Mid-South lawmakers rally to keep Abrams tank rolling

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army would like to save $1.3 billion by suspending production of the Abrams tank for up to four years, but 137 members of Congress, including all four from Mississippi, have asked the Army secretary to reconsider the decision.

The lawmakers assert that the decision to stop tank production for the first time since 1941 would affect the U.S. industrial base and “could end up costing more in the long run and result in lost capacity and readiness.” They also suggest it could have an impact on the “war-fighting capabilities of our Army and continued availability of critical resources for our troops.”

They urged Army Secretary John McHugh to consider producing 70 tanks a year from 2013 to 2017 when the next generation of the tank will be ready to go on the government-owned assembly line near Lima, Ohio.

Among those signing the letter were U.S. Reps. Alan Nunnelee, Steven Palazzo and Gregg Harper, all R-Miss., and Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., as well as Mike Ross, D-Ark. No representatives from Tennessee signed the letter.

Commercial Appeal