Building on a feasibility study commissioned by the Government of Guam, the Applied Science & Technology Research Organization of America (ASTRO America) will receive $550,000 from BlueForge Alliance, the Navy’s submarine industrial base team leader, to strengthen the U.S. Navy’s industrial base by developing an additive manufacturing workforce and technology center in Guam.
Following a feasibility study commissioned by the Guam Economic Development Authority, plans are now underway to establish an education and technology center. This should not only promote the local economy, but also meet military needs. Guam’s strategic location presents logistical challenges, particularly in the supply and storage of spare parts for key naval platforms such as attack and strategic submarines. Additive manufacturing could overcome these challenges directly on site.
However, establishing an on-demand manufacturing facility requires well-equipped facilities and a skilled labor force in Guam. ASTRO America is therefore working with the Navy, the Guam Economic Development Authority and the University of Guam to establish an accredited satellite additive manufacturing campus and test lab in Guam.
“Guam has long served as a crucial base of operations for the U.S. Navy,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “Now, together, we can bring a technology revolution to Guam that will both create new job opportunities and contribute to America’s national security interests. I saw the potential that Additive Manufacturing provides for Guam and commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of supporting Department of Defense and commercial sector needs. Indeed, Additive manufacturing shows great promise for achieving our administration’s economic diversification goals, and I look forward to partnering with the Navy and this team to build a submarine industrial base here in Guam.”
“America’s submarine fleet is the envy of the world— renowned for its unparalleled durability and stealth, as well as its vast mission-set: from surveillance/reconnaissance to strategic deterrence,” said ASTRO America President Neal Orringer (former Department of Defense Director of Manufacturing). “ASTRO is proud to join forces with Guam’s leaders to help the Navy maintain this crucial advantage, while helping create new high-tech industries and jobs for the people of Guam.”
The project is being realized through a collaboration with Navy officials and additive manufacturing experts from academia and industry. The goal is to develop a framework and ultimately establish a site and development plan for the new education and technology center. This should not only enable workforce development and productive manufacturing on the island, but also meet the operational and manufacturing requirements for the maintenance and repair of ships.
The realization of the project is based on the findings of the first phase of the feasibility study and a forthcoming report to develop an ecosystem tailored to the specific requirements of 3D printing and the unique economic and geopolitical conditions of Guam. Both reports will play an important role in advancing both economic and security needs through the development of additive manufacturing on Guam.