Our government may own the tank factory here in Lima, but it is operated by General Dynamics Land Systems and they are not pleased there is a motion to shut it down.
Army officials tell us it would save more than $1 billion to shut the factory down for three years, from 2013 to 2016, and then commence operations by upgrading the tanks.
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett is scheduled to meet with Ohio’s Rep. Michael Turner for a tour (video of GI Factory-M1 Tank) of the factory. Turner is expected to argue for some sort of compromise to keep production going.
General Dynamics is saying this layoff could affect not only all those that work there, but could also affect the 560 contractors that also employ people and, considering all the problems Ohio has had regarding employment, the politics of it boggles the mind.
The country is at a time when the deficit is killing us and cuts do need to be made, but on the other hand, should these cuts be made at the expense of employment and this type of defense? And what to make of other military shocks that has hit us just a week ago?
Leaving the human-interest point of view, leaves us with the start up cost after 2016:
- All the equipment the government owns will still be there, but they will have to be adapted to any proposed changes the Army will suggest.
- They will still have costs sitting there unused as they will have to be maintained through the three years.
- New laws (perhaps the likes of the ones from the EPA we have seen lately) will have to be factored in; which always affects the financial bottom line.
- New hires will have to be trained as there will be hardly a skilled and talented former employee to be found, no doubt, and recertifying suppliers will cost us as well.
The estimated cost to restart is set at $230 million but every U.S. citizen knows how well the government can turn hundreds of millions into a lot more.
Of interest: A $37 million was awarded to General Dynamics to provide “systems technical support (STS) services for the Abrams main battle tanks. The work includes indentifying improvements and replacement of obsolete parts of the tanks. It is expected to be completed in December of 20011.”*
General Dynamics has setup a website that showcases their case for stopping the shutdown.
Sources: dodbuzz.com; hometownstations.com; military.discovery.com
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