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DoD Announces Award of Defense Manufacturing, Community Infrastructure Grants; William LaPlante Quoted

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The Department of Defense has awarded 19 grants valued at approximately $90 million combined under the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program and six grants worth about $30 million in total through the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program.

DOD said Friday the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program is a competitive effort that allows states and communities to carry out facility construction and other infrastructure enhancements to improve resiliency of military installations.

One of the grant recipients is the Arizona Department of Transportation, which will make improvements along the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation Canal Bridge and U.S. Route 95 to improve the transportation of service personnel and equipment to and from Yuma Proving Ground.

The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency received a $4.6 million grant to build a new fire station in support of Fort Devens Reserve Forces Training Area.

The Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program is critical in delivering public infrastructure and services that not only benefit our local installations, but help to support our service members, their families, and the Department’s mission while building key partnerships and resiliency at the state and local level,” said William LaPlante, undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner.

The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program helps strengthen the country’s national security innovation base by investing in research and development, small businesses and workforce development.

Six consortia each received a grant worth about $5 million, including Supply Chain of Recovered Elements Consortium led by SAE Government Technologies and Microelectronics Precision Rapid Innovation and Scaling Manufacturing Network Consortium led by the University of Texas at Austin.

“The Department needs to implement a whole-of-nation manufacturing strategy by collaborating with public, private, and academic partners,” LaPlante said.

These Defense Manufacturing Consortia will do just that by working to accelerate the development of critical minerals, help to build up the nation’s shipbuilding workforce, enhance cybersecurity efforts, increase energy storage technologies, and accelerate microelectronic and semiconductor processes – all national security priorities,” he added.