Federal contractors lend services to relief effort

Despite being affected both personally and economically by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, federal contractors have pledged to support their federal customers with disaster relief and recovery efforts.

About 65 percent of all government contracts are with the Defense Department. Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., and Raytheon were the top three government contractors in fiscal 2000. In fiscal 2000, Lockheed Martin was awarded nearly $16 billion in Defense Dept. contracts, Boeing received slightly more than $12 billion, and Raytheon won $7.5 billion worth of contracts. The three companies provide the government with aircraft, missiles, and communications systems, among other equipment and support services.

Four Raytheon Co. employees were on flights that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. While the entire organization has been "filled with sadness," the company will carry on, Raytheon spokesman Dave Shea said.

"We stand ready to meet any urgent customer requirements," he said.

Raytheon has volunteered personnel and aircraft to fly American Red Cross personnel and blood supplies to New York and Washington. The company has also donated 25 infrared cameras to New York to help in locating victims in battered and smoke-damaged buildings and has set up a disaster relief fund for all victims.

Three Boeing employees were on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. The company has suffered economically as well and plans to lay off up to 30,000 employees by the end of next year, according to company spokesman Ken Mercer. Nonetheless, Boeing and its employees have committed more than $5 million to disaster relief efforts, according to a company press release. Employee-managed relief funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the company and corporate contributions will be divided evenly between the Red Cross and the United Way's Sept. 11 Fund.

Lockheed Martin spokesman Jim Fetig said the company has sent 200 people to Ground Zero in New York. A Lockheed employee and his wife were killed in American Airlines Flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon, where about 200 Lockheed employees work. The Lockheed team sent to New York is working with the Energy Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and other groups using a prototype for a human motion sensor to help locate survivors. Immediately following the attacks, the company also helped transport staff from the Centers for Disease Control from Australia to New York.

Information technology companies also have offered to add their expertise to disaster relief efforts.

Sun Microsystems, which ranked in the 50 largest federal information technology contractors in fiscal 2000, sent employees to organizations in New York and Washington to offer IT consulting services and to help assist in system recovery efforts.

Software company SAP also sent employees to New York to offer free IT consulting and services. According to company spokesman Bill Wohl, most organizations, with the exception of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have not taken SAP up on its offer yet.

"It is still very early on in the tragedy," Wohl said. "Companies and government agencies are still tending to their people, but when they are ready to contact us, we are ready to help."

Wohl said that although SAP did not lose any of its employees in the attacks, the company regularly worked with Defense employees who occupied the area where the plane crashed. The company also had many business partners who worked in the World Trade Center, and did a lot of business with the Defense Department, so "we are really feeling this in a direct fashion," he said.

SAP is donating $3 million to help victims of the tragedy and their families.

George P. Sigalos, counsel and spokesman for the Contract Services Association, a group that represents government contractors said it is not unusual for contractors to provide such support to their clients, particularly in such a dire time of need. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are members of CSA.

Many Defense contractors have provided increased security, support services and equipment to the government in the wake of last week's disaster, Sigalos said. "CSA companies are fully dedicated to doing their jobs and making things work; they all are standing unified behind the government and military."

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