Defense contractors move in -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Defense contractors move in

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A large defense contractor is setting up shop in Albany. Lockheed Martin will open an office in the old Bob's Candies building on Pine Avenue.

Lockheed is one of six companies vying for contracts on military equipment coming to Albany from Iraq and Afghanistan. It will eventually mean jobs and big business for Albany.

All sorts of equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan will be re-furbished by defense contractors. While that work is months away, these contractors are moving into town in the hopes they'll get the bid to do the work.

Logistics Command at the Marine Corps Logistics Base is already busy, but later this year that work will pick up when equipment returned from Iraq and Afghanistan is over-hauled.

"It will take years and years to complete the task, there's different paint work, there's different machine work, body work," said Assistant City Manager Wes Smith.

Their office is just getting set up in the old Bob's Candies building, but Lockheed Martin is the latest defense contractor to join the list. The company's had contracts with the base since 2003, but say, "Opening an office here is a common-sense move to support current and emerging U. S. Marine Corps requirements. They're dedicated to supporting the needs of our Marine Corps customers."

"They're requiring these companies to have a local contract office, to actually have a physical presence in our community," said EDC President Ted Clem.

General Dynamics, L-3 Command and Control Systems, BAE Systems, SAIC, CBAIA, have all set up offices. While staffs are small, that will grow when the work starts. The deadline for proposals was extended to mid-February. Four or five contractors will compete for the final bids.

City leaders feel if the work goes well it could mean work beyond what's promised. "As the skill level that the companies have with their employees increases then because of that the Marines they are able to get more done in Albany because of the skill sets that they have here," Clem said.

Leaving local leaders excited about the long term potential this project could have on Albany.

Lockheed Martin will host an open house at the end of the month to introduce themselves to the business community.

In October, the Marine Base announced it unloaded its last container of military equipment from Iraq.

That equipment filled more than 300,000 square feet of warehouse space and three huge parking lots. It's the largest volume of equipment ever at the base.


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