Originally published October 1994
Washington - In a stunning development, the US Air Force announced that it will merge with the recently merged Lockheed-Martin conglomerate. Air Force Chief of Staff Merril McPeak made the announcement at a White House ceremony today.
"I'm very pleased with the new merger and am excited about working with the contracting world even more closely," McPeak said of the $600 trillion deal. The merger would be the second largest in US history - bested only by the recent marriage of Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson.
The plans for the new company, to be called Air Lockietta, are somewhat sketchy but sources say the former contractors will move into military housing at already-closed military bases around the country. Air Lockietta believes that forcing their employees into government housing will save the company billions of dollars a year.
The merger wasn't a happy occasion for all, though. Many of the former contractors were incensed to learn that they'd be forced to give up their frequent flier miles to the Company and many of the former Air Force personnel were upset that they would now have to decide what to wear every morning.
"It's just not fair," said Capt Jim Lindsay of Onizuka Air Station. "I've invested thousands of dollars in polyester pants and patent leather shoes and they just pulled the rug out from under me. Where am I going to get the money to pay for new clothing, and how will I know if it matches? They ought to make the old contractors wear uniforms instead."
Shareholders of the old Lockheed-Martin Company are also unhappy since the value of their stock plummeted with the announcement. Analysts say the drop occurred because of the debt the Lockheed-Martin group took on due to the merger with the Air Force.
The merger left the other services scrambling to help themselves by looking into mergers of their own. The Navy is interested in a deal with Carnival Cruise Lines, but Kathy Lee Gifford has said that she and Richard Simmons oppose a government takeover. The Army is saying it is keeping its options open but that it expects to close a deal with the Marines sometime in the near future. The Marines, upset at not being included with the Navy negotiations with Carnival, say that they want to be affiliated with some other organization.
Many say that the Air Lockietta merger will take a while to "fit" the people, though. "We know how to spend money, but we don't know a damn thing about making it," said an unidentified Lt Col in charge of OD-4/DH, a former Air Force organization. Many analysts agree with the Lt Col and have said that the company will have trouble initially.
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Revised -- 22 February 1997