“Washington, D.C. – The US Army has been pushing a plan that essentially would have suspended tank building and upgrades in the US for the first time since World War II in numerous Congressional hearings over the course of three years.
“Every year, Congress has pushed back. Last week, Congress won again in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. The new defense spending bill includes $120 million for tanks that the Army has repeatedly said it’s not interested in acquiring.
“Republican Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said in a statement that Congress “recognizes the necessity of the Abrams tank to our national security and authorizes and additional $120 million for Abrams tank upgrades. This provision keeps the production lines open in Lima, Ohio, and ensures that our skilled technical workers are protected.”
“Interestingly, Turner chairs the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee and will retain that position in the next Congress. His district includes the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Lima, which happens to be the only US manufacturer of tanks.
On the other side of the table (or tank), the US Army can’t seem to catch a break from politics.
“We did send him a Thanksgiving card, but this is not what we had in mind as an expression of gratitude. I mean sure, the Army could always use another tank of two, but we’re already packing 9,000 latest Abrams models, and we really don’t need any more. Another nuke or two would have been nice, though” says Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff.
He added: “if the Congress keeps ignoring the military’s recommendations on the budget, we might just wrap a big red bow around an Abrams tank and park it in front of Turner’s house. We’re not sure about his taste in motor vehicles, but at least that’d be one hell of a wake-up call.”