Lockheed Martin breaks ground on new weapons facility in Courtland

The facility will be working directly with Lockheed Martin’s Huntsville engineering facility.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 10:54 AM
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 4:37 PM

Lockheed Martin is bringing dozens of jobs to Courtland.

Lockheed Martin's new facility is the Hypersonics Manufacturing Facility, and leaders say they will be hiring for 72 more jobs. By February of 2020, a large area in Lawrence County will hold the brand new facility.

Lockheed Martin said this new building will bring more people to Courtland.

"Courtland's just a small, bedroom-like community. We have a lot of older people who live here," said a resident, Peggy Hazle.

Peggy Hazle has lived in Courtland her whole life and she describes the area as a ghost town.

"I would like to see it grow somewhat, get some improved schools in our area and bring in some more folks," said Hazle.

She says the majority of people who live there are retired, and she is excited to hear the new Lockheed Martin Hypersonics Facility is being built in her hometown.

"Hopefully, it would bring in some more young people and rejuvenate our community," said Hazle.

Employees at the facility will build and test hypersonic missiles and equipment. Monday's groundbreaking ceremony brought in high-level dignitaries, including Governor Kay Ivey, Senator Richard Shelby and the U.S. Army's Chief of Staff.

"It will enable our nation to compete with, deter, and if necessary, defeat any adversary who wishes our nation harm," said U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville.

"This is a win for the United States of America because our community here in the Tennessee Valley, we're going to be building a weapons system that is unmatched in human history," said Alabama Representative Mo Brooks.

Both Lockheed Martin and residents say this facility could help Courtland grow.

"The individual that we hire, their children will want to come work for Lockheed Martin as well and hopefully grow a community," said Vice President of Hypersonic Strike Programs, Eric Sherff.

"Hopefully, it will bring in some people who might be interested in opening up some small businesses and attract more people to our historical town," said Hazle.

Lockheed Martin officials tell WAAY 31 in February of 2020, the first building of the facility will be built, and then, a year after that, the second building will be finished.

Lockheed Martin said the manufacturing facility in Courtland will be working directly with the engineering facility in Huntsville to improve the nation's missile defense system.

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