Lockheed Martin Corporation


Text of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics President's Comments to News Media In Meridian, Mississippi

Dain M. Hancock, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, delivered the following opening remarks at a news conference here today at about 5:00 p.m. CDT:

Thank you all for coming.

The last few hours for this community have been most trying and devastating to all who live here and share the pain and suffering of those who have been impacted by this tragedy. We truly thank the mayor, the clergy and the community leaders for their tremendous outpouring of support for our employees and their loved ones. Lockheed Martin is committed to fully support the Sheriff's department in this investigation and have as our utmost priority the health, well-being and safety of our employees.

Let me just update you on some information I relayed to you in yesterday's press conference.

Over the past 24 hours, we have continued the process of mobilizing resources from across the Lockheed Martin Corporation to provide emotional and financial support to family members and our employees at the Meridian plant. We now have a team in place -- here in Meridian -- to provide whatever assistance our employees and their family members need to help them deal with, and begin the healing process of this most tragic event.

As of 4:00 this morning, employees were able to call a toll-free information line and obtain a telephone number they can call for any type assistance they feel they need.

Over the past 24 hours, we have personally contacted the victims' families and helped them begin the process of determining their needs and are working closely with these families to ensure they are taken care of in every way - emotionally and financially. We are providing counselors, we are taking care of funeral arrangements, we are flying in family members from across the country, and we are working with local pastors and clergy to provide support for local church families that have experienced a loss. Lockheed Martin is bringing to bear resources from all disciplines in support of our employees and the Meridian community.

But most importantly, our focus has been on the employees and their families and what we can personally do to help them.

Now, regarding the investigation, we have been cooperating fully with local law enforcement and as of 10:30 this morning provided them with Mr. Williams's personnel file and medical records. We will continue to work hand-in-hand to assist law enforcement in better understanding of why this tragedy occurred.

Now, what we know about Doug Williams. Mr. Williams worked for Lockheed Martin, at the Meridian facility, for almost 20 years. His employment files show his performance on the job was solid, with two exceptions that came to management's attention. The two incidents noted unacceptable behavior in the work place.

In December 2001, Mr. Williams supposedly made threatening remarks during a confrontation with another employee. As a result of a company investigation and his own admission of a problem with his temper, Mr. Williams was required to undergo professional psychological counseling. After satisfactorily completing the treatment, he was cleared to return to work and no further instances were reported for the next year and a half.

The only other situation we are aware of occurred on June 12 of this year. Mr. Williams placed some protective clothing over his head which was perceived as offensive by another employee. Williams was ordered to remove the "hat" or leave the premises. He chose to go home. The employee who complained was notified of management's actions.

These are the only known incidents that were reported to management. Both incidents were taken seriously and dealt with promptly.

Right now, we have people out of work who are very traumatized. It is important to me - and to the entire Lockheed Martin Corporation -- that our employees know we are doing everything we can to help them at this most difficult time. This plant has been - and will continue to be -- an important part of the Meridian community, and the Lockheed Martin family.

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Corporation

CONTACT: Media, Sam Grizzle of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company,
+1-678-662-9162, sam.c.grizzle@lmco.com