In Ravenswood last week, officials from Lockheed Martin showcased the F-35 Lightning II fighter, which is part of the firm's fifth-generation fighter jet program.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., attended the event because it's important to West Virginia.
There were many reasons why Lockheed was in Ravenswood:
* The Constellium Rolled Products plant at Ravenswood produces 10 percent of the aluminum in each F-35.
* About 800 of the 950 jobs at Constellium are tied to the F-35 program.
* Statewide, there are 2,442 people with jobs in the aerospace and aircraft industry.
* Those jobs pay wages that average $1,251.69 a week, or $65,000 a year, according to Workforce West Virginia.
The F-35 is far superior to the F-22s and F-16s it will replace.
"We should not send pilots into harm's way with jets designed for warfare in the '70s and '80s," said Danny Conroy, Lockheed Martin's program director for the F-35. "These pilots need the capabilities that the F-35 has."