COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Congressman Steven Palazzo was in Columbia Wednesday, to show his support for a manufacturing facility which has supplied parachutes and parafoils to the military and NASA for decades and also provided hundreds of jobs for local residents.
Palazzo (R-4th Dist.) toured Pioneer Aerospace Corporation, which has been making parachutes for the armed forces for more than 75 years.
It was Palazzo's first visit to the facility, which has had about a 50 percent reduction in its workforce over the last year. Those lay-offs were due to a reduction in defense spending and fewer military contracts. Palazzo said much of that defense spending should be restored.
"We've got to continue to work to reverse sequestration and continue funding the military the way they need to be funded," Palazzo said. "We can't balance our budget on the backs of them and their families."
"It's a great honor to have him here, seeing our plant, seeing our employees," said Chris Powell, manger of the Pioneer Aerospace facility in Columbia. "It's a great morale booster," he said.
The company began making parachutes in 1938.