Congressman Michael McCaul joined a celebration held at the Sealy production facility, recognizing 17 years of defense work that has produced more than 56,000 FMTV's, or Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles.
"Today we begin the fight to keep the best-made tactical vehicle right here in Sealy, Texas.Î¾ And I'm ready to fight for the American taxpayer who is already getting the highest quality for the lowest price."
More than 40 vehicles are produced each day at the plant on I-10 — many of them bound for Iraq and Afghanistan, as BAE Systems' Dennis Morris notes in a company wide gathering.
"Supporting our troops is a way for us at BAE Systems.Î¾ We understand that with every bolt we turn, every part we weld and every part we paint, we do it with excellence because of our men and women in uniform.Î¾ For many of those in the audience today, a specific soldier, sailor, airmanÎ¾ or Marine might be on their mind as they go about their work.Î¾ That is because so many of our Texas employees have served, are serving, or have family members serving in the military."Î¾Î¾
Morris says a competitor would have to start from scratch and outfit a facility to begin producing the trucks.Î¾ He says the Army selected the Wisconsin firm based solely on price, which was only part of the stated evaluation criteria.
"They said this was going to be a 'best value,' meaning looking at all the factors, you know, in combination.Î¾ They pretty much leveled everybody technically and said they were going to make the decision based on price.Î¾ Now, the fact that we've been doing this for so long, we know how, what the price is costs to do one of these vehicles.Î¾ And we took a very aggressive, consistent approach to that.Î¾ And we were underbid significantly, which shows us that this was a very unrealistic bid, and could put huge risks to the program, long-term."Î¾Î¾
Existing FMTV commitments will keep the factory working through 2010.Î¾ Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.