FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2005
"The Rock Island Arsenal is helping our soldiers fight for our country, which is why we have fought so long and hard to save this tremendously valuable military institution. We have taken that fight to the Pentagon and presented our comprehensive analysis as to why the Arsenal holds such extensive military value. But the battle isn't over yet because we think there is even more that the Arsenal, and the thousands and thousands of hardworking men and women who come to work there every day, can do to keep America and our troops safe. We won't stop fighting until this mission is accomplished," Gov. Blagojevich said.
U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Lane Evans (D-IL), along with other state and local officials, joined Gov. Blagojevich at the announcement.
Since the earliest days of his administration, Gov. Blagojevich has relentlessly advocated for the Arsenal’s retention and expansion. Those efforts include:
Gov. Blagojevich is continuing the strong partnerships that have existed between the State of Illinois, the Congressional Delegation and the local community to preserve and strengthen the Rock Island Arsenal and will keep working to let the Commission know that Illinois will assist in any way possible to bring new missions to the base.
Rock Island Arsenal is a center for logistics and sustainment excellence for the Department of Defense (DOD). It is the home to four major U.S. Army headquarters organizations that have regional and global responsibilities - ranging from Army munitions management to regional installation management. The Arsenal also houses more than 50 other DOD organizations and provides infrastructure support to all the organizations on the island.
The Army's Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center - Rock Island has the technical expertise and equipment to provide full-service design and prototyping, manufacturing, and testing/simulation for a wide variety of products from rapid response to warfighter requirements for all of the Armed Services. These state-of-the-art facilities house DOD's only vertically integrated metal manufacturing complex. The Arsenal is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturing facilities. Products include gun mounts and recoil mechanisms for artillery, spare parts, and tools, sets, kits and outfits that support military equipment in the field. This manufacturing mission has been called on to support short-notice, critical items for soldiers in the field, including armored door kits for Humvees, weapons pedestals and electronic night sights for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The installation has a state of the art fiber-optic network that has the capacity to double the
number of users and the ability to handle twice its current amount of traffic. Through new business avenues,
the Arsenal is also partnering with some non-military entities to assist and advance manufacturing technologies in the private sector.
The Commission will publicly release its BRAC report by September 8th and will send it to President Bush. The President has until September 23rd to approve or disapprove the list. The BRAC list must then be sent to Congress by November 7th, who must also approve or disapprove the list.
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH’S EFFORTS TO SAVE
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL
The Rock Island Arsenal plays a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of our country, while it also makes enormous contributions to the Illinois economy. With a keen awareness of the Arsenal’s tremendous collective value, Gov. Blagojevich launched a strategic plan to convince top decision makers in Washington that the Arsenal should continue serving our country with distinction. For nearly two and a half years, the Governor has led a coordinated effort with the Illinois Congressional Delegation, other elected officials and local leaders to make the most compelling case possible for why the Rock Island Arsenal and Illinois’ other military installations should not only stay off the BRAC closure list, but be asked to take on additional missions. Highlights of that effort include: