Leahy: MSA Newport Garners $21 Million In Helmet Contracts

NEWPORT, Vt. (TUESDAY, Oct. 19) – During a tour of MSA’s (Mine Safety Appliances Co.) Newport factory on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy announced three new orders, under competitively bid contracts totaling $21 million, for the Army’s Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH).  Leahy visited the facility to meet again with employees and to see the new work being done by MSA after a slowdown following the expiration of $6.4 million in earlier contract work secured by Leahy in 2008 and 2009.  

“It is truly gratifying to see MSA bounce back so strongly,” said Leahy, who, as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, has championed earlier investments in the firm.

Leahy visited with MSA workers coming off the line during an early afternoon shift change.  After a tour of the factory to see the work done by the second shift, Leahy congratulated MSA’s employees for their work on the ACH.  Referring to the 1300 Vermont Guard personnel currently deployed to Afghanistan, Leahy thanked employees for doing their part to keep their neighbors safe during a mission that has put them in harm’s way.

Leahy said, “I believe in this company and in the work that you all do for our troops.  I’m sure their service is never far from your minds, and it makes your work as timely and as meaningful as it could be.  These Vermont men and women — your neighbors and mine — depend on the high quality helmets you produce here at MSA Newport.”

“All of us at MSA, and in particular our associates in Newport, Vermont, appreciate the support Senator Leahy has shown over the years to not only our company, but more importantly to our fighting men and women in uniform," said Joe Bigler, President, MSA North America.  “Over the years Senator Leahy has been responsible for significant funding that has been critical to the development and production of advanced combat helmets used by our troops.”
In support of the Army's need for helmets, MSA will assign some helmet production to Pennsylvania, though MSA Newport will still complete the majority of the ACH work orders.

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