The 100th EA-18G Growler was delivered to U.S. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island this week – on time, on schedule, and ready for combat. Earlier this month in St. Louis, community and political leaders joined more than 1,000 Boeing employees at a ceremony to recognize the aircraft’s unique capability and support its continued production.
Employees who attended the rally represented 60,000 employees in 44 states who directly or indirectly support the F/A-18 production line where both Growlers and Super Hornets are built. During the event in St. Louis, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) expressed her intent to fight for these jobs.
"I’ve got your back," Wagner told employees.
"Today is about you. I am so proud of the men and women who come to work here every day," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said during the ceremony. "The 100th is nice, but I can’t wait to be back home to celebrate delivery of the 200th Growler."
The addition of 22 Growlers to the Fiscal Year 2015 budget is a top priority on the U.S. Navy’s unfunded requirements list. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus both have publicly stated that the Navy needs more Growlers to dominate in the future electromagnetic spectrum, which is expanding dramatically.
Congress is considering these requests and statements as they work to finalize the budget. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) assured attendees at the event that "congressional support for the Growler is strong, bipartisan and growing each day."
Scott Radke, avionics integration engineer for the Growler in St. Louis, is among the 60,000 employees who support Growler and Super Hornet production. Watch this video to hear Radke explain why the Growler is essential.