Workers At Lima Tank Plant Keep Hopeful Eye On Congress

The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima is the only facility in the world that builds M-1 Abrams battle tanks.(Photo: Brian Bull)
The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima is the only facility in the world that builds M-1 Abrams battle tanks.(Photo: Brian Bull)

Employees at a tank plant in Lima are cautiously optimistic about Congress signing off on the latest defense bill.

As it stands now, the bill would send $90 million to maintain production at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, formerly known as the Lima Tank Plant.

Lt. Col. Matthew Hodge says workers are optimistic, but he says they’re wary of Congress not acting.

“I read a lot of things in the paper and news print and online, and until I see it on a contract it winds up being an up-again, down-again type thing,” Lt. Col. Hodge says.

The plant employs about 600 government and private workers. It’s the only facility in the world that refurbishes the iconic M1 Abrams tank.

It got a one-year reprieve in the previous defense budget and looks poised to do the same this time around. Congress could approve the bill as early as this week.

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