LIMA, Ohio (WDTN) — The Secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth, toured the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima Thursday to learn more about the work being done to keep the nation’s military prepared.

Employees at the JSMC in Lima help build and maintain some of the most advanced pieces of equipment for the U.S. Military.

“The Abrams tank, the M1A2 SEP v3 is the best tank in the world. It’s the most sophisticated tank that there is. It is made to incredibly exacting, rigorous standards,” Wormuth explained.

These tanks will help protect U.S. allies from Russian forces. Secretary Wormuth said the tanks made in Lima will be sent to Poland, a NATO ally, to help strengthen its military.

“The first of the new tanks that will be built here will arrive in January of 2025,” Wormuth said.

Because of the work being done at the JSMC, the U.S. Army wants to make sure it can continue to make quality tanks and combat vehicles. The facility in Lima will be part of a more than $17 billion modernization plan to keep Army defense operations up-to-date.

“Just here at Lima in the next 15 years, the Army will be investing almost $580 million to upgrade the engineering machines, for example, that are used, whether it’s to make tanks or Strykers, or we’re going to be building the turret for the new mobile protective fire power system here at Lima,” Wormuth explained.

Secretary Wormuth said this is good news for the economy in Ohio, and for the more than 800 people who work at the plant.

“I saw on the manufacturing floor, they had pictures of soldiers to remind themselves kind of that the end user of the systems that are made here are our war fighters. And I think that’s very powerful in terms of motivating them to, again, make sure that all of the welds meet the exacting standards,” Wormuth said.

As for whether the tanks being made here will be used in Ukraine, Secretary Wormuth said they are still working out which variant of tank they will be sending over.