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December 15, 2011

The Honorable Can Le\1n

U . S. Senato r

269 Russe l l Senate Office Building

Washington , D . C. 20510

Dear Senator Le\1n:

As we work to get our economy on track and reCO\A9rfrom the recession that hurt so many Americans , we need to focus on the types of projects that promise long term i nnovation and stability for our country. With the military looking to replace its aging fighter aircraft fleet with the state-of-the-art F-35, we have a rare opportunity to put Americans back to work and build on an industry where our country retains a competi ti ve advantage .

The F-35 program has already created impor t ant high technology aerospace jobs that help to build the kind of highly sk i lled workforce our nation needs to remain competitlve and prosperous . With 127 , 000 people

d i rectly and i ndirec t ly employed by the program, the F-35 is already an important job creator. These numbe r s will continue to grow as the prog r am reaches full rate production .

I write in support o f the more than two dozen h i gh-tech job provders in Michigan - one of them is loca t ed i n Jackson - who are part of the F-35 suppl i er base for Lockheed Martin. O\A9r2,500 direct and i ndirect jobs are currently located at F-35 suppliers in Michigan because this project. As you know , our state i s still dealing w i th double-digit unemployment. We need these h i ghly-advanced technology jobs to be sustained and grow in the near future if Mich i gan is to ever reCO\A9rfrom this severe economic downtum .

Unfortunately, there are some in the current Congress who are contemplating cuts in the F-35 program. think that's a bad idea. The F-35 production facility and supply chain were designed to max i mize efficiencies and minimize costs with increased volume. Any slowdown in production now will increase costs and delay i nitial deliveries to our military. Reducing the number of F-35s we invest in also means less investment into a sector that p r ovdes much needed jobs here i n our state. With component parts coming from suppliers from across the country, reducing the number of F-35s we buy or even slowing down production will hurt more than just our national security .

These a r e the kinds of projects that help us rema i n competitive with countries like Ch i na and Russia , who are mak i ng inroads on the i r own fighter jets . Working on the F - 35 , the most advanced fighter ever developed , shows the cont i nued value and ingenu i ty of the American wo r ker.

As you go about the process of mak i ng cr i tical decisions

support full funding for the F-35 - an important fixture for our nation's military security and a much needed job creato r.

that will affect our nation's future, I urge you to


City Counci l man

Jackson, MI

ob i es


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