Schumer Calls Rumsfeld To Lobby For Lockheed Martin's Bid For Marine One Contract
With Decision Imminent on Major Job-Creating Copter Contract, Schumer Places Personal Phone Call to Tout Lockheeds US 101Schumer: Decision Should Be Made on Merits, Lockheed Best Suited To Produce Copter
US Senator Charles E. Schumer in a phone call late Wednesday personally pushed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to use his influence to help award Lockheed Martins Owego plant a massive multimillion dollar presidential helicopter contract. Schumer, who has been aggressively lobbying the Pentagon, said that Lockheeds US 101 is unsurpassed in exceeding all safety and security requirements. Schumer spoke with Rumsfeld, who was receptive to Schumers request that this decision be made on the merits, and said he would discuss it with other key decision makers.
The US 101's unique capabilities make it ideally suited to serve as the next Presidential helicopter," Schumer said. I'm putting the pressure on Secretary Rumsfeld so that he understands that this decision must be made on the merits. We need the best helicopter out there to transport the President. That helicopter is the US 101. Needless to say, delivering this contract to the Lockheed plant would be huge for the local economy, and Im doing everything possible to get it done.
If Lockheed Martin were to get the contract to build helicopters that transport the President, local officials believe it would result in hundreds of new jobs coming to Owego.
In August of 2003, the US Navy selected Lockheed Martin and United Technology Corporations Sikorsky Aircraft unit to compete the for the contract to build the new Marine One helicopter fleet that will fly the President. In January of 2004, Schumer visited the Lockheed plant in Owego to tour the site and show his support for the bid. The proposals were submitted in February of 2004. The presidential fleet contract, which could be the first if several big defense contracts over the next few years, could result in hundreds of new jobs at Lockheeds Owego plant, according to the company.
Schumer said that he supports the US 101 bid because it could create 700 jobs in Owego, and because the Lockheed helicopter is uniquely equipped to handle transporting the President. The contract on the Presidential fleet would allow the selected company to lead production of presidential helicopters that fly the President from the White House lawn to local destinations or to Air Force One for longer trips. The aircraft would be delivered by 2007. Schumer has also lobbied the other high ranking Administration Officials on Lockheed's behalf.
The Lockheed Martin US 101 offers a cabin onethird larger than the competition and has three engines for additional flight safety. In addition, it has a proven track record, having logged more than 45,000 flight hours and seen service in Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to Lockheed Martin, the US 101 will be equipped with an enhanced Defensive Aids Suite as well as stateoftheart communications equipment, and will provide improvements in safety, travel range, the ability to operate in bad weather, and a number of other critical areas. LMO established itself as a key provider of military technology in the 1950s and has since been a global leader in providing advanced technology products and services for the US armed forces.