Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Paul Tonko revealed that the U.S. Army will soon designate the Watervliet Arsenal as a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE). Schumer, Gillibrand and Tonko noted that the Secretary of the Army John McHugh has made the Watervliet Arsenal a CITE facility for cannons and mortars, which will allow the arsenal to join ten existing CITE facilities across the country that specialize in different core competencies. Under this new designation, Watervliet will be the primary arsenal for the manufacturing of mortars and high-powered cannons. Additionally, CITE designation allows Watervliet to enter into public-private partnerships with private entities to enhance its core capabilities.
“The Army’s CITE designation will reaffirm what we have long known – that the Watervliet Arsenal is the place our military should look to for heavy artillery,” said Senator Schumer. “Thanks to this new agreement we forged with Secretary McHugh and the Department of Defense, Watervliet will be the first stop for any of our military branches who need canons and mortar. And, means the ‘boom’ of our nation’s big guns will continue to spark a manufacturing boom here in the Capital Region.”
“The success of the Watervliet Arsenal is a product of the Capital Region’s own hard work and innovation,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The Army’s CITE designation is a smart and clear decision that will bolster Watervliet Arsenal as a key component of our national security, while helping to grow the Capital Region’s manufacturing industry, and strengthen our economy.”
“This designation is yet another feather in the cap of the Watervliet Arsenal,” said Representative Tonko. “As a nation-wide leader in specialty manufacturing, this one of a kind skill set continues to be proof positive that the Arsenal’s unique capabilities serve our military and our nation well. I commend Secretary McHugh for recognizing this and know this distinction lends even more legitimacy and credibility to the fine work the Arsenal carries out.”
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.