Boeing to End Production of C-17 Globemaster III and Close C-17 Facility

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Boeing C-17 Globetrotter

“While the desire for the C-17’s capabilities is high, budgets cannot support additional purchases in the timing required to keep the production line open,” said Boeing’s Dennis Muilenburg.

Boeing [NYSE: BA] will complete production of the C-17 Globemaster III and close the C-17 final assembly facility in Long Beach, Calif. in 2015.

“Ending C-17 production was a very difficult but necessary decision,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security.  “We want to thank the highly skilled and talented employees who have built this great airlifter for more than two decades– and those who will help us as we continue to build the remaining 22 aircraft and support and modernize the global fleet for decades to come. The C-17 remains the world’s most capable airlifter with unmatched readiness and cost effectiveness.” 

Boeing will continue after-delivery support of the worldwide C-17 fleet as part of the C-17 Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics agreement. The GISP “virtual fleet” arrangement provides the highest airlift mission-capable rate at one of the lowest costs per flying hour.

“This is the end of an era that started in the 1940’s with Long Beach being the home of aircraft manufacturing where the best planes ever built have been produced,” said 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske, in whose district Boeing resides. “The production of excellent aircraft for military and commercial use has provided thousands of well paying jobs for Long Beach residents, and has been the heart of skilled trades jobs in our community.”

Nearly 3,000 employees support the C-17 production program in Long Beach; Macon, Ga.; Mesa, Ariz.and St. Louis. Workforce reductions will begin in early 2014 and continue through closure.  Boeing will provide employee assistance including job search resources, financial counseling, retirement seminars and help locating potential jobs within and outside of the company.

“While the desire for the C-17’s capabilities is high, budgets cannot support additional purchases in the timing required to keep the production line open,” Muilenburg added.  “What’s more, here in the United States the sequestration situation has created significant planning difficulties for our customers and the entire aerospace industry.  Such uncertainty forces difficult decisions like this C-17 line closure. We will continue to make tough but necessary decisions to drive affordability and preserve our ability to invest for the future.”

“We recognize how closing the C-17 line will affect the lives of the men and women who work here, and we will do everything possible to assist our employees, their families and our community,” said Nan Bouchard, vice president and C-17 program manager.

Boeing has been a part of California and its rich aerospace legacy for more than 90 years. Boeing has approximately 20,000 employees in California.

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