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U.S. aerospace and defense CEOs unite behind COVID vaccine mandate -statement - Metro US

U.S. aerospace and defense CEOs unite behind COVID vaccine mandate -statement

U.S. Department of Defense service members provide security while escorting evacuees at Hamid Karzai International Airport

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leaders of the largest United States aerospace and defense companies are united in their effort to comply with the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for U.S. workers and await further government guidance, their industry group said in a statement seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Last week major defense contractor Raytheon Technologies Corp, the maker of Tomahawk missiles, mandated its 125,000 U.S. employees get vaccinated after President Joe Biden announced policies requiring employers with more than 100 workers to have them inoculated or tested weekly.

The Aerospace Industries Association’s board, chaired by Northrop Grumman’s chief Kathy Warden, includes the CEOs of Lockheed Martin Co, Leidos Holdings Inc, General Dynamics Corp and Raytheon Technologies.

“America’s aerospace and defense industry stands together as we prepare to implement the new federal vaccine requirement, while working with our government partners as they develop detailed guidance,” Eric Fanning, the association’s president, said in the statement seen by Reuters.

“Throughout the pandemic, AIA members have expanded benefits and implemented extensive measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as our essential work continued,” Fanning said.

The U.S. Defense Department has spent more than $13 billion to shore up finances among defense contractors that experienced a fall-off in revenue as a result of the pandemic, a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Howard Goller)

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