[ROCK ISLAND] – The Rock Island Arsenal’s Humvee ambulance production line will be extended another two years as a result of $60 million which U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) added to the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill, the two Members of Congress announced today during a visit to the Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC). The Army intends to use that funding to extend the existing line through August 2017, producing an additional 658 Humvee ambulances.
“The Rock Island Arsenal and its workers not only manufacture equipment that protect our men and women in uniform, but it is also the engine that drives our region’s economy,” Bustos said. “Today’s announcement is a win-win for our local economy and for our local workforce and another step toward strengthening the Arsenal for the long-term. I’ll continue to partner with Senator Durbin and leaders in our bi-state region to ensure the Arsenal remains strong for years to come.”
“Rock Island is the hub of the Quad Cities economy, and the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center is its heart,” Durbin said. “Congresswoman Bustos and I worked diligently last year to double down on the good work happening at the JMTC and today’s announcement is another in a long line of reasons why Rock Island workers, our Army, and our nation should be proud of the work performed here for our service men and women. Together at the local and national level we will continue to work to ensure it remains that way for a long time to come.”
The JMTC Humvee ambulance line began in January 2014 in partnership with AM General and is producing more than 500 Humvee ambulances for Army National Guard units in all 50 states for use in natural disasters and homeland security response. Prior to the extension, the line was scheduled to shut down in September 2015.
The ambulance line has a number of improvements crucial to supporting the National Guard in Homeland Security and natural disaster relief missions. These models feature several upgrades from the ambulances they replace, including an improved drive train and electrical components, improvements inside the ambulance cabin, and elements that provide more storage for medical equipment.
The JMTC is thriving. Its new workload has increased from $88 million in fiscal year 2013 – the first year of sequestration – to a projected $254 million by end of fiscal year 2015. It has also increased its work from non-Army customers to 35% – up from nearly zero a few years ago – most prominently producing ballasts for Navy submarines and flat racks for Marine Corps storage facilities.