Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation have written to the Secretary of the Navy asking him to reverse the decision to end maintenance of the president’s helicopter fleet in the state.
The Navy said last week it will end its maintenance contract with Sikorsky, the builder of Marine One, because the two sides have failed to reach agreement on terms. Instead, the Navy will move the work in-house, to its own facility in Florida.
The change affects 85 jobs at Sikorsky’s Stratford plant. Sikorsky hasn't yet said if those workers would be redeployed to other duties, or laid off.
Senator Richard Blumenthal believes moving the work away from Connecticut is a national security issue.
"The supposed savings by moving or relocating this work are a mirage," he told a news conference at the headquarters of the Teamsters Local Union 1150 in Stratford. "The cost effective decision is to leave this work in Connecticut. These helicopters carry the president. There is no room - none - for error."
Blumenthal said he's been in touch with top level executives at Lockheed, Sikorsky's parent company, and he believes the two sides could still reach an agreement.