October 22, 2010

CARDIN, MIKULSKI, CUMMINGS WIN FIGHT TO SAVE DEFENSE JOBS IN WESTMINSTER

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (all D-Md.) announced that General Dynamics Robotics Systems in Westminster, Maryland, will be able to keep 118 highly-trained employees working on a critical Army modernization program.

 

The General Dynamics team in Westminster has been working for years to help develop a self-controlled robotic navigation system, called the Autonomous Navigation System, for the next generation of Army land vehicles. When the program ran into funding problems this spring, General Dynamics was forced to notify more than 100 employees that they would be laid off if the problems could not be resolved. The Maryland Congressional Delegation sent a letter in June to the secretary of the Army urging swift action to secure the program, then worked with the Army and General Dynamics management team in Westminster to stabilize the program. As a result, General Dynamics was able to rescind the layoff notices for 118 highly trained engineers and technicians.

 

"This is a great win for Maryland, the safety and security of America's war fighters, and protecting the American taxpayers' interests," said Senator Cardin.  "Projects like the Autonomous Navigation System and companies like General Dynamics are keeping Maryland on the cutting edge of technology and a home for high-quality jobs and careers. I am proud of the coordinated efforts of Team Maryland, which have brought much-needed stability to more than 100 Marylanders, and their families, who are dedicated in their mission to protecting the welfare of our brave soldiers."

 

 "This is about keeping Marylanders at work and keeping America safe," Senator Mikulski said. "I saw this technology first hand when I visited with the Westminster team in the summer of 2008. I know they are delivering value for our troops and the American taxpayer. A stronger America begins at home. That includes keeping highly trained and dedicated engineers and technicians like those in Westminster on the job working to develop the vehicles that will keep our soldiers safe on tomorrow's battlefield. I will keep fighting to save and create jobs, and to make sure the military has the technology it needs to stay on the cutting edge."

 

 "I applaud Senator Mikulski, the Army and General Dynamics, for finding a way to ensure the Autonomous Navigation program remained intact," Congressman Cummings said. "These are the kinds of high-tech, well-paying American jobs that we must keep on our shores. When we are told the government cannot create or save jobs, I point to cases like these, where the government and the private sector came together to keep people working and make sure more than 100 families would continue to have an opportunity to live the American Dream." 

 

 "The Maryland delegation's support was instrumental in preserving the jobs on the Autonomous Navigation System," said Phil Cory, vice president of General Dynamics Robotic Systems.  "Senator Mikulski led the delegation's efforts to stabilize the program and we appreciate everything she did to help keep these talented engineers on the job in Westminster, as well as her support over the years for all of our programs."

 

The ANS is an integrated system of sensors and technology that enables ground vehicles to operate without human intervention. Using it, vehicles can travel from place to place, navigate independently and operate in convoys without drivers.