Hetty Chang/Tom Bravo
Boeing officials called on Congress to add military aircraft to next year's budget and fill an emerging U.S. Navy requirement. Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, joined local Boeing officials in a rally. Hetty Chang reports from Torrance for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on March 21, 2014.
A California assemblyman is leading the effort to save aerospace jobs in a district that was once, and in some cases still is, considered a hub for the industry.
At a press conference Friday, Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, joined executives of Boeing and Moog, Inc. to urge Congress to add F/A-18 aircraft to the Fiscal Year 2015 President's budget.
The program supports 60,000 jobs nationwide, a third of which are in California, according to Muratsuchi.
"The aerospace industry built the South Bay, and built the Southern California economy," he said. "It's very important to keep those jobs in Southern California."
The Super Hornet and Growler aircraft, part of the F/A-18 and EA-18G programs, were not included in the budget request Congress sent to the Obama Administration, according to Mike Gibbons, the program vice president.
But there is still hope.
"The chief of the Navy has specifically stated that he has an emerging requirement for more growlers, and he's asking congress to add 22 growlers to the budget."
Without those additional orders, the last F-18 parts could be manufactured and delivered to the final assembly plant in St. Louis at the end of 2016.
That could mean the loss of hundreds of jobs at the Moog corporation, which manufactures the electo-mechanical system that controls the wings of the Super Hornet and Growler aircraft.
"The family has grown up, in fact my daughter and my son (also work here) and ...it's been a great ride," said Greg Walborn, a senior engineering manager, has been with Moog more than 40 years.