC in Lima.