• Bipartisan Legislation Would Allow Arsenals to Lease Excess Space

    Bipartisan Legislation Would Allow Arsenals to Lease Excess Space0

    The Defense Department’s three manufacturing arsenals would regain the authority to offer long-term leases for excess space to the private sector, under bipartisan legislation introduced last week in the Senate. The Arsenal Installation Reutilization Authority would allow the arsenals — Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.; Pine Bluff Arsenal, Ark.; and Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y. — to approve 25-year leases until September 2019, generating jobs and income until 2044, according to a news release issued by the office of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). Ernst introduced the legislation along with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). The arsenals’ long-term leasing authority expired in 2012 …

  • Senate Bill Would Help Arsenals Compete with Private Sector0

    Bipartisan legislation introduced this week in the Senate would allow the Army’s three manufacturing arsenals to adjust their labor rates to better compete with the private sector. Arsenals now are required to maintain fixed labor rates through the entire year regardless of market conditions, making it difficult for them to compete for contracts or form public-private partnerships, according to a press release from the four senators who sponsored the measure — Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). The three-year pilot program created under the legislation is aimed at benefiting the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center at Rock Island Arsenal, located on the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois …

  • Improved Guidance Needed to Establish Role of Arsenals, GAO Finds0

    To maintain the critical capabilities of its three manufacturing arsenals, the Army should develop guidelines for officials to follow when deciding whether to purchase items from the arsenals or from the private sector, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends in a new report. GAO called for the Army to issue “clear, step-by-step implementing guidance, such as an instruction or guidebook, on the process for conducting make-or-buy analyses in a consistent manner.” The lack of such guidance likely has hampered the Pentagon’s efforts to encourage the military to consider the arsenals as a source of manufacture, the agency concluded …

  • Defense Bill Eliminates Army’s Authority to Shutter Arsenals0

    The Army secretary no longer can rely on a pre-Civil War authority to close arsenals without congressional approval, after President Obama signed the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill into law last week. The provision, originally part of the version of the legislation passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, eliminates the ability of the secretary of the Army to close any arsenal considered unnecessary. The Army has five arsenals: Picatinny, N.J.; Redstone, Ala.; Rock Island, Ill.; Rocky Mountain, Colo.; and Watervliet, N.Y. …

  • Army Considers New Strategy for Preserving Industrial Base0

    Amid a climate of declining budgets for weapons spending, officials at Army Materiel Command (AMC) are conducting a comprehensive assessment of the service’s industrial base to assure its long-term viability. Last week, AMC Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion and a team of logistics experts visited Watervliet Arsenal, N.Y., as part of a year-long initiative to visit the nation’s depots and arsenals to learn about the challenges facing them and craft a new strategy to take advantage of their unique capabilities …

  • Committee Questions Transfer of Army Depot Oversight to IMCOM0

    The House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee, concerned about the prospect that the Army may transfer responsibility for day-to-day management of the service’s depots and arsenals to its Installation Management Command, directs the service to establish policies to ensure the move does not result in “unintended consequences.” The panel includes its request in report language accompanying its portion of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill that it marked up last week. The Army still is evaluating the feasibility of shifting management of its industrial base installations from Army Materiel Command to IMCOM …