WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran who served for 23 years in the Iowa Army National Guard and Army Reserves, successfully included provisions that will directly benefit Iowa and its economy in the National Defense Authorization Act that passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

“From funding for COVID-19 vaccine research through Iowa State to increased manufacturing at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, the Rock Island Arsenal, and through a new DOD partnership with the University of Northern Iowa, this defense bill includes a number of key initiatives for Iowa’s economy and our state’s role in helping secure our national defense” said Senator Ernst, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

Senator Ernst’s wins for Iowa include her work to:

  • Fund COVID-19 vaccine research through Iowa State University.
  • Fund the Metals Affordability Initiative at Iowa State University to help reduce costs of hypersonics, additive manufacturing, and engine repair.
  • Increase manufacturing of ammunition, mortars, and artillery at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, which employs nearly 1,000 Iowans.
  • Support the Department of Defense (DOD) partnership with the University of Northern Iowa to increase the number of small- to midsize employers that can perform additive manufacturing, automation, and robotics metal-casting technologies.
  • Direct the Pentagon to purchase and deploy 105mm and 155mm lightweight, self-propelled artillery systems for the Army, which are manufactured at the Rock Island Arsenal.
  • Recognize the success of the U.S. Navy led Tactical Combat Training System – II, built by Iowans at the Collins Aerospace plant in Cedar Rapids

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