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Bradley Industrial Base Suppliers Take a Stand in York County, Pennsylvania

Local companies who contribute to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and other Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) vehicles made their voices heard in response to the threat of a production line shutdown.
Local suppliers to the U.S. Army’s Bradley vehicle manufacturing program gathered at Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings (ILC) in York County, Pennsylvania recently to express their concern about the U.S. Army’s current plan to shut down Bradley Fighting Vehicle production for at least three years starting in mid-2014.

A sustained shutdown of the Bradley production line would result in the loss of approximately 7,000 good jobs across 44 states and threaten the health of 586 suppliers, 245 of whom are small businesses. Several of these businesses were represented at the event.

Hosted by the Manufacturers' Association of South Central Pennsylvania, representatives from several industrial base supplier companies talked about the impact a Bradley production line shutdown will have on communities, economies and jobs in the area. Local, state and federal officials also joined the event to voice their concerns.

Speakers talked about the threat to their business, particularly the ability of the industrial base to be at the ready for the U.S. Army if and when an urgent need arises. This capability will be significantly impacted by the shutdown, with high cost implications to the taxpayer.

BAE Systems, the original equipment manufacturer for four of the five ABCT vehicles in the Army today, has been working with Congress, the Army, and many suppliers over the past several months to determine a solution to this industrial base issue. Rather than building new vehicles, the solution includes upgrades based on the Army’s stated requirements.

“We are proud to support those who defend our freedom,” said Bernie Tucker, owner, Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings (ILC) where the event was held. “But, this shutdown would cause permanent damage to the industrial base and to the readiness of defending our great country.”

In addition, a shutdown of the industrial base would mean the loss of highly skilled jobs. The ripple effect of these lost jobs will be felt hard in the York County community and in communities across the country.

“My company provides more than 7,000 of the parts that go into a Bradley. We’ve sold over 23 million parts to BAE Systems in the past 3 years. If the shutdown happens, we’ll have to cut up to 15-20 employees,” said Craig Siewert, president, Military & Commercial Fasteners Corporation in York. “That’s the impact for one small business. Imagine what it’s like across the whole Bradley supply chain.”

“If the shutdown happens, we will lose six to eight people that day. That’s the reality,” said Scott Cutright, vice-president of Gamlet in York.

“They often say that when the nation is at war the only people who know are the Soldiers who fight it and their families. But I’d expand that definition to include the people at our suppliers and at BAE Systems, who work hard to make sure that our troops in the field have what they need,” said Greg Beshore, supply chain director, BAE Systems Land & Armaments in York. “We are working tirelessly with Congress and the Army to preserve as many jobs as possible.”

“No one is asking for a handout,” said Mike Smeltzer, executive director, Manufacturers Association of South Central Pennsylvania. “We’re proposing a strategic solution to a challenging problem and that solution is a win-win for the Army, for the taxpayer and for all companies involved.”

To learn more about the Bradley industrial base, visit