...The Gulf Coast between South Louisiana and Northwest Florida is an
emerging aerospace corridor with military and civilian activities that
include the construction of portions of space vehicles; aircraft repair and
assembly; jet and rocket propulsion testing; military pilot and navigator
training; aircraft weapons development; and air-to-ground and air-to-air
...The military presence in the region is considerable. Some are
operational combat units, some focus on science and technology while
others are responsible for testing and evaluation of military systems,
weaponry and non-weaponry alike.
...The Central Gulf Coast is home to one of the biggest bases in the
nation, and hosts three commands: the Naval Meteorology and
Oceanography Command, Naval Education and Training Command and
the Air Force Special Operations Command. It’s also home to an
aviation depot that overhauls and remanufactures five types of
helicopters for organizations throughout the Southeast.
...The biggest names in aerospace - Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop
Grumman, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Raytheon, Airbus and others -
have operations in the region. Many have multiple operations.
...Two new programs that will have a significant impact on the long-term
future of the corridor are NASA’s Constellation Program in New
Orleans and, if it ultimately remains the Air Force's choice, the KC-45
aerial refueling tanker project in Mobile.
...When combined with the aerial weapons development activities at
Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida, the region now has three
major magnet activities that promise to draw additional public and
private aerospace activities to the Central Gulf Coast region.
Next: Part II (cont.) The centers