Nonprofit organization ASTRO America will manage staging and deployment of additive manufacturing capability, the organization announced in a press release, adding that the effort aims to diversify Guam’s economy and support Indo-Pacific submarine industrial base needs.

The Applied Science and Technology Research Organization of America, known as ASTRO America, joined Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero of Guam and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Scott Pappano, program executive officer, strategic submarines, at a joint meeting last week, where they announced a project plan for building an additive manufacturing technology and workforce education center on Guam.

This project is the culmination of efforts, spearheaded by the governor more than two years ago, to bring industrial additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, to the island in order to diversify and expand Guam’s economy. The governor and her administration commissioned a study by ASTRO America, a manufacturing policy think tank, to evaluate the feasibility of bringing such technology to Guam. A strong advocate for modernizing submarine production and addressing material readiness challenges through advanced technology, Pappano and his team became natural partners, especially as they implement and scale innovative solutions to modernize America’s submarine industrial base, according to the release.

The new center is envisioned to serve a dual mission of:

(1) Advancing national security by giving the submarine industrial base abilities to print components on demand at the point of need.

(2) Supporting economic development in Guam, forming a workforce skilled in key science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, careers, while also building out a new industry sector on island, capable of delivering complex ship components.

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