Defense Budget Cuts Hit Businesses, Localities

January 30, 2013

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan led to increased defense spending after the 2001 terrorist attacks, but defense's share of the national economy is forecast to continue falling as overseas fighting ends

Bridget Lauderdale remembers the broad green sea — in the parking lot.

The Lockheed Martin executive was two years out of her internship when then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney killed the A-12 bomber. On Jan. 7, 1991, a unit of General Dynamics (the division is now part of Lockheed) responded by firing 4,000 workers here, in a one-day swoop as devastating as a bomber run.

"I'll never forget,'' says Lauderdale, now general manager of aeronautical operations at Lockheed's 14,200-worker location here, including the factory making F-35 fighter planes. "They brought in crates of boxes, people put boxes on their chairs and rolled the boxes out to the car. You saw a sea of green, because the chairs were tan, with green seats.''

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