Monday, June 29, 2009

Here's another way that Woodstock's manufactures provide a glimpse into the complex world of military procurement. A Woodstock firm is in this case a sub-sub-contractor to the Pentagon. It's part of an Army program to develop "the Next-Generation M915 and Family of Line Haul HTV's". HTV's are Heavy Tactical Vehicles: the M915 is a heavy-duty truck tractor "used primarily in active and reserve component transportation units for the rapid, efficient transport of bulk supplies from ocean ports to division support areas within a theater of operation." (

Under a July 2008 contract, Ametek Rotron provided an Auxiliary Environmental Control Unit (air-conditioning and heating) to Dewey Electronics Corporation. It's part of an Auxiliary Power Unit which Dewey developed for MTC Technologies under a $475,000 subcontract. MTC is the lead contractor. (MTC was acquired in June 2008 by BAE, the world's 3rd-largest military contractor.) "The project is expected to be completed and delivered to the U.S. Army by November of 2008." (Science Letter, 7/8/2008)

Thus Woodstock is contributing to the "nuts and bolts" of the next military occupation. Here are some photos that show some M915s at work in Iraq:

The lowest picture shows British soldiers securing Humvees for transport aboard an M915 tractor-trailer in Iraq.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Communications equipment: an essential part of weapons systems and war-fighting

Rotron of Woodstock's military contracts are a microcosm of the military-industrial complex. Thus it isn't surprising that many of them are for communications equipment. Satellite-based communications are a fundamental part of the Pentagon's war-fighting strategy, and dominance of space is its prerequisite.

An example of a Woodstock customer: the EP-3E Aircraft, the Navy's SIGINT or electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft. The Navy has 12 of them and on 1/16/2009 awarded Rotron 2 contracts, each for $17,094.40 for 4 fans (more than $4,000 per fan), presumably for replacement and spare parts.

Other military "end items" for Rotron fans within the past year include:
"OE-222A/G Satellite Antenna" for the Army
"Communications program, Combat Theater"
"Radio Terminal Set"
"7253800-SIE10(53711) Photo Mast, Bay 10"

Monday, June 15, 2009

F-16 Aircraft and Aegis Warships: among Woodstock's latest customers

Earlier this month, on June 3, 2009, the Defense Logistics Agency placed an order worth $1,720.65 with Rotron Inc. of Woodstock for spare parts for F-16 military aircraft. The order is for 3 fans (at $573.55 per fan).

This is just the latest of Rotron's many military contracts: in 2008, Rotron had over $2 million worth of Defense Department contracts, and an unknown number of private military contracts. In a few cases, we know which war-machines the Woodstock components are contributing to. For example, at least 3 contracts in the past year have been for the Aegis Weapons System, the Navy's most advanced war-fighting system consisting of cruisers and destroyers equipped with guns, torpedoes, electronic warfare and sophisticated communications equipment. Aegis is also a crucial component of the destabilising "Missile Defense" program. The 3 contracts that we know of totalled $21,459,80 for 62 fans.

Ametek Rotron, Woodstock's largest employer, is justly proud of its highly skilled workers. Perhaps if their efforts and creativity were turned to constructive purposes we'd all be better served. The problem is not limited to Woodstock: it's endemic to our economy. The conversion of our war economy to a peace economy is urgent and needs to be tackled both at the local level and as part of a broader transition to a sustainable economy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Made In Woodstock?

Ametek Rotron Military and Aerospace Products, on Hasbrouck Lane in Woodstock, NY, is a division of Ametek Inc, and apparently makes both civilian and military products. Our concern is, of course, not with the facility's non-military production. But we believe that Woodstock, the world, Rotron and its employees will all benefit when we make useful, sustainable products rather than weapons.

Among the many weapons systems that - according to the company's promotional materials - include Rotron components are:
AH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter, widely used in the occupation of Iraq.
F-15, F-16, and F/A-18F aircraft, used in the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Operation Desert Storm; also used by governments with long records of human rights violations such as Pakistan and Indonesia.
Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), used to fire cluster bombs: by the US in Iraq and by Israel in Lebanon in 2006.
M2 Bradley tank, used in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier. 5500 of these are used by Israel to enforce its illegal occupation of the West Bank.
Challenger tank (UK), used in the invasion of Iraq.
In most cases it is not within our knowledge which of these products are made in Woodstock as opposed to the company's other facility in El Cajon, California. But the company's headquarters are in Woodstock. Further examples of weapons systems for which Ametek Rotron Military and Aerospace Products claims to make components are:
Military Transport: Lockheed C-130, C-130J, C-5; Alenia G-222
Military Attack/Fighter: Boeing AV-8B, F-18; Eurofighter EF2000; Lockheed F-22, F-117; Mitsubishi/Lockheed F-2; Northrop B-2; IAI Rafael [Israel Aircraft Industries]; Alenia/Aermacchi/Embraer AMX; Dassault Rafale
Military helicopters include: RAH-66 Comanche, AH-64 Apache, Eurocopter Tiger
Merkava: the main battle tank of the Israel Defense Forces
TARES Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (Germany)
VBL (French light armored vehicle)
Crusader self-propelled howitzer
LAV (Light Armored Vehicle): a mainstay of US Marine forces in Iraq
MESAR2 , a now-obsolete component of Ballistic Missile Defense