Rally asks to restore Lakota program funds

By NEMS Daily Journal

COLUMBUS – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper and U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee joined leaders of EADS North America and American Eurocopter at a rally Thursday to call on Congress to restore funding for the Army’s UH-72A Lakota helicopter in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
The rally took place at EADS North America’s American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, where the Lakota is produced for use in a wide range of roles by the Army, Army National Guard and Navy.
Proposed cuts in the 2014 budget submitted to Congress in April would reduce production of the Lakota in 2014-2015 by 31 fewer aircraft than the Army planned to buy. Officials say these cuts would result in negligible savings, effectively end Lakota production by the end of 2014 and endanger the jobs of many of the more than 300 Columbus employees, more than half of whom are U.S. military veterans.