An anchor industry in the East Valley that plays a vital role in bolstering the national security of the United States is set to mark a milestone today.
Boeing of Mesa, which is the headquarters for the company’s unmanned systems and home of the production line for the AH-6 Light Attack and Apache Attack AH-64 helicopters, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. for the employees of Boeing and their families in front of the facility on the helipad at 5000 East McDowell Road, and feature numerous special special speakers including Tony Ham, director of operations for Boeing of Mesa, David Koopersmith, Boeing Vice President of Attack Helicopters, U.S. Army representatives and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.
As part of the celebration, Boeing employees raise the American flag to honor all of those in attendance who served in all branches of the military and also will unveil its Wall of Honor containing the names of its employees who have served in the military.
Construction began on the wall of honor located outside Building 510 at Boeing’s Mesa facility in January and recently was completed. The monument is an 80-foot diameter circle, with four sections of stainless steel panels. Each panel is six feet high and 16 feet wide.
It has 699 names on it right now, but has space for 4,000 names, which the company can add to the wall by each Veterans Day holiday.
“For 30 years the people of Boeing in Mesa have been supporting our soldiers by building the AH-46 Apache helicopter, and we’ve also supported the Air Force, Navy and Marines with the products of our Electrical and Composites Strategic Fabrication Centers,” director of operations Tony Ham said in a Boeing-issed statement.
“Also, our engineering, flight test, and modeling and simulation teams have supported numerous military projects. We are now building for the future with the addition, last year, of the headquarters of Boeing Unmanned Airborne Systems, with recently started production of our latest AH-64D Apache Block III, and with the AH-6 Light-Attack helicopter,” Ham said.
Ground was broken on the former Hughes Helicopters, Inc. (later McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems) plant in March 1982. It was built to assemble Apache helicopters for the U.S. Army. In three decades, the site has grown and now builds Apaches for international customers, and has added to its product line light attack helicopters and unmanned airborne systems. The site is also a key supplier of electrical and composite assemblies for other Boeing facilities.
Boeing has recorded significant accomplishments in flight and also supports the community, funding education and social services, and through volunteer efforts of its employees.
In addition to employing 4,700 at its Mesa location, Boeing also employees slightly more than 100 at its Satellite Technical Support Center in Chandler, about 100 at its Tucson facility and about 100 Boeing employees at Honeywell working in support of the 787 commercial aircraft in northwest Phoenix, according to Carole Thompson, spokeswoman for Boeing of Mesa.
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