Lockheed Martin breaks ground here

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Ground was broken Tuesday afternoon on Lockheed Martin’s $30 million Global Vision Integration Center in north Suffolk.

The 50,000-square-foot center will employ 50 people. It is expected to open in July 2004 in Bridgeway Commerce Park off Harbour View Boulevard.

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According to Lockheed officials, the GVIC will serve as a key node on Lockheed Martin’s network of facilities linking company experts with customers in the development, analysis and visualization of systems based on integrated information and communication networks.

City, state and Lockheed officials were on hand for the announcement, which was made by Mark R. Kilduff, executive director of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, who has made several similar announcements in Suffolk over the past few years.

&uot;I’ve almost made a career out of coming to Suffolk and making announcements,&uot; Kilduff quipped in reference to the many firms that have located in Suffolk.

He noted that Lockheed officials made a thorough search for a suitable location and that the decision spoke highly of Suffolk and Hampton Roads.

&uot;They don’t locate in your community to do you a favor,&uot; Kilduff said. &uot;They locate here because it makes good economic sense.&uot;

Lockheed Martin already employs 6,600 people at several Virginia locations.

&uot;I think it’s a sign of a satisfied customer that they have continued to invest here in Suffolk.

Kilduff presented Suffolk City Manager Steve Herbert with a check for $50,000 from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Suffolk with locating the facility here.

&uot;It’s a great day for the great city of Suffolk,&uot; Herbert said. &uot;This is a great addition to Suffolk. It’s exactly what we are looking for.&uot;

Suffolk Mayor E. Dana Dickens III, who was out of town and unable to attend the event, was quoted in a press release distributed at the event that, &uot;This effort bears the fruit of new jobs, an expanded tax base and the potential attraction of other technology citizens which will only enhance our overall community. It speaks volumes to the quality of life that we have here in Suffolk.&uot;

GVIC will house highly trained specialists in operations analysis; modeling and simulation; computers’ and visualization systems. The facility will be staffed by operational domain experts with a staff of 50 planned by mid-decade. Efforts will focus on experimentation, analysis and visualization of network-centric systems that address major functional capabilities of the Department of Defense and other national security customers. A press release from Gov. Mark Warner’s office noted that with its location near the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center and the U.S Joint Forces Command Joint Warfighting and Experimentation Centers, &uot;Lockheed Martin’s new 50,000-square-foot hexagon-shaped office building will become a new icon for high-technology development in the Commonwealth.&uot;

According to GVIC vice president Buck Marr, a resident of Suffolk, GVIC will take data and convert it to &uot;decision quality knowledge.&uot;

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 125,000 people worldwide, and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

With Lockheed Martin’s announcement, Suffolk now boasts of $80 million in new capital investment in 2003.