Thousands of Connecticut jobs could be at risk if the government choose to can the F-22 project. The state's lawmakers are ready to fight the Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, to protect its people.
Several states, including Connecticut, are the main areas in the U.S. for defense manufacturing. If the Pentagon decides to stop production on the F-22 fighter jets it will not only leave thousands without jobs and the country at risk.
"This budget presents an opportunity - one of those rare chances to match virtue to necessity; to critically and ruthlessly separate appetites from real requirements," Secretary Gates said Monday.
Machinists Union responded saying, "Connecticut unemployment is currently at 7.4% and climbing; cancelling the F-22 is a disastrous decision for Connecticut manufacturing workers and their families."
This is such an imperative issue to be addressed that Connecticut governor voiced her concerns.
According to Governor Jodi Rell, "thousands of critical Connecticut jobs depend on the future of the F-22 program, and I will be working with our state's Congressional delegation to fight for those jobs every step of the way."
Gates, also, announced that if the F-22 was cancelled, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would be accelerated. The Pentagon ultimately wants to purchase this new fighter.
Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman said that by cutting F-22 production, "our industrial base will suffer a major blow before the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter reaches full-rate production. This would result in the loss of thousands of jobs in Connecticut -- the skilled workers we will need to support the F-35 in just a few years, but who may no longer be available."
Even though the decision won't be made until later this year, people are still concerned.United Technologies Corporation's Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand are thought to take the hardest hits.