Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed out of committee yesterday, includes a provision that eliminates the authority of the Secretary of the Army to abolish arsenals. This measure would also make it the objective of the Secretary of the Army to maintain the critical workforce capabilities identified in the Army Organic Industrial Base Strategy Report. Just last year, Senator Gillibrand secured the U.S. Army designation of Watervliet Arsenal as a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE). Watervliet Arsenal joined ten other facilities nationwide that specialize in different core competencies. Under this designation, Watervliet will be the primary arsenal for the manufacturing of mortars and high-powered cannons.
“This is good news for the Watervliet Arsenal and its civilian workforce,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The success of the Watervliet Arsenal is a product of the Capital Region’s own hard work and innovation. This provision will bolster the U.S. Army’s commitment to the Watervliet Arsenal as a key component of our national security, while helping to grow the Capital Region’s manufacturing industry, and strengthen our economy.”
Constructed in 1813, the Watervliet Arsenal has played a vital role in America’s defense throughout its long history producing large bore cannon and a wide variety of other products for military needs. The Arsenal is also home to the Army’s Benét Laboratories, a Malcolm Baldrige Award recipient, whose mission includes the development of Arsenal products and technology for future combat systems. This arrangement of research, development and manufacturing at a single site facilitates concurrent design and manufacturing. But more than land, equipment, and buildings, the Arsenal represents thousands of great Americans who have proudly served their country since 1813 by supporting our nation’s war fighters in every conflict for nearly 200 years.