Mobile, Alabama residents tout economic importance of KC-45 tanker production in new video
KC-45 would be produced in new center of aerospace excellence at the city’s Brookley Industrial Complex
Arlington, Virginia, 21 October 2010
Citizens of Mobile, Alabama, are voicing their support for the EADS North America KC-45, which will reenergize the region’s economy and create real American jobs throughout the country if selected as the U.S. Air Force’s new aerial refueling tanker. KC-45 production would add 1,500 permanent positions and several thousand construction jobs in Mobile alone, with a total of 48,000 Americans building the KC-45 across the U.S.
The boost that KC-45 production would bring – both locally and nationally – is discussed by Mobile workers in the first installment of a new video interview series on www.KC-45now.com titled: “My job. My town. America’s tanker.”
“These video testimonials give voice to the American workers, their families and communities that will directly benefit if we are selected to build the KC-45 here in the U.S.,” said Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., EADS North America Chairman.
Later videos will focus on workers from among the hundreds of companies across the nations that are part of EADS North America’s KC-45 industry team.
The KC-45 will be constructed at a new aerospace center of excellence to be built at Mobile’s Brookley Industrial Complex. If the KC-45 is selected, EADS North America has also committed to building commercial freighter aircraft at the same site, resulting in more than twice as many aircraft produced and sourced in the U.S.
“We all know people who are out of work,” says Mobile interviewee Mike McKenney, who will be part of the team that builds the KC-45 production facilities in Mobile. “The KC-45 would help restart our economy here.”
EADS North America already has begun work on the KC-45 in Alabama. Earlier this year, the company began its transfer of the KC-45 program’s management team –nearly 200 employees – to new offices in Mobile.
Damon Wickware owns a Ford dealership in Mobile. Wickware notes in the video that he has been forced to reduce his workforce by almost half in recent years due to the economic downturn. “That’s what makes it so important to get the tanker contract,” he says, “because it’s going to put money not only into the workers hands but into the local economy.”
EADS North America’s KC-45 tanker is the only solution offered in the Air Force’s competition that is flying and certified today. The KC-45 is the U.S. Air Force configuration of the Airbus Military A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport, which is in production for four U.S. allies, who have chosen it in every competition it has entered against Boeing tankers.
“We want the best plane for our men and women that are fighting for us every day,” says Mobile businesswoman Melissa Morisette, “and we know that this is the best plane. It’s the real plane that’s flying right now.”
In contrast to the yet-to-be-built concept aircraft Boeing is offering the Air Force, the KC-45’s advanced refueling systems have been demonstrated and qualified in a full range of operational conditions, with more than 1,300 aerial refueling contacts and 1.2 million pounds of fuel transferred.
“We are strong supporters of our military,” Wickware says, “and if you’re going to have our people putting their lives on the line, you want a tried and tested product. Our product is tried and tested.”
- To see the “My job. My town. America’s tanker.” video, visit www.kc-45now.com, the official Web site of EADS North America’s KC-45 tanker program.
About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2009, the Group - comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.