ST. LOUIS – New federal investments in Boeing’s Super Hornet and Growler aircraft will provide critical support for thousands of employees in the Metro East, said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., following a tour of Boeing’s St. Louis facility today.
As Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Durbin worked with Navy leaders to ensure the Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes the purchase of 110 new Super Hornets over the next five years – critical for employees in the region whose jobs depend on such production.
“It’s no secret how critical Boeing’s presence is to downstate Illinois, which is why I’ve made it a priority to provide continued funding that bolsters our national defense and our economy,” Durbin said. “Thanks to the budget agreement and advocacy to Navy leaders, this year’s budget requested 110 new aircraft over the next five years. That is a huge commitment by the Navy, and a huge win for the employees at this facility, the region’s economy, and our military.”
Boeing’s St. Louis facility manufactures the F/A-18 Super Hornet, a dependable tactical fighter jet, and the E/A-18 Growler, the premier electronic attack aircraft in the armed forces. In 2015, the Navy included additional Super Hornets and Growlers at the top of its “unfunded priorities” list, but budget constraints in Washington threatened to halt production in St. Louis for several years. Durbin and partners in the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee fought to add $4.1 billion over four years billion to keep Boeing’s Super Hornet and Growler production lines running. The Navy has now budgeted for the purchase of 110 Super Hornets over the next five years, including 24 aircraft in Fiscal Year 2019.
Boeing has approximately 14,000 employees in the region, split among St. Louis, St. Charles and St. Clair counties. This presence has an annual economic impact of $1.7 billion in the area, including doing business with more than 1,000 suppliers in Missouri and Illinois.