By Patric Flannigan
This article was published December 12, 2014 in the Camden News
CAMDEN — Sustaining success has always been a part of Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control’s reputation and as the 2012 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, it come as no surprise that Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of another achievement for the company.
Lockheed Martin executives marked the anniversary Thursday by hosting company representatives from Dallas, Texas, and by personally thanking employees.
In 1994, LMMFC won a contract to start developing the PAC-3 Missile. Then in 2002, the company made a decision to make Camden the site of the PAC-3 production line. At the time, Camden’s facility had already been manufacturing the Multiple Lunch Rocket System missiles for 10 years.
“Based on the tremendous performance we had from the Camden workforce, we decided to put the PAC-3 system here,” said Scott Arnold, vice president of precision fires for LMMFC. “Not only is it our 20th anniversary, but we have completed and delivered 2,000 PAC-3’s to our customers now.”
Arnold described the PAC-3 as a “critical weapon system.”
“It’s the only proven hit-to-kill air defense weapon system, which means it can intercept and make body-to-body contact with enemy ballistic missiles, cruise missile, or fixed wing air crafts,” Arnold explained. “It’s a very versatile air-defense system and critical to U.S. forces and their allies when they are deployed.”
Arnold, who made the trip to Camden from Dallas with LMMFC site operations manager Doug Key, spoke highly of the Camden workforce. He said that the Camden facility did all of the final assembly, detailed manufacturing, electrical connection, and shipping for the missiles, and that Camden employees were the last to touch the missiles before they were used in combat.
“One of the reasons we came here is because the Camden workforce has been so important to the program over the years,” Arnold said proudly. “We wanted to tell the team that what they do here makes a difference in terms of protecting the men and women who are saving for the nation. So we just wanted to tell them ‘thank you’ and congratulate them for 20 years of great work.”
The Camden operations of LMMFC’s contribution to the PAC-3 missile manufacturing is especially significant when considering what could be on the horizon for the company, according to news releases. Similar to 20 years ago with the PAC-3, LMMFC is in competition to develop the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.
In September, the Camden facility proved that it was ready for production of the JLTV’s by passing the government’s Production Readiness Review.