West Michigan Companies Received Almost $1 Million in Military Contracts in February

In February, companies located in West Michigan received $986,388 in contracts from the military. The majority–as is generally the case–were awarded to aerospace companies located near Grand Rapids’ airport. The contracts were awarded to the following companies:

* Eaton Aerospace received a contract from the Navy worth $300,000.

* L-3 Communications received two contracts from the Navy worth $290,810.

* GE Aviation Systems (formerly Smiths Aerospace) received two contracts worth $238,006.

* Dover Resources received two contracts worth $157,572.

As always, it is important to remember that these amounts are not abstractions. They are paid to these companies in exchange for components for military hardware that is used to maintain the United States military. In turn, that military is used to enforce US dominance, with the most obvious current example being the United States occupation of Iraq. The consequences of that dominance are staggering in Iraq, with more than 1.1 million Iraqis killed since the start of the occupation. By supplying components to the machines necessary to maintain the occupation, military contractors in West Michigan are tied to what is happening in Iraq.

West Michigan Companies Receive $667,000 in Military Contracts

Local companies in West Michigan doing work for the US military received $667,351 in contracts from the military last month. The money was awarded to the following companies according to research done as part of our military contractors database:

* L-3 Communications received $98,366 in two contracts.

* Woodward FST received $529,165 in two contracts.

* GE Aviation (formerly Smiths Aerospace) received one contract worth $50,000.

Additionally, an L-3 Communications facility out of Muskegon received a $8 million contract to “remanufacture” transmissions for Bradley Fighting vehicles. The vehicles are widely used in the US occupation of Iraq.

Local Companies Receive $11 Million in Military Contracts

Companies located in West Michigan received over $11 million in military contracts in December according to research conducted as part of Media Mouse’s ongoing work monitoring military contracts. These contracts included:

  • $432,620 awarded to Woodward FST in two contracts for aircraft engine components for the Air Force.
  • $5,274,671 awarded to Wolverine Worldwide for dress footwear for the Army and Marines.
  • $5,865,922 awarded to Smiths Industries Aerospace for ongoing support for the 600 C-130 aircraft used by the military throughout the world.

This month, local military contractors received some coverage in the local corporate media–a rarity–with the contractor Corporate Security Solutions (CSS) being the subject of a lengthy article in the Grand Rapids Press. Unfortunately, an analysis of the article by the Media Mouse-affiliated Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) found that the article failed to move outside of the typical media frame that fails to question contractors or provide a larger context for the work that they do. However, the article did reveal that Corporate Security Solutions has 200 employees deployed in Iraq.

Over $5.3 Awarded in Military Contracts to West Michigan Companies in November

In November, companies in West Michigan received $5,361,713 in contracts from the government for work done for the United States military. The contracts were documented as part of Media Mouse’s ongoing effort tracking local work done for the military.

The following companies received contracts:

Grand Rapids Area Company Receives $319,817 in Military Contracts

In October, Borisch Manufacturing–one of several companies in West Michigan that regularly does work for the United States’ military–received two contracts from the US Army.

As part of Media Mouse’s ongoing work tracking military contracts awarded to companies in West Michigan, we documented $319,817 in contracts awarded to Borisch Manufacturing during the month of October. The amount includes two contracts–one for $260,912 and one for $58,905–both of which were for motor vehicle maintenance. According to our records, Borisch has received more than $17 million in military contracts since the start of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror.”

In related news, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), an organization formed between state government, local governments, and businesses to foster economic growth in the state, is hoping to attract increased investment in the defense industry. Citing the need to diversify Michigan’s economy in light of the difficulties facing the automobile industry, the MEDC and the state of Michigan formed the Defense Contract Coordination Center (DC3) to help Michigan businesses receive military contracts. This effort has included $10 million in funding as part of Governor Jennifer Granholm’s 21st Century Jobs Fund. However, a recent study by the Political Economy Research Institute out of the University of Massachusetts has suggested that investment in defense spending is inferior means of creating jobs when compared to spending in other sectors.

Additionally, this week has been dubbed “Military Contractor Awareness Week” by the National Lawyers Guild chapter at Cornell University. While their focus for the week is primarily on mercenary corporations, it seems appropriate to remind readers that the West Michigan area is home to several military contractors, especially in the aerospace industry. Companies such as Smiths Aerospace, Eaton Aerospace, and L-3 Communications have made millions by creating components for the military aircraft. Moreover, Wolverine Worldwide has received over $355 million in contracts for military footwear.

Blackwater Founder Sued over Iraqi Deaths

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Yesterday, the Center for Constitutional Rights announced that it is suing Blackwater on behalf of an injured survivor and the estates of three men killed in a September 16 incident in which Blackwater killed 16 Iraqis and wounded 23. The suit names several entities–including Blackwater founder and West Michigan native Erik Prince–as defendants in the case. The lawsuit claims that Blackwater and its affiliated companies violated United States law and “created and fostered a culture of lawlessness amongst its employees, encouraging them to act in the company’s financial interests at the expense of innocent human life.” The lawsuit further alleges that Blackwater violated the federal Alien Tort Statue in committing extrajudicial killing and war crimes, and that Blackwater should be liable for claims of assault and battery, wrongful death, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, training and supervision.

The case, if it goes through, will likely reveal unknown information about Blackwater USA. The Center for Constitutional Rights legal complaint in the case repeatedly asserts that “reasonable discovery” is likely to reveal more information about the corporate structure of Blackwater, killings by the company, and its employment of foreign mercenaries. Moreove, the complaint alleges that Blackwater founder Erik Prince formed a variety of different Blackwater corporate entities–including Prince Group LLC–“to shield Erik Prince from any legal and financial consequences for his reckless indifference to the laws of this and other nations.”

Local Companies Received $652,987 in Military Contracts in September

Research as part of Media Mouse’s ongoing monitoring of military contracts shows that $652,987 in contracts have been awarded to local companies in West Michigan. These include:

  • A $207,658 contract awarded to RSL Electronics USA for “Fire Control Equipment” for TACOM-Rock Island
  • A $169,522 contract awarded to Coffman Electrical Equipment Company for electrical equipment for the Navy
  • Two contracts totaling $157,920 were awarded to Smiths Aerospace for “aircraft gunnery fire control components” for the Army and a memory unit for the Navy
  • A $54,555 contract awarded to Borisch Manufacturing for motor vehicle maintenance for the Army
  • A $35,798 contract awarded to Eaton Aerospace for a “Motional Pickup Transducer” for the Defense Logistics Agency
  • A $27,534 contract awarded to Evans Tempcon for a shutter control assembly for the Defense Logistics Agency

Additionally, on September 26, the military awarded McDonnell Douglas a $1.3 billion contract to provide 24 F/A-18 fighter jets to the government of Australia. According to the contract, 2% of the work will be done in Grand Rapids.

Over $8.3 Million Awarded to Area Companies for Military Work

West Michigan area companies received $8,391,983 in contracts from the United States military according to ongoing research conducted as part of Media Mouse’s Grand Rapids Military Contractors database. The companies receiving contracts were:

  • Wolverine Worldwide received a $7.9 million contract for safety boot leather for the Navy.
  • Woodward FST received two contracts totaling $291,825 for aircraft components delivered to the Air Force.
  • Dover Resources received a $52,039 contract to produce a centrifugal pump for the Navy.
  • Smiths Industries Aerospace received a $38,825 contract for the repair and/or modification of a “core memory unit” for the Navy.
  • Blackmer System One received two contracts totaling $35,820 for centrifugal pumps used by the Navy.

It is also worth pointing out that Cadillac-based AAR Mobility Systems received a $161 million contract for “shipping/storage containers, shelters and accessories.” The materials will be used by the Air Force, the Navy, the Army, and the Marines as well as civilian agencies.

Local Companies Receive $709,968 in Military Contracts in July

Local companies in Grand Rapids received $709,968 in military contracts according to ongoing monitoring of contracts as part of Media Mouse’s military contractors database.

The following companies received contracts in July:

  • Woodward FST received a $42,296 contract from the Air Force.
  • RSL Electronics USA received a $250,000 contract for the maintenance and repair of fire control equipment from TACOM-Rock Island.
  • Evans Tempcon received a $33,022 contract for a thermostat/radiator shutter control device for the Defense Logistics Agency.
  • Eaton Aerospace received a $384,650 contract from the Navy for the repair and/or modification of an actuator.

The database is maintained as a tool to provide focus to antiwar organizing as well as an ongoing project in illuminating the ways in which local companies are involved in the military-industrial complex.

Local Companies Receive almost $2 Million in Military Contracts in June

Companies in West Michigan received almost $2 million in military contracts in June. The seven contracts totaling $1,951,970 were awarded to three local companies, Smiths Aerospace, L-3 Communications, and Woodward FST. The three companies all produce components used in military aircraft and are among the top military contractors in terms of dollars received in West Michigan.

For more information on local military contractors, visit Media Mouse’s Military Contractors database.