The U.S. Air Force is turning to the skilled workforce at IAM District 837 in St. Louis to build F-15EX fighter jets.
The $1.2 billion contracts is the result of the IAM’s congressional advocacy for Machinists Union members to build the fighter jet for the Air Force.
“The proud members of IAM District 837 are a perfect match to build this new aircraft for our servicemen and women,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The talent and dedication of our membership, along with the great work of the IAM’s Legislative Department, made this victory possible for our union, this community, and our nation.”
The first batch of eight F-15EX’s, which will replace the Air Force’s F-15C/D fleet, is already in production. Two are scheduled to be ready for delivery early next year, with the remaining six slated to be finished in 2023.
“Congratulations and thank you to the men and women of IAM District 837 for their hard work and dedication to supplying our nation’s armed forces,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “And thank you to the IAM Legislative Department for their hard work in always ensuring IAM members’ talent and quality of work receive the recognition it so rightfully deserves. IAM members are what keeps this country strong and secure.”
The Air Force has already increased its Fiscal Year 2021 request to 12 F-15EX’s.
“When it comes to supporting our nation’s military, the members of IAM District 837 are second to none,” said IAM District 837 Directing Business Representative Earl Schuessler. “Thank you to all who worked hard in helping secure this contract. We look forward to continuing to produce the nation’s finest in U.S. fighter jets.”
In addition to District 837 members, the F-15 program supports 55,000 direct and indirect jobs, working with more than 500 suppliers across 42 states.