As the Army drives toward improving readiness today and modernizing future equipment, it has chosen Rock Island Arsenal- Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC), located in Illinois, to house the Center of Excellence for Advanced and Additive Manufacturing. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 15.
"Rock Island Arsenal has been producing readiness for our Army and our nation since 1862,” said Col. Ken Letcher, RIA-JMTC commander at the ceremony. “Today, we take our next step in that proud history. The great workforce here is ready to take that step and that step will help us operationalize additive manufacturing to fundamentally bend the curve of readiness for our Army."
The Army is operationalizing additive and advanced manufacturing across the materiel enterprise to improve equipment readiness and Warfighter capabilities at the tactical level.
"This center will help deliver readiness by ensuring soldiers have the equipment and repair parts they need when and where they need them," said Mitchell. "Reducing production lead times from months to weeks, or even days will go a long way toward providing our Warfighters with superior capabilities and increased readiness necessary to maintain overmatch."
With $20 million in funding to stand up the Center of Excellence for equipment and renovations, RIA-JMTC bought a range of additive manufacturing technologies and enabling tools to establish capabilities in the majority of 3D printing types.
Named the Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing in the spring of 2018, RIA-JMTC will serve as a central location to develop best practices and promote execution of the campaign plan throughout the Army materiel enterprise.
"I have seen numerous developments in technology during my career that have enabled our Army to improve its readiness to fight and win our nation's wars," said Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, commanding general, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, U.S. Army Garrison, Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Mich., at the ceremony. " However, when I first joined the Army, I would never have dreamed that we would be able to print out parts. Advanced manufacturing technology holds the promise of greatly increased Army readiness rates, so that we will be ready to spring into action whenever and wherever our nation calls upon us."
The Center of Excellence is scheduled to reach full operating capability in 2021.