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Military Contractors

Orange County's sizable defense industry could experience some job losses as a result of the Pentagon's proposal to halt new weapons production, but contractors involved primarily in weapons research and development should see little or no effect. Almost 82,000 people work in the county's technology industry, according to the state Employment Development Department. About half of those employees work for firms largely devoted to defense and aerospace projects.
October 21, 1990
The frequency with which our military equipment is falling apart in Saudi Arabia and the increasing number of accidents give Saddam Hussein much hope. In a year's time, the mighty American military machine will have gradually self-destructed because of hasty design and workmanship. No need for gas and germ wars. The greed and corruption of American military contractors are doing the job for him. Now, if we can only get Hussein interested in buying the stuff, then we'll know for sure that his bark is worse than his bite.
The last of the aerospace industry Titans, the men who became synonymous with their corporations and the aircraft they produced, is gone with the departure of Thomas V. Jones as chief executive of Northrop Corp. Jones, who at Northrop's helm for 30 years came to personify the maverick aerospace company and who survived an astonishing succession of personal controversies, will remain its chairman but will retire today as an employee of the company.
June 11, 1989
T he recent announcements of major layoffs in Southern California by Hughes Aircraft and Northrop Corp. illustrate how hard the region can be hit by a slowdown in military spending. To protect communities against boom-and-bust economic cycles, peace activists, union leaders and others are urging military contractors to convert at least some of their production capacity to civilian use. But would that sort of changeover really be in the nation's best interest? And are the contractors capable of switching to non-military businesses?
May 25, 1989 | TOM SHULL, Tom Shull, a management consultant, was the military assistant to former National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane
In the past, discussions about military waste have centered on excess spending at the Pentagon, such as the now infamous $435 hammer or the $659 ashtray. From such extreme examples came suggestions on how to contain military hardware costs in the Pentagon. If the new policies and procedures are measured in pounds of paper, the reforms have been spectacularly successful. But they are a dismal failure if measured by improvements in the cost, delivery time and performance of our weapons systems.
May 1, 1989 | KIM MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
Midway through the Civil War, somebody in Washington figured something was rotten on the battlefields of Virginia. The cavalry was being sold the same horses two and three times over. The Army tried to fire its gunpowder and found it had been blended with sawdust. Instead of "serviceable muskets and pistols," recounted one journalist of the day, the government got "the experimental failures of sanguine inventors." An outraged Congress, declaring that "it takes a rogue to catch a rogue," enlisted private citizens in the war on military contracting fraud, adopting a statute that would entice them to come forward by allowing them to file civil fraud lawsuits on behalf of the government and share in any fines or settlements collected.
October 13, 1988
The two owners of a South Gate machine shop have been sentenced to prison for supplying the government with untested or improperly made parts for military aircraft and ground-support systems. Robert Cejka, 53, of Rolling Hills Estates, co-owner of A & R Precision, was sentenced to two years in prison, while Alberto Herrera, 50, of Norwalk received an 18-month term.
January 4, 1988 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, Times Staff Writer
Marine Lt. David A. Boyle was in the co-pilot's seat on the afternoon of April 27, 1983, when his helicopter left the Virginia coast and headed out to sea. He and three other crewmen were returning to their ship after a routine exercise of ferrying troops to shore. The copter slowed and banked as it approached the ship. But suddenly, without warning, it lurched to the right and crashed into the sea.
October 14, 1987 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court heard lively debate Tuesday on two controversial questions: does the Constitution's guarantee of freedom of the press extend to student journalists and are military contractors immune from suits by servicemen injured or killed by defective products?
July 20, 1987
Tax and spend, tax and spend--that is the way Congress would go. But Reagan really knows better; if the Congress would only listen to him we could forget about the old people, the students and the babies. Let us get our priorities straight--it's the military we have to be sure gets taken care of. If the U.S. military industry were a national economy, it would be the 13th largest in the world. Ten giant military contractors account for one-third of all U.S. weapons contracts. But if we listen to Reagan, we can change that 13th place and move them up a notch or two. Military contractors receive higher profits for lower-risk work than comparable commercial business.
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