Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed news that Choctaw Manufacturing Development Corporation (CMDC) is being awarded a $61 million contract to replace the U.S. Marine Corps’ fleet of Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) trailers. The order calls for a total of 724 trailers, comprised of cargo, water and general purpose variants to be built over the next several years. Officials at CMDC estimate that the contract will require 40-60 new jobs in order to complete the order. Two weeks ago Senator Inhofe met with CMDC at the headquarters in McAlester to discuss their work fielding trailers for the Marines. In 2006, Senator Inhofe facilitated a $1.2 million EDA grant for CMDC, which coupled with the Choctaw's funding, built the facility in McAlester where they will build the trailers.
“I am pleased to announce that Oklahoma-based defense contractor, Choctaw Manufacturing, has been awarded a $61 million contract to manufacture trailers for the U.S. Marines right here in Oklahoma,” said Sen. Inhofe. “I had the opportunity to visit the headquarters while I was in McAlester just a few weeks ago. The quality of CMDC's products lends to their reputation for being one of the top producers of gear for our warfighters. There’s no question that the jobs created by this company have transformed its communities.
“I’d like President Obama and my fellow members to take notice of the immediate and long-term economic benefits of this defense contract. This money is being pumped directly into the hands of American workers to manufacture U.S. military equipment. It helps the economy and our military - it’s a win-win opportunity. Regrettably, only 1% of the stimulus is directed to defense and veterans, even though there is a pressing need to update our defense systems. Had my amendment to the stimulus passed, we would have had more job-creating projects like the trailers fielded in McAlester all across this country rather than billions of wasteful spending.
“I have introduced legislation (S.JR10) to set the minimum baseline budget of the Department of Defense at 4% of the GDP. Like any regular manufacturer in the private sector, setting a minimum budget for DoD will help us carry-out programming for our defense systems with greater efficiency and certainty.”
Sen. Inhofe’s joint resolution (S.JR10) filed with along with Congressman Trent Franks in the House has been praised by former Senator Jim Talent, a top defense policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation: “This is a Congressional spending resolution that is vital for America. There is a huge shortfall between what the military is spending and what it needs to spend…Senator Inhofe and Representative Franks are doing America a tremendous service because the safety of America is literally at stake…” To protect the country, he said, “Congress will have to maintain defense spending at the levels established in the Inhofe-Franks resolution.”
Choctaw Nation Chief Gregory E. Pyle praised the collective work that helped make this award possible: “The Choctaw Tribal Council and I would like to commend Steve Benefield and his staff on the acquisition of this contract. The number of jobs this will bring to southeastern Oklahoma will do a great deal to offset the effect of many of today’s economic problems. Choctaw Defense has operated for years, fulfilling one government contract after another. This contract from the Marine Corps continues to prove that Choctaw Defense has built a reputation on turning out a quality product in a timely manner.”
Chief Pyle added, “We appreciate everyone from the Senate and Congress who represent Oklahoma in Washington, D.C. Recent visits to our area by Senator Jim Inhofe and Congressman Dan Boren were highlighted with information about the United States military. They were both interested in and supportive of the Choctaw Nation’s manufacturing abilities through Choctaw Defense.”
“The Choctaw Nation is extremely pleased to be awarded this contract totaling $61,427,035.98,” said Assistant Chief Gary Batton. “We have been preparing for this opportunity and are excited to partner once again with the United States Marine Corps.”
According to their website: "Choctaw Manufacturing and Development Corporation (CMDC) is a wholly owned corporation of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. CMDC manufactures a wide range of commercial and military products. CMDC operates two ISO-9001:2000 compliant manufacturing facilities located in Hugo and McAlester Oklahoma. Both plants are located within the historic boundaries of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. CMDC is incorporated as a Tribally Owned corporation, is certified by the SBA as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and is HUBZone certified by the SBA."
The contract in the amount of $61,427,035.98 will go towards the manufacturing of 724 trailers, compatible with the Marine Corps’ Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTV) that will replace the aging fleet of M105 Cargo Trailers, M149 Water Bull Trailers, and the M353 General Purpose Trailers.