March 30, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin, Bustos Discuss COVID-19 Response With Rock Island Arsenal


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), today discussed how the U.S. Army is utilizing the Rock Island Arsenal to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with the Army Materiel Command’s General Gustave Perna and Executive Deputy to the Commanding General Lisha Adams.   On a call with General Perna and Ms. Adams, the members asked how the manufacturing capabilities at Rock Island Arsenal could be used as part of the coronavirus response, including 3D printing to make ventilators or ventilator components as well as respirators.

“Senator Durbin, Representative Bustos and I had a productive discussion with General Perna about utilizing the Rock Island Arsenal’s strong manufacturing capabilities to produce life-saving medical equipment at a time when our entire nation desperately needs it,” Duckworth said. “I am hopeful that the Rock Island Arsenal can play a critical role in helping fill production gaps and save lives.”

“The Rock Island Arsenal is a crucial asset for Illinois’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Durbin said.  “On today’s call, I asked what more the Arsenal needs to boost capabilities to quickly meet demands in medical supplies and equipment.  We have some of the best and brightest in the Army working at the Arsenal, and I believe they can be hugely important in the fight against this virus.”

“The hardworking men and women at the Arsenal are on the cutting edge of technology and employ techniques that can play a significant role in Illinois’ ability to combat COVID-19,” Bustos said. “Senators Durbin, Duckworth and I made it clear that during this critical time we must tap into all of our resources – including the Arsenal’s top-notch manufacturing capabilities.”

Currently, the Rock Island Arsenal is making ventilator components and is positioning itself to make P95 respirators, as well as considering additional options to strengthen capabilities to support the COVID-19 response effort.