Defense Companies and the Vaccine Mandate: Once Again Compromisng National Security

Faye Higbee
defense companies
Screenshot of Bath Iron Works via WGAN

In the continuing saga of the damage caused by Biden’s vaccine mandate we now see that it’s not just military readiness, or medical workers, laboratory workers and airlines that are affected, it’s even defense companies who make weapons, and supply our aircraft and Navy ships. Two major shipbuilders, Austal USA and General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works have had some workers walk off the job, as thousands remain unvaccinated. Aeronautics companies like Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, as well as a host of others are showing a percentage of employees balking at the mandates. It’s a further disruption in an already shaky supply chain.

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“The pending layoffs throughout the defense industry will inevitably compromise national security for decades…We strongly urge you to reconsider the manner in which you are seeking to address this issue so as not to harm the livelihood of civilian contractors, industry partners, and strategic goals of our armed services.” 

Republican letter to Biden and Lloyd Austin

Being forced by any government entity rubs a large percentage of people the wrong way. The Defense One article states that the majority of those refusing the mandate are blue collar workers. Even though Texas has banned the mandates, the Pentagon ordered defense contractors to mandate the vaccines. They are forging ahead with their compliance to the Biden administration because Federal actions supercede state actions. Neither the mandate itself nor the Texas ban on the mandate are actual laws. They are both executive actions.

To be fair, Defense companies have lost millions of dollars from Covid outbreaks, so they are wanting the vaccinations.

“It is uncertain to what extent compliance with the vaccine mandate may result in workforce attrition for us or our suppliers,” Lockheed Martin wrote in an SEC filing. “If attrition is significant, our operations and ability to execute on our contracts could be adversely affected.”

Throughout the pandemic, defense companies have regularly been hiring thousands of skilled workers to build the Pentagon’s next generation warships, weapons and aircraft. In many cases it takes several years to train certain trades, like ship and submarine welders.

Vaccination trends at companies largely mirror the trends of where they are geographically located, but that’s not always the case. Last month the president of General Dynamics’ Electric Boat said only about half of the 14,000 workers at its submarine-making factories in Connecticut and Rhode Island are vaccinated. In communities surrounding the factories, more than 70 percent of residents are vaccinated. General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic this week during a quarterly earnings call estimated that about 75 percent of General Dynamics 84,000 U.S.-based employees are vaccinated.

Defense One

So the question we have to ask here: is this all intentional? Was the supply chain crisis planned? Is this a case of “never letting a good crisis go to waste” from the pandemic? Keep your eyes and ears open, folks. Things could get very rocky for our National Security in the near future.

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Featured screenshot is from Bath Iron Works in Maine via WGAN.

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