PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Pacific Island Times) — Plans are afoot to build an additive manufacturing technology and workforce education center on Guam that will enable the submarine industrial base to print components on-demand at the point of need.

The Applied Science & Technology Research Organization of America or ASTRO America joined Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Scott Pappano, program executive officer of Strategic Submarines, at a joint meeting last week, where they announced the project plan for the 3D printing center.

In a press release, ASTRO said the project will advance Guam’s goal to diversify and expand its economy.

The government of Guam has commissioned a study by ASTRO America, a manufacturing policy think-tank, to evaluate the feasibility of bringing such technology to Guam.

“The project’s success will be measured by the team’s efforts to catalyze the growth of a specialized advanced manufacturing workforce, as well as necessary capabilities to produce parts that will meet growing national security needs for the submarine industrial base,” ASTRO said.

ASTRO said the center is envisioned to form a workforce skilled in key science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, careers, while building out a new industry sector capable of delivering complex ship components.

“Our announcement marks a historic inflection point for both the Government of Guam and the United States Submarine Industrial Base,” said Neal Orringer, president of ASTRO America and former Department of Defense director of manufacturing.

“Working together, we will build an innovative and resilient technology base. Not only will we train a new generation of advanced manufacturing engineers, and operators but we will ensure the Navy’s access to critical capabilities for prototyping, producing, and validating key parts, components, and materials through advanced manufacturing and 3D printing capability,” said Orringer, former director of manufacturing at the Department of Defense.

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