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Textron celebrates milestone

Valencia company makes 200,000th missile

Posted: October 16, 2008 8:47 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Air Force Capt. Dennis Chet Cummings addresses HR Textron employees at the company facility in Valencia on Wednesday.

Some of the guided missiles partially manufactured by HR Textron have gone from the streets of Valencia to the battlefields of Iraq.

Textron celebrated making its 200,000th Joint Direct Attack Munition and a conference room full of about 200 managers, employees, suppliers and Boeing customers, celebrated the shipment of the missiles Wednesday at the HR Textron Inc. plant on Rye Canyon Road.

“Everybody’s excited about this and what it means for our country and our war fighters,” said Richard Bartz, director of Aircraft Controls at Textron.

The missile is a GPS-aided guidance kit that converts existing free-fall bombs into accurately guided “smart” weapons, according to Bartz. Textron, an operating unit of Textron Systems, produces the Tail Actuation Subsystem for integration into the JDAMs. Once integrating is complete at Boeing, they are shipped to the military.

Every U.S. Air Force bomber carries the missiles, according to Lt. Col. Susan Miller.

“You meet the urgent operational needs of the war fighter,” Miller said to the crowd. “The war fighters can’t get enough of this. It’s amazing to me how many hands were involved in developing such an incredibly reliable end-product. The end result is, you do save lives.” 

Textron built its first missile in 1996.

“As a teammate for 10 years, I can say we never thought we’d get to 200,000,” said Nan Bond, Boeing’s JDAM chief engineer.

Air Force Capt. Dennis Chet Cummings showed video footage of the missiles in action. Many employees smiled as they watched video of their hard work blow targets to smithereens with acute accuracy.

“It’s important for you guys to see how the product you make is actually saving American lives,” Cummings said. “Please keep building quality products that keep our guys safe all the time.”

For Textron Operations Manager Rick Brandt of Saugus, the milestone means, “more job security in a very stable business,” he said. 

“Our successful partnership with Boeing and the Air Force user allows us to provide job stability and a great setting for employees,” said Textron’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Jeffrey Picard.

Textron relocated from Burbank to the Santa Clarita Valley in the 1960s.

“The area provided our employees with a great place to work as far as housing, community, family support, and a nice climate,” Picard said. “We’re very proud to be part of the SCV.”


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