Sending Off the 150th Naval Helicopter

By Kelly McCarthy

January 31, 2013 Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 2:42 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG) There's now 150 Navy helicopters whose "made-in" stamp could read Tioga County; specifically Lockheed Martin in Owego. The company celebrates its milestone delivery and improved technologies along the way.

The company celebrates it's milestone delivery and improved technologies along the way.

Lt. Cmdr. Holly Hoxsie came to the East Coast by car, but she'll be leaving in the air.

"There's nothing like getting a brand new aircraft. It has the new car smell as we all say," Hoxsie said.

A new helicopter for which Lt. Cmdr. Hoxsie has been patiently waiting.

"I've wanted to come do this for a few years. It's a great experience to get a brand new aircraft and fly it all the way back to San Diego," Hoxsie said.

She'll be flying home the 150th delivery of the MH-60 Romeo.

The aircraft has digital technology in the cockpit and a self-defense system for protection.

"It's like an older video game to the newer ones where I'm able to do everything pretty easily right from the cockpit," Hoxsie said.

This aircraft has achieved Six Sigma, which is a designation for manufacturing accuracy.

It recognizes an aircraft with less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities.

"From a quality standpoint there's really no other aircraft out there that's really achieved what we achieved on this aircraft," said Director of Naval Helicopter Programs at Lockheed Martin Owego, Tom Kane.

That kind of quality has become a standard for the Tioga County employees in the company.

"The men and women who work on this aircraft everyday are extremely proud of what we do here, so it is a big moment for us," Kane said.

The celebration welcomed Congressman Tom Reed (D - 23rd District) for his first visit to Lockheed Martin.

Reed's making his support for military funding known and thinks Congress will back him up.

"I think there's an army of us, a navy of us, in Washington DC that's going to be standing together to say, you know what, as we're dealing with the sequestration cuts let's make sure we don't go too far on National security and we protect our men and women," Reed said.

That will keep celebrations like this one happening more and more often.

Lockheed Martin Owego's first aircraft delivery to the Navy was back in 2006.

They plan on making 300 deliveries and expect the final delivery to be in 2018.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.