EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 20, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- A manufacturing center in El Segundo, Calif. where Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) usually assembles major sections of military aircraft hosted a different kind of assembly process on Saturday, March 15. More than 400 company employees from throughout Southern California teamed up with the United Service Organizations (USO) to stuff Operation USO Care Packages for U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas locations, including members of the California National Guard.
The weekend gathering marked the second year that Northrop Grumman has hosted a care package stuffing event with the USO. It was the most successful such event to date: in just over six hours, company volunteers assembled 16,200 packages - a USO single-day record - each containing a collection of items deemed "most wanted" by deployed troops. Since 2003, Northrop Grumman employees have also donated more than $310,000 to the USO.
"Today was another example of Northrop Grumman employees delivering quality products that support our U.S. military personnel," said Gary Ervin, president of the company's El Segundo-based Integrated Systems sector. "During the week, we assemble the center/aft fuselage of the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 aircraft in this facility. We're equally proud to be assembling USO care packages for the men and women of the armed services who protect U.S. interests around the world."
In some cases, added Ervin, the USO care packages will go directly to Northrop Grumman employees deployed in the global war on terrorism as military reservists or members of the National Guard.
"This event set a new standard for us," said Ron Wise, director of Operation USO Care Package program, which hosts about 40-45 care package stuffing parties per year. "Normally we prepare 10,000 to 11,000 packages, but today we could not get people to stop. I am just blown away by their enthusiasm and motivation. It speaks volumes about the kind of company Northrop Grumman is."
Wise's sentiment was echoed by Keith Burton, a community relations representative for the Integrated Systems sector, who organized the event. "With the spirit of volunteerism we have in this company, I knew we could assemble the biggest number ever for the Operation USO Care Package program," he said.
Volunteers at the event energetically loaded packaged body wipes, sun screen, soft drink mixes, granola snacks, peanuts, playing cards, lens cleaner, prepaid international phone cards, disposable razors, chewing gum, lip balm, and more into two-gallon-size plastic bags. A final ingredient was a greeting card from the employees of Northrop Grumman, extending thanks to U.S. service personnel for the sacrifices they make to the nation.
Participants in the care package assembly line included several Hollywood entertainers who support the USO, including actresses Connie Stevens, Kate Linder and Elaine Dupont, and entertainer Nancy Sinatra.
The day's festivities also included presentation of a check for $5,000 to the Operation USO Care Package program by the Employee Charity Organization of Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector. The donation was funded 100 percent by the individual gifts of Northrop Grumman employees.
The U.S. Postal Service picked up the care packages from Northrop Grumman for shipment to Iraq, Afghanistan and several USO centers in California, through which troops pass as they deploy.
The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform. It currently operates more than 130 centers worldwide, including ten mobile canteens located in the continental United States and overseas. The USO is the way the American public supports the troops
Northrop Grumman is a $32 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Brooks McKinney, APR Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (310) 331-6610 office (310) 864-3785 cell email@example.com Tiane Harrison USO (703) 908-6433 firstname.lastname@example.org