OGDENSBURG – The U.S. Army has awarded an Ogdensburg facility a $20 million contract to produce an “Advanced Bomb Suit Ensemble” and spare parts.
The suits are made by Med-Eng, a company with a facility in Ogdensburg’s Commerce Park. Until this week the company had been owned by Allen-Vanguard, but has been sold to the Safariland Group, a company with long experience in producing body armor and related equipment for the military and police
The announcement of the contract award was made jointly by Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Bill Owens.
The Advanced Bomb Suit Ensemble is worn by U.S. soldiers around the world for bomb disposal, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Army estimates the contract will last through September of 2018. The contract will sustain 20 jobs in Ogdensburg, the release said.
“This contract will put Ogdensburg and Med-Eng on the front lines in keeping our troops safe from harm, through the production of bomb suits used to disarm and dispose of explosives,” said Schumer. “What’s more, it will ensure that good-paying manufacturing jobs will stay in Ogdensburg for years to come.”
“The North Country’s manufacturing know-how and work ethic continues to attract new business that can support local jobs,” Gillibrand said. “This contract for Ogdensburg’s Med-Eng will produce more equipment to help keep our troops safe on the frontlines, and keep more North Country workers on the job.”
“This contract is great news for Ogdensburg and will sustain quality manufacturing jobs in the region,” Owens said. “Additionally, we know IED’s and similar weapons seriously threaten the safety of our soldiers, so I am pleased to see northern New York will be able to help equip them with the tools they need to stay as safe as possible while undertaking one of the most dangerous tasks on the battlefield.”
Med-Eng Vice President of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rob Reynolds said, “We are very proud to continue protecting frontline U.S. Army soldiers from explosive threats, including IEDs, by providing them with our world-leading Med-Eng EOD suits and helmets. This contract will directly support the jobs of up to 20 people in specialized manufacturing roles at our production facility in Ogdensburg.”
In March, General Lloyd Austin, Commander of U.S. Army’s Central Command testified before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee that IEDs are “the most persistent and lethal weapon confronting our forces, those of our partner nations, and local populaces.” He said that, on average, there were 172 IED incidents per month over the last two years in USCENTCOM’s area of responsibility, which includes the Middle East. The majority of IED incidents occur in Afghanistan, he said.