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NEWS EXTRA

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ASSIGNMENTS / APPOINTMENTS / ANNOUNCEMENTS

mcconell

SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

McConnell on the Confederate Battle Flag

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement today regarding the Confederate Battle Flag:

“The Confederate Battle Flag means different things to different people, but the fact that it continues to be a painful reminder of racial oppression to many suggests to me at least that it’s time to move beyond it, and that the time for a state to fly it has long since passed. There should be no confusion in anyone’s mind that as a people we’re united in our determination to put that part of our history behind us.”

Volkswagen and Gestamp Expand Chattanooga Partnership

New Metal Stamping Facility Will Add 510 Jobs in Chattanooga

Volkswagen logoCHATTANOOGA, Tenn. and MADRID (23 June 2015)Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations, LLC (Volkswagen Chattanooga) and Gestamp, a company that designs, develops and manufactures metal components and assemblies for the automotive sector,announced today that their partnership for metal parts stamping in Tennessee will grow and the commitment will lead to more than 500 additional jobs in Chattanooga.

This project will include an expansion of Gestamp’s existing Chattanooga facility and the construction of a new stamping facility in Enterprise South to accommodate stamping of Class A parts including external metals skin for the new mid-size SUV. Gestamp will invest $180 million in the project that triples its capacity in Chattanooga.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd joined Volkswagen and Gestamp officials along with local business leaders for the announcement at the Chattanooga production facility that will build its 500,000th Passat next month.

“The importance of this expanded partnership for Volkswagen and Chattanooga cannot be overstated,” said Christian Koch, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “I am grateful for the hard work of Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Boyd, and Senator Corker as well. They all worked tirelessly to make the impossible happen. We have put another crucial pillar into place for our future success and the benefits of this expansion will impact the community for years to come,” Koch said.

Currently Volkswagen uses press shops in several states to provide all the stamped metal parts for the award-wining Passat built-in its Chattanooga facility. This new expanded partnership will allow all of the external sheet metal stamping and a majority of the structural parts to occur at or near Enterprise South, greatly reducing the cost of transportation.

Gestamp Chattanooga will offer for the first time hot stamping technology, in which Gestamp is a global leader. This state-of-the-art process allows the metal to become lighter, but harder, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while improving the occupant’s safety inside the car. Chattanooga’s new hot stamping line will become the 13th of its kind in Gestamp’s US footprint.

“Gestamp was an early believer in Chattanooga in 2009 and now we are taking a remarkable step forward with a macro-project that multiplies our size, adds Class A, introduces hot stamping technology and brings chassis for the first time into our North American operation,” said Francisco J. Riberas, President & CEO of Gestamp.

“Chattanooga is now a key component in Gestamp’s strategic growth roadmap in North America,” Riberas said. “It began with Volkswagen, with whom we share a strong and enduring bond globally, and has grown to include both government and civic organizations in Tennessee, which engaged with us at the highest levels to make this project possible. We believe this will prove to be a winning combination.”

Volkswagen has agreed to give up 59 acres under its control in a land swap with the City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County governments to provide space adjacent to the factory for the new Gestamp facility. The City and County will provide Volkswagen with land of similar value.

“We are grateful for Gestamp’s ongoing commitment to Tennessee and for the more than 500 new jobs that will be created in Chattanooga,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “The momentum of Tennessee’s automotive sector is strengthened not only when companies locate or expand here, but when they build strong partnerships and support one another. We congratulate Gestamp on today’s announcement and thank the company for bringing us one step closer toward our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“Today’s announcement is yet another reminder that the Volunteer State is an outstanding place to do business, and I could not be more proud that Gestamp is deepening its commitment to my hometown,” said Sen. Bob Corker. “From day one, we knew that if Volkswagen decided to build its mid-size SUV in Chattanooga it would create a jobs multiplier effect that would be felt across our state and region for years to come. I am thrilled for the families in Hamilton County who will benefit from these new jobs, and I applaud Governor Haslam and his economic development team for their tireless work to build on this important partnership, which only further solidifies Tennessee as the premiere location for automobile manufacturing in the nation,” Corker said.

“The automotive sector touches nearly every corner of the state with 88 of Tennessee’s 95 counties having automotive operations,” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “When Gestamp located in Chattanooga in 2009, it was the company’s first greenfield project in the United States, and it’s great to see that another facility will soon be built-in Hamilton County to aid in the company’s growth. I thank Gestamp for creating these new jobs in East Tennessee and look forward to our continued partnership.”

“This is proof of the vision we had when Volkswagen came to Hamilton County. We believed other companies like Gestamp would also come to Hamilton County and invest in our community, creating great jobs and at some point expand, said Hamilton County Mayor, Jim Coppinger. “That day has now come and we see through this announcement that Gestamp is continuing our relationship by increasing their workforce, creating more great, family wage jobs. We are proud and thankful for Gestamp’s investment in Hamilton County and believe their expansion is a model for other companies to follow.”

“Gestamp’s announcement to expand their operation means more good, middle-class jobs for Chattanoogans,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “Our area provides a significant advantage for automotive suppliers, and the company’s decision to expand here reinforces Chattanooga’s position as a destination for high-quality jobs.”

“We are proud to welcome Gestamp to the Chattanooga and Hamilton County advanced manufacturing automotive sector.  Gestamp is a globally diversified engineering company embracing leading technologies and world class practices.  We’re excited to have the chance to offer our workforce the opportunity to join this organization,” said William B. Kilbride, President/CEO of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

600px-US-DeptOfNavy-Seal.svgFlag Officer Assignments

The Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert announced the following assignments:

Rear Adm. Valerie K. Huegel will be assigned as director, Central Command Deployable Distribution Operations Center, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Huegel is currently serving as commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Keith M. Jones will be assigned as commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, Williamsburg, Virginia. Jones is currently serving as reserve director, logistics programs and business operations, N41, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Norfolk, Virginia.

General Officer Announcements

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the president has made the following nominations:

Air Force Maj. Gen. David J. Buck for appointment to the rank of lieutenant-general and for assignment as commander, Fourteenth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), Air Force Space Command; andDepartment of Defense commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Buck is currently serving as vice commander, Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Russell J. Handy for appointment to the rank of lieutenant-general and for assignment as commander, Alaskan Command, U.S. Northern Command; commander, Eleventh Air Force, Pacific Air Forces; and commander, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Region, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Handy is currently serving as commander, Alaskan Command, U.S. Pacific Command; commander, Eleventh Air Force, Pacific Air Forces; and commander, Alaskan North American Defense Region, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Air Force Lt. Gen. John W. Raymond for appointment to the rank of lieutenant-general and for assignment as deputy chief of staff, operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia. Raymond is currently serving as commander, Fourteenth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), Air Force Space Command; and commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Tod D. Wolters for appointment to the rank of lieutenant-general and for assignment as director for operations, J-3, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia. Wolters is currently serving as deputy chief of staff, operations, plans and requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.

PHOTO(s) OF THE DAY

SOURCE:  Department of Defense /Defense News Lead Photo

U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, right, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and German Army Gen. Volker Wieker, chief of staff for Germany's armed forces, stand during an honor cordon at the Pentagon, June 23, 2015. The two leaders met to discuss matters of mutual importance.

U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, right, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and German Army Gen. Volker Wieker, chief of staff for Germany’s armed forces, stand during an honor cordon at the Pentagon, June 23, 2015. The two leaders met to discuss matters of mutual importance.

U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Eddie Myers, parachute safety officer assigned to Detachment 4th Force Reconnaissance Company, prepares to jump out of a UH-1Y Venom helicopter during airborne insertion training at the flight line aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Kaneohe Bay June 10th, 2015. The reconnaissance team conducted this training to refine their skills in airborne insertion to be ready when called upon for a future deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson, MCBH Combat Camera/Released)

U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Eddie Myers, parachute safety officer assigned to Detachment 4th Force Reconnaissance Company, prepares to jump out of a UH-1Y Venom helicopter during airborne insertion training at the flight line aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Kaneohe Bay June 10th, 2015. The reconnaissance team conducted this training to refine their skills in airborne insertion to be ready when called upon for a future deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron S. Patterson, MCBH Combat Camera/Released)

Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration squadron crew chiefs perform end of runway checks before the start of the demonstration for the Wings Over Whiteman air show practice on Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., June 12, 2015.

Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration squadron crew chiefs perform end of runway checks before the start of the demonstration for the Wings Over Whiteman air show practice on Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., June 12, 2015.

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