Boeing’s C-17 Plant Will Close Three Months Earlier Than Expected

Boeing announced plans Monday to close down its C-17 Globemaster III assembly plant in Long Beach three months earlier than previously expected. The sprawling 1.1-million-square-foot facility was originally slated to shurtter in late 2015, but “based on current market trends and the timing of expected orders,” the aerospace giant has said the plant will close in mid-2015 instead. 

A Boeing spokesperson said that three orders for the famed planes have been cancelled since the closure was announed last September, further diminishing the number of remaining planes that were left to be delivered. Because of the change in plans, the company said it expects inventory-related charges of about $50 million, which will be recorded in the first quarter, and Boeing has already started laying off its roughly 2,200 employees in California who worked on the four-engine cargo jet capable of delivering 60-ton tanks to war zones.

The early-closure announcement comes three months after Long Beach lost a bid to bring production of Boeing’s new 777x airliner to the city, further dwindling hopes of a future for aerospace production in the once-formidable Southern California landscape.

Boeing said it will not be opening another production plant for the C-17, however the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) will continue providing post-delivery support to the global C-17 fleet. 

Since the United States Air Force awarded the contract for the C-17 in 1981, 223 C-17 Globemasters have been assembled in Long Beach.

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Sarah Bennett is a contributor to the Hi-lo and the editor-at-large at the Long Beach Post. She is also a professor at Santa Ana College where she was once a student before transferring to USC to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Sarah has written about music, art, food and beer in local, national and international publications for over a decade. An L.A. native and longtime resident of Long Beach, she is the co-founder of Long Beach Zine Fest and managing editor at theLAnd magazine. She never sleeps.
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