November 1, 2022. Bethesda, MD – The Applied Science & Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America) recognized U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos for their dedication to advancing manufacturing at Rock Island Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center (RIA-JMTC) last week. Specifically, ASTRO thanked the lawmakers for their role in delivering the world’s largest metal 3D printer to RIA-JTMC, presenting each with a 3D printed commemorative replica of the printer. The project is sponsored by the Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC), which, together with the U.S. Army Tank & Automotive Command and RIA-JMTC, hosted a ceremony celebrating the machine’s development as a critical tool for sustaining military readiness.
The two legislators are known for their shared commitment to job creation and advanced technology in Illinois. Together, they have championed establishing the Army’s Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence at Rock Island Arsenal and key innovations in additive manufacturing.
Neal Orringer, President of ASTRO America said, “Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Bustos clearly recognize the opportunity that exists for the Department of Defense and the larger Quad Cities community with 3D printing technology. We are grateful for their leadership and are excited to partner with the Army in helping build an ecosystem that supports U.S. competitiveness and sustain long term economic growth across the region.”
In remarks delivered at the event, Sen. Durbin emphasized that current research underway by this team will help the future of our military.
“We are riding the wave of the future,” Sen. Durbin said. “I believe that this is just the beginning, that we’re going to see more and more commitments here.”
In August, ASTRO announced it is managing the $95 million contract agreement known as a Other Transaction Agreement (OTA), which will leverage the world’s largest 3D Printer to carry out this work over the next five years.
“Thanks to the leadership and commitment of Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Bustos, there is a vehicle in place to fund new research and development projects,” Orringer continued. “This is an opportunity to help bring new investment to Rock Island – creating very skilled, high-tech jobs. All while helping the Army achieve its stated goal of modernizing its manufacturing processes.”
Congresswoman Bustos said, “This is all about the future. The Arsenal is all about the future. It’s about the 21st century… This puts us in the military of the future.”
About ASTRO America
The Applied Science and Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan Research Institute and Think Tank. It was established in 2018 to advance the public interest through manufacturing technology and policy. Led by manufacturing professionals with broad public and private sector experience, ASTRO America supports collaborations by government agencies and companies to address supply chain challenges in highly regulated industries, including aerospace and defense.
Find out more: https://www.astroa.org/