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Importance of Industrial Base Takes Center Stage At Johnstown Showcase

Heidi Shyu, ASA (ALT), was one of the many VIPs that visited the BAE Systems display during the Johnstown Showcase for Commerce.
From the Bradley on the street out front to the large booth strategically positioned at the entrance to the exhibition floor, you couldn’t miss BAE Systems at the recent Johnstown, Pa., Showcase For Commerce defense trade show.

The company’s robust presence at the event had a clear goal:  to help illustrate the vital capabilities of the armored combat vehicle industrial base and the importance of safeguarding them in order to protect taxpayer dollars, preserve jobs and ensure warfighter needs continue to be met.

Senior leaders such Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Armored Combat Systems, emphasized these themes during their talks with key government defense decision makers at the 23rd annual Showcase, held May 29-31 in Johnstown, a city located about 65 miles east of Pittsburgh.

“This year’s Showcase for Commerce was one of our most successful,” said Signorelli. “We were able to meet with several members of Congress and high level DoD personnel about the importance of maintaining the Bradley Industrial Base, while seated in a Bradley fighting vehicle, provided a perfect backdrop to frame the solution we were promoting.”

At issue is the Army’s current plan to shut down Bradley Fighting Vehicle production for at least three years starting in mid-2014. Company leaders are working with Congress and the Army toward a balanced solution that will benefit the BAE Systems, the supplier base, and the Soldier. 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 show.

To avoid those outcomes, BAE Systems leaders met with key decision makers during the show to promote our solution, which, rather than building new vehicles, includes upgrades based on the Army’s stated requirements.  During Showcase activities, company officials met with key leaders including U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Heidi Shyu, U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.

“Maintaining a viable Bradley Industrial Base is a win-win outcome for the Army, BAE Systems and its supplier base, and the American taxpayer,” explained Signorelli. “We made great strides during the show toward achieving that goal.”

To learn more about the Bradley industrial base, visit www.baesystems.com/bradleyindustrialbase.