When you think of booming industries in Arizona, you may think of solar technology, farming, even tourism. But military defense is quickly climbing to the top of that list, and it's paying off for Valley companies.
With our temperate climate and desert landscape, many companies are choosing to build their nests in Arizona and spread their wings.
Since 1988, Mark Kusbel with Wamore Inc. said their company has grown from one employee to 26.
"There's no limit to what's needed on the battlefield," said Kusbel. Wamore specializes in Airdrop Technology. They drop supplies like food, medicine, ammunition or even vehicles to our troops overseas without worrying about fortified borders or IEDs.
"We can fly right over those roads, right over those borders, stay away from those threats and protect the troops," Kusbel said.
Wamore Inc. has earned $30 million in federal government contracts since 2000, including a recent multi-million dollar contract for cargo restraints.
But they are not only in the business of defense. They also make several humanitarian trips, dropping drinking water, food and other supplies to places like Kenya.
"It's absolutely critical to the state's economy," said Sandra Watson with the Arizona Commerce Authority. She said the Grand Canyon State is home to more than 1,300 defense companies, employing more than 150,000 people.
Those companies are pulling in some serious cash - $15 billion a year, in fact.
"We are ranked in the top five as a leader in the country in aerospace and defense," Watson said.
While Wamore Inc. is pulling in top dollar, Kusbel said the biggest payoff is helping our troops.
"We call it manna from heaven, here comes our stuff to save the day," Kusbel said.
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