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Carl: South Alabama continues leading as an aerospace hub

Whether it’s Austal Shipyard in Mobile, Fort Rucker in the Wiregrass, Maxwell-Gunter Airforce Base in Montgomery, or Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama’s contributions to our nation’s military strength and defense programs are critical to national security. South Alabama has been a hub of the aerospace industry for many years, and now – thanks to a partnership between Airbus and Lockheed Martin – we have the opportunity to expand Alabama’s impact not only on the aerospace industry but also on our nation’s defense needs.

Between Russia’s aggression in Eastern Europe, China’s aggression in Taiwan, or the instability in the Middle East, our armed forces have to stand ready to protect America’s defense interests and support our allies across the globe. Delivering on these goals means our men and women in the armed forces need top-notch equipment so they can do their job well. I’m proud that Alabama will be able to play an even bigger role in meeting these needs thanks to this new partnership between Airbus and Lockheed Martin.

Currently, Airbus in Mobile has two different lines to build commercial aircraft. With their new partnership with Lockheed Martin, Airbus stands ready to build A330s right here in Mobile before sending them to Lockheed Martin’s facility in Georgia to convert them into tankers for the Air Force. These tankers are basically gas stations in the sky and will be used to refuel planes across the globe and ensure our military stays force-ready at all times.

I applaud Airbus and Lockheed Martin for choosing Mobile for this project, and I have full confidence our highly skilled local workforce has the capability to build the world’s best tanker for the best Air Force in the world right here in south Alabama. This A330 aircraft is already known to be a proven solution for the Air Force, and I’m proud my colleagues in the Alabama delegation and I were able to work together and get this project moving.

This new partnership between Airbus and Lockheed Martin means so much to our district, our state, and our nation, and I couldn’t be more excited that these planes will be built in Alabama by Alabamians for all Americans.

Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.

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