New Doors Open at Lockheed Martin’s Camden Site
Facility Expands On Lockheed Martin’s Commitment to the Community
Beginning her very first day at Lockheed Martin eight years ago, Felicia Porchia was nervous. Starting a new job can make anyone feel that way, but working for the world’s leading defense company added a new layer of nervousness. However, as she walked through the doors, she instantly felt welcomed by her new supervisor and coworkers.
“It turned out to be the best job I’ve ever had,” she said.
Felicia is now able to extend her own welcome to new employees as Lockheed Martin recently opened the new Long Range Fires production facility in Camden, Arkansas.
Nestled in a picturesque Arkansas forest, the 70,000 square foot facility is part of a $142 million investment to expand and enhance Lockheed Martin’s Precision Fires center of excellence. The expansion will provide 326 new jobs by 2024, boosting the site’s workforce to nearly 1,000 employees in the next few years.
Lockheed Martin’s history in Camden extends back to 1978, when it opened the site as the home of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) production program. Today, the site’s inventory of products includes the Tactical Missile System (TACMS), High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher, Guided MLRS rockets, the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), PAC-3 and elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Weapon System.
“We’re continuously growing our presence in this community through our work which is critical to the defense of the United States and our allies,’’ said Justin Routon, site director for Lockheed Martin’s Camden Operations. “We have great relationships locally and throughout the state, and are committed to being a steward of this community.”
That commitment extends beyond the workforce to area schools and local charities where employees give back through volunteerism. One example is Family Science Night, hosted annually by Camden employees in coordination with the local school district, where engineers engage students with hands-on experiments to show them the positives of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career.
With future growth and expansion in mind, Lockheed Martin built the Long Range Fires Production Facility to be adaptable for current products it will support as well as those in the future. From its modular layout to installing power through a floor trench system in lieu of traditional power drops, the facility is designed to be able to evolve with warfighter needs.
What’s more important than the facility are the people who power it.
A Camden native, Felicia has seen the site grow over her time with the company, expanding for the third time since 2019. Still, as the site has expanded, one constant – according to employees – is its culture.
“My favorite thing about working for Lockheed Martin is the culture and the values that we share. We have a healthy culture here in Camden,” Felicia, who works as a quality inspector, said. “The attitudes and behaviors of the employees makes it a good environment to be in.”
Operations engineer Keith Cutchall agrees. Over the 34 years Keith has worked for Lockheed Martin in Camden, he’s watched the site grow like one of the saplings that surrounds the buildings.
Keith said Lockheed Martin’s continued investments reflect the company’s continued commitment not only to Camden, but to Arkansas as a whole.
“It’s led to stability not only for me, but everyone who works at Lockheed Martin as well as local businesses, with the growth continuing to be a strong asset for the community,” he said. “Lockheed Martin has been a true employer and has built a strong foundation in this community.”
And when new employees enter the facility doors, Felicia and Keith are two of the smiling faces ready to greet them.