News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2006
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EDITORIAL

From wave pools to satellite launches

When Decatur built Point Mallard Park in 1972, it featured the only wave pool in the country. People came from miles around to experience the ocean-like surf.

That made Decatur unique and immediately polished the River City's image.

Now we have another opportunity to be unique, and compared to the wave pool this is no small potato.

The Air Force awarded Boeing Co. a $674 million contract this week to build Delta IV rockets, which hopefully advances the creation of United Launch Alliance, meaning Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

ULA still has government hoops through which it must jump to become official. When that happens the joint venture will more than double rocket production here as it takes on the building of Lockheed's Atlas rockets. Lockheed already received a $815 million 24-month contract that runs through Sept. 20, 2007.

The merger means Decatur will be the only manufacturing site for these must-have expendable rockets for launching satellites.

That's a big deal and one the city needs to capitalize on as it competes in the technology market.

Keep your fingers crossed. The deal would mean adding about 250 employees at the Red Hat Road plant.

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