WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, helped advance a comprehensive defense funding bill that would bring significant federal investments to the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad-Cities, Collins Aerospace in Rockford and Bradley University in Peoria.
“Communities in Northwest and Central Illinois are playing a critical role in advancing our nation’s defenses and developing new technologies to keep our nation secure and our servicemembers safe,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “The defense appropriations package we advanced today will continue to bring significant federal investments to facilities in the Quad-Cities, Rockford and Peoria – all while creating jobs and driving economic growth in our region. I’m proud to secure this funding and I look forward to delivering these results back home.”
Congresswoman Bustos secured the following priorities to support military readiness:
Rock Island Arsenal:
- $20 million for large-scale additive manufacturing prototyping: This bill would continue to fund programs at the Rock Island Arsenal Center for Excellence for Additive and Advanced Manufacturing that develop components such as a jointless hull for the Next Generation Combat Vehicle. The ability to manufacture combat vehicles without joints will increase both manufacturing efficiency and the ability of a vehicle to survive. This represents a $5 million increase over FY2022 funding levels.
- $25 million for soft recoil and extended-range artillery systems: This bill would continue to fund the work of the Rock Island-based Mandus Group, which tests soft recoil technology to be used by U.S. Army Humvees.
- $15 million for a Manufacturing Center of Excellence joint initiative: This bill would continue to fund an initiative focused on expeditionary additive construction between the University of Arkansas, Applied Research Associates (ARA) and the Army’s Center of Excellence for Additive and Advanced Manufacturing that is critical to the Army’s use of autonomous construction technologies.
- $20 million for the Quad City Manufacturing Lab: This bill would continue to fund the lab’s work with Temple University to develop personal protective equipment to provide servicemembers with greater, lightweight protection.
- $5 million for an online military real estate inventory tool pilot program: This bill would continue to fund a pilot program to more effectively utilize unused space on Army installations for future military needs. The program will develop an online management tool for the Army and incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning. This is an initiative Congresswoman Bustos helped propose.
- $8 million to support research at Bradley University: This bill would continue to fund a Virtual, Augmented and Mixed (VAM) Reality Readiness partnership between Bradley University and the University of Dayton. This program provides research and development on the use of virtual reality for U.S. Air Force aircraft maintainers.
- $9.5 million for fighter aircraft research at Collins Aerospace: This bill would continue to fund research on Emergency Power and Cooling (EPAC) technology through the Aerospace Propulsion and Power Technology Program. This project aims to develop ways to improve the performance and efficiency of F-22 and F-35 aircraft.
- $5 million for semiconductor research at Collins Aerospace: This bill would continue to fund the research and design of the Megawatt Low Spool Generator. This technology would control power while preventing short-circuits and overloads. While our current supply of this equipment comes from Germany, this funding will shift production home to the United States.
Additional Bustos priorities included were:
- Critical security assistance to Ukraine – including resources for training, equipment, weapons, supplies and services, salaries and stipends and intelligence support to the Ukrainian military and national security forces.
- Investments in our domestic advanced manufacturing base to support jobs and economic growth – including investments in research and development.
- Defending democracy and countering China with robust funding to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
- Requirements that defense contractors pay a $15 minimum wage.
- $2.5 billion in investments in clean energy and climate adaptation to protect defense facilities, military readiness and global security.
- Funding to tackle sexual assault in the military and promote mental health through suicide prevention funds – including $479 million to fully implement the recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment and $47 million for the Special Victims’ Counsel program.