Tuesday AM November 24th, 2009

The seal FMTV Task Force joined political and business leaders in Houston to address an army decision to award a military vehicle contract to a competitor. Ed Mayberry reports how that could translate to an annual $1.8 billion loss for the region.

Over 3,000 jobs are at stake at BAE System's Sealy facility, which has produced armored vehicles for 17 years.  The U.S. Army recently decided to award the new contract to a Wisconsin firm—a decision that's being investigated by the Government Accountability Office.  U.S Representative Mike McCaul is hopeful that the GAO will find that the Army's decision-making process was flawed.

"If someone is playing politics in the Pentagon, we're going to find out about it and expose the truth.  I'm working strongly with the Texas delegation to overturn this decision.  The Government Accountability Office is conducting an investigation as I speak.  Their report should be due by December the 15th, and it is my sincere hope that the brave men and women—the patriots who work at BAE—will have an early Christmas gift when the Pentagon's decision is reversed."

Congressman McCaul says there are other avenues if BAE Systems doesn't prevail in getting the Armys' contract decision reversed.

"We're going to look at keeping the facility open and getting other contracts, but it's our sincere hope.  You know, I don't think BAE has ever, ever appealed a decision.  There's so many flaws in this decision-making process that we feel very optimistic that on December 15th the GAO's going to find, come to that same conclusion and reverse this contract award.  Ask the question, 'why, why Wisconsin?'  I think it raises a lot of political concerns, as well."

McCaul spoke before a backdrop of 17 heavily armored vehicles parked outside Minute Maid Park, each representing a year that the so-called FMTV has been built in Sealy. 
 

BAE Systems trucks and Congressman Mike McCaul

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...