Pratt & Whitney has decided to move about 1,000 of its 11,000-person jet engine workforce in Connecticut to Columbus, Ga., Japan, and Singapore, according to am Associated Press report. The move primarily results from failed negotiations with the machinists union and affects 800 jobs at the plant in Chesire, Conn., which makes the F117 engine for USAF’s C-17 airlifter, according to a report by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. P&W plans to close the Chesire facility by 2011. It also plans to shutter an airfoil repair facility, eliminating another 200 jobs in Connecticut. The good news for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who has fought to preserve P&W’s F135 as the sole engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is that there’s no mention of cuts to the F135 plant in Middletown.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.