Task Force Lima, the group charged with keeping the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima open, touring Veyance Technologies in St. Marys.
"It's a very complex operation down here, and it's important to have it so close to our facility in Lima," said Keith Deters, JSMC plant manager.
The factory, which is just 25 miles from the JSMC, supplies track for military vehicles including the Abrams tank. If plans to mothball the tank plant proceed, suppliers, like Veyance, will also suffer.
"We would undoubtedly go through additional layoffs. We would idle equipment, and our subcontractors would also have to idle a lot of their people and their equipment. And, quite frankly some of the subcontractors would likely go out of business," said Mike Hoying, business manager for military products at Veyance.
Those concerns were discussed during a meeting and plant tour, but the group also discussed a story produced by CNN which shows rows and rows of tanks sitting idle in the desert. During the meeting, Deters said the story was misleading.
"Some of the tanks in the pictures from the Sierra are not tanks that are field ready for our soldiers to go in. I think that if you saw the story and didn't understand that side of it, it might be a little bit unclear what actually Lima is all about and what we do as far as the Abrams business here in town," said Deters.
The task force plans to write a letter outlining their views, so supporters can combat possible backlash generated by the report.
There have been calls to shut down the JSMC until more tanks are needed. However, Task Force members, including those from Veyance, say a shutdown and then subsequent ramp up would waste both time and money.
"It would very likely take multiple years to get those qualifications back," said Hoying.
Task Force Lima will continue to meet monthly with the next meeting scheduled for November 8th.