April 17, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin, Bustos Tour Rock Island Arsenal, Discuss Efforts to Battle COVID-19


[ROCK ISLAND, IL] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) today joined U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to tour the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence at the Rock Island Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. The Members and McCarthy toured the Arsenal’s 3D printing facility, where parts for Army-procured ventilators are being produced, as well as elements and parts of personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of Rock Island Arsenal’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m proud to see Rock Island Arsenal’s strong manufacturing capabilities being used to produce life-saving medical equipment at a time when our entire nation desperately needs it,” Duckworth said. “Rock Island Arsenal plays an important role in our national security, and I’m pleased the expertise and resources at the Arsenal are helping protect our nation during this public health crisis. I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin and Representative Bustos to make sure the Arsenal has the support it needs in playing a critical role to help fill production gaps and save lives.”

“Rock Island Arsenal has always answered the nation’s call, and what we saw today was no different,” Senator Durbin said. “As we face the historic COVID-19 pandemic, Rock Island has been able to leverage that expertise – 3D printing components for ventilators, face shields, swabs for test kits, and other critically-needed medical supplies. I’ve been very proud over the years of what we’ve accomplished at Rock Island and I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to invest in opportunities for sustained growth at the Arsenal.”

“The Rock Arsenal is on the cutting edge of technology and the hardworking men and women of the Arsenal have a significant role to play in Illinois and America’s ability to combat COVID-19,” Bustos said. “I have been proud to support the Arsenal’s top-notch manufacturing capabilities over the years and will continue to work with Senators Duckworth and Durbin to make sure that the Arsenal has what it needs.”

Last month, Duckworth, Durbin and Bustos discussed how the U.S. Army is utilizing 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, including how the manufacturing capabilities could be used. Duckworth began the day touring Chicagoland COVID-19 response facilities with Secretary McCarthy and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, including the Cook County Emergency Operations Center and McCormick Place.