GPS III Contractor Helps Washington Navigate the Delaware

Re-enactment of Washington’s Crossing. State of New Jersey photo

Lockheed Martin Space Systems bestowed a $400,000 Christmas present on a Pennsylvania park district, helping preserve the organization’s 57-year-old tradition of re-enacting Gen. George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River in 1776 during the Revolutionary War.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems bestowed a $400,000 Christmas present on a Pennsylvania park district, helping preserve the organization’s 57-year-old tradition of re-enacting Gen. George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River in 1776 during the Revolutionary War.

The Newton, Pennsylvnia-based business unit of Lockheed Martin is deeply invested in the GPS program, taking home last year’s $1.46-billion contract to design and build the next-generation GPS IIIA satellites. Lockheed’s donation goes to the Washington Crossing Historical Park in Washington Crossing, Pensylvnia, which has experienced recent state budget cuts, is visited by more than one hundred thousand tourists each year.      

On Christmas night in 1776 Washington, who later became the first president of the new United States, and the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River to attack Hessian mercenaries encamped in Trenton, New Jersey.  The surprise attack and victory is considered by many historians to have been one of the turning points in the Revolutionary War. 

Lockheed Martin’s donation will fund the addition of a dedicated education wing at the park’s visitor center, which is scheduled for renovation in the latter part of 2010.  The donation was announced by Marshall Byrd, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

Byrd also pledged a five-year commitment of volunteer in-kind support for the park’s maintenance and operations on behalf of the approximately 13,000 Lockheed Martin employees in the Delaware Valley area where the GPS IIIA program management and spacecraft development will occur.

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