FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2012
SCHUMER CALLS ON MARINE CORPS TO INVEST $1.5 MILLION IN RIT’S R&D WORK ON MILITARY VEHICLES, AS MORE TRUCKS & EQUIPMENT ARE SHIPPED BACK FROM AFGHANISTAN & IRAQ – SENATOR PUSHES FOR FED INVESTMENT THAT IS CRITICAL TO KEEPING HIGH-TECH MILITARY WORK & JOBS AT RIT
With Uptick in Military Tankers, Trucks & Other Equipment Returning from Afghanistan & Iraq in Coming Years-- Schumer Is Urging Marine Corps. To Invest $1.5 Million in RIT’s Lab, and Bring High- Tech Remanufacture & Equipment Repair Work to Rochester Region
In Personal Conversation With General Amos, Schumer Urges Marine Corps. To Invest In RIT’s Research Lab & Help Ensure Continued Vitality of Lab and its Decade-Long Tradition of Exceptional Military Equipment Work
Schumer: Investment Would Bring High-Tech Work & Jobs to RIT & Bolster Rochester’s R&D Sector
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched a push to provide the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) critical funding through the U.S. Marine Corps, which allows the institution to continue its exceptional applied research for the Marines and Navy to extend the life of vehicles, ships and equipment. Specifically, Schumer pushed the Marine Corps to allocate $1.5 million to the RIT Defense Modernization Research Program, so that this high-technology, job-creating work can continue in the Rochester region as it has for the past decade. With a large number of tankers, trucks and other military vehicles and equipment being returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming years, Schumer highlighted that the remanufacture work at RIT would save the military millions each year, both by resetting military equipment to like-new condition, and through upgrades with new technology. In a personal conversation, Schumer urged the General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, to allocate this critical funding in the FY12 allocations of the U.S. Marine Corps. Asset Life Cycle Management project.
RIT recently analyzed that its work with the Department of Defense has provided the lab significant leverage in technology development. Schumer noted that if the Marine Corps. allocates this $1.5 million investment through their Asset Life Cycle Management project, it will likely result in $3 million in direct funded work with DOD entities at RIT. Not having these research dollars will affect the lab's ability to continue to significantly help technology companies and start-ups in New York in ways which both sustain current high tech jobs and create new ones. This leverage has a significant impact in bringing work to RIT’s lab, including assisting companies like Klein Steel develop new business opportunities. If RIT were to miss out on this $1.5 million investment, the institution would lose this critical technology development, which would have a ripple impact on RIT’s program as a whole, that would result in a decline in revenue and could translate into a significant reduction in the labs workforce.
“In the coming years, more and more high-tech military equipment will return home from Iraq and Afghanistan in need of repair. It is now more important than ever that the Marine Corps. and Rochester Institute of Technology should be partners in the mission to ensure our military has top-notch equipment and that the cutting-edge repair work is done in Rochester,” said Schumer. “That is why I’m calling on the Marine Corps to allocate federal funding to RIT, in order to sustain its state-of-the-art laboratory that allows this incredible research institution to best remanufacture and extend the life of Navy and Marine combat vehicles, ships and other systems and equipment. This investment would allow the Rochester Institute of Technology to continue supporting our troops overseas by ensuring they have the best tools available to do their jobs, all while investing in local technology, local jobs, and the Rochester region’s cutting edge reputation for research and development.”
RIT’s Defense Modernization and Sustainment Initiative’s mission is to improve the modernization, readiness and sustainment of defense systems by developing processes and tools to track the status and future health of defense systems; detect, diagnose and repair material aging failures; and provide decision support systems for use in determining when and how to upgrade these systems. The Department of Defense, while developing new systems that will enable major advances in military capability, must simultaneously maintain and improve the capabilities of existing systems. The number and complexity of legacy systems, as well as the replacement costs, demand that attention and resources continue to be effectively allocated to current systems. RIT’s research program provides DOD with a comprehensive approach to address these issues based on life-cycle engineering principles. Over the past decade, RIT’s work has yielded significant cost savings for the manufacture and upgrade of several platforms and systems, as well as significantly extending the life of existing systems. For example, one project that has been conducted at RIT aims to improve the maintenance and extend the life of the military’s fleet of Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs), and is projected to reduce maintenance costs by $2.1 million per year, and $42 million over the life cycle of the platform. In addition, this work will allow the service life of the current fleet to be extended by 20-25 years. These vehicles were originally scheduled for retirement in 2003.
Schumer personally called General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and urged him to provide Rochester Institute of Technology with the $1.5 million in funding that is necessary for the laboratory to continue its work in military research and development, and repairing heavily used equipment returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Without this funding and this work load, there will not be adequate work volume to keep the lab going into the significant future, and high-tech jobs in the region could be at risk.