AS WARS DRAW DOWN, SCHUMER VOWS CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR LOCKHEED MARTIN IN OWEGO PUSHES TO PRESERVE PLANNED HELICOPTER CONTRACTS, LIKE COMBAT RESCUE, AND WILL FIGHT FOR NEXT PRESIDENTIAL MARINE ONE CONTRACT
brSchumer Visits Lockheed Martin Owegos Employees Top Executives to Fight on Behalf of Existing and Pending Contracts Between the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin team U.S. Military, Including Air Forces Combat Rescue Helicopter Contract Schumer Vows Staunch Support For Lockheeds 2,700 Employees in Owego As Wars Draw DownbrbrSchumer Also Launches Effort For The Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin Team to Win Contract to Build New Fleet of 21 Presidential Helicopters Schumer: Lockheed Martin Must Continue to Fly
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer visited Lockheed Martin Owego employees and executives to vow his continued support for this major regional employer, which provides topnotch aircraft for our nation's military and is an anchor for the local economy. Specifically, Schumer focused his push on preserving planned defense contracts between the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin team and the U.S. Military in order to defend the 2,700 employees in Owego and promote the potential for expansion. One such contract is the Air Force's Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) mission, the future of which has been subject to an internal Air Force restructuring debate, and for which Schumer recently weighed in with top Air Force brass and is optimistic. Schumer stated this CRH program must be an ongoing focus as the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan are drawn down. Schumer also launched his fight for Lockheed Martin to help make the next fleet of Marine One helicopters for the President of the United States. Schumer explained that Lockheed Martin is on the team competing for the contract to build the new fleet of 21 Presidential Helicopters - Marine One - along with its partner, Sikorsky to replace the 35 and 40 yearold current fleet of Presidential helicopters, a process that was launched after the President scuttled the first bid process for being too expensive. Schumer launched his fight for the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin team to be awarded this contract, which would create and sustain hundreds of highskilled jobs in Owego and bring great prestige to the company and region, should they be selected.
"Lockheed Martin is a flagship New York company and an anchor for the Tioga County economy and the entire Southern Tier; and I am working to secure planned contracts - like the Combat Rescue Helicopter - and a potential new contract to build the 'Marine One' fleet so they can maintain and grow their presence in the region," said Schumer. "I have gone straight to the top and spoken with Air Force Secretary Fanning and pressed upon him the quality of Lockheed Martin's products and the incredible skill of their Tioga workforce-and I am urging the Navy to return Marine One production to Owego and support the SikorskyLockheed Martin bid for the presidential helicopter fleet. As the wars draw down, I'm fighting to help Lockheed Martin keep existing work, but also to have Marine One helicopters stamped 'Made in NY', which would bring new jobs to Lockheed, prestige and pride to the region, and help the local economy take flight."
"I appreciate Senator Schumer taking the time to visit the facility today and speak with employees. He has been a strong supporter of the site and our programs and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future," said Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin Owego General Manager and Aviation Systems Vice President.
Standing inside Lockheed Martin's Tioga facility, joined by top executives from Lockheed Martin, employees, county economic development professionals and local elected officials, Schumer explained that he had a twostep plan to maintain the current workforce at Tioga and seek out opportunities for contracts that would let Lockheed Martin bring on more workers. First, Schumer pointed to a pending Air Force contract to procure a new, dedicated fleet of Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Helicopters, saying that the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin Combat Rescue Helicopters are the best aircraft for the fleet. The SikorskyLockheed Martin team is inline to receive the contract. The existing fleet of HH60s is old and needs replacing, and Schumer highlighted that other alternatives, like the CV22s, were illequipped for CSAR missions. Schumer spoke to Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning to ensure the Air Force continues with the current plan of procuring a dedicated fleet of new CSAR helicopters, and that this fleet would be made by SikorskyLockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin has estimated that as long as the company executes this planned contract, it could create or maintain approximately 250 jobs.
Secondly, Schumer launched his push to secure a Navy contract to build the new fleet of presidential helicopters, known as 'Marine One.' Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky have joined to submit a bid, and if they are selected, a large portion of the work would be performed at Lockheed Martin's Tioga facility. The contract would add or sustain an estimated 250 highskilled jobs to the Lockheed Martin facility in Tioga. Schumer noted that the current fleet of presidential helicopters is comprised of Sikorsky Black Hawk/Sea King models that are 35 and 40 years old, and they are in serious need of replacing. The Navy contract is for a fleet of 23 new presidential helicopters, 21 for use and 2 for testing.
In 2005, it was proposed that a new Marine One fleet be built, but in 2009, the contract intended for Lockheed Martin Owego was brought into question. Schumer worked with leaders in the Administration and appropriators to mitigate damage and negative job impact by negotiating a compromise that provided $100 million in funding to Lockheed Martin for mission systems and other technology work associated with the VH71 program. As a result, 250 engineer jobs were saved at the Lockheed Martin Owego location, which helped minimize job losses. Now, Schumer is reviving his push for the Marine One helicopters to again be 'Made in New York', and will fight to ensure that plans move forward for updating this Presidential fleet, and that the work goes to the Sikorsky -Lockheed Martin team.