President Biden tours Lockheed Martin missile plant in Alabama

President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at Lockheed Martin's plant in Troy, Alabama, after getting a facility tour.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 5:43 AM CDT|Updated: May. 3, 2022 at 4:46 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - President Joe Biden flew to Alabama Tuesday where he toured a missile production facility in the city of Troy and praised those involved in supplying weapons that are helping Ukraine in its resistance against the Russian military.

Air Force One touched down at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery around 12:15 p.m., marking Biden’s first trip to the Yellowhammer State as president. Biden was greeted by Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, Maxwell Air Base Col. Eries Mentzer and Lt. Gen. James Hecker Commander and President over Air University.

Following his brief conversations at Maxwell, Biden boarded Marine One and made the 15 minute flight south to Pike County where he toured the Lockheed Martin missile facility in Troy. The facility builds weapons systems, including the Javelin anti-tank missile, which the Biden Administration is providing to Ukraine.

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“These weapons touched by the hands, your hands, are making a significant difference. That’s something each and every day you could and should be proud of. I am once more urging congress to pass this supplemental funding bill, over $300 billion to help the Ukrainians. It will keep you all very, very busy here for a while here.”

One person whose hands have touched “literally every single one of the 50,000 Javelin missiles” to come out of the plant is Linda Griffith, the facility’s longest-serving employee. Griffith was honored to introduce the president after serving with the company for more than 25 years.

“I consider my teammates family,” she said, “and I can say that the entire Lockheed Martin team is honored by this special guest today,” she said as the president laughed during her introduction. After the president took to the stage, he held up Griffith’s hand and joked to the crowd that if he was the company’s CEO, he’d be worried.

President Joe Biden is welcomed to Troy by Linda Griffith, one of the longest serving employee's of Lockheed Martin's Troy facility.

“What we do not see, What we don’t always see is the work that makes so much of this possible and that’s you. That’s you. That’s not hyperbole. That’s you. You make it possible. You make it possible for them [Ukranians] to have a shot,” Biden told the audience during his speech. “You are doing it. You are really doing it. You are making a gigantic difference for these poor sons of guns who are under such enormous pressure and firepower.”


No members of Alabama’s Republican delegation joined the president for his trip, and Gov. Kay Ivey declined citing prior obligations.

John Wahl, Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, said that while “Lockheed Martin does a great job” and that “their facility is world class and they get the job done” but added “I think the president should be focusing on things that are broken. People need help today. I want him to be focused on visiting the single mother who is struggling to put food on the table. I want them to visit the middle class who are paying twice for gas for what they were paying two years ago.”

Biden was joined on the trip from Washington by Rep. Terri Sewell, D-District 7, the state’s only Democratic member of Congress, who sang Biden’s praises.

“I want to thank the President for coming to Alabama to visit the Lockheed Martin facility,” Sewell said. “It is playing a huge role in helping the people of Ukraine fight to defend their democracy. Over the last few months, we have closely watch the developments of what’s happening in Ukraine. We know the cost of [Russian President Vladimir Putin]’s bloody war and we commend the Biden Harris administration for uniting our allies and sending a message that we will continue to stand with democratic values.”

Sewell went on, “To have a chance to see the Javelins, these shoulder-armed missiles that are taking out tanks in the Ukraine was a joy, but to know we have workers here in Alabama making them is truly a joy.”

Following his tour and speech, the president returned to Montgomery where he boarded Air Force One for the trip back to Washington.


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