Regional development agencies are starting to pull together in support of a Department of Defense program with important economic dynamics in Oklahoma.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is truly a global program. There was striking proof of that last week when U.K. defense company BAE Systems announced it would eliminate close to 3,000 jobs, more than 7 percent of its work force in its home market, to stay competitive. As the biggest U.K manufacturer, BAE Systems has been contracted to build 18 percent of the F-35 program from its onset. Such a layoff threatens not only our ally’s economy and safety, but America’s national security and economy as well.
The anticipated slowdown in the stealth fighter’s production is being felt here and overseas. More men and women are being laid off or threatened with that reality. This is why it’s more important than ever for Congress to reaffirm their support for the F-35 program, and oppose more cuts to this crucial project. Fully funding the stealth fighter means that over 127,000 Americans and thousands more around the world will be able to keep their jobs and keep our economies running – something we must preserve in our current economic environment.
President, Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance