Exelis gears up with Mission Systems

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Training with the NavyIn 2014, Colorado Springs will see the transformation of a longtime division location into the largest publicly traded company in the metropolitan area.

Virginia-based aerospace giant Exelis Inc. announced early last month the spinning off of its Exelis Mission Systems division to create an entirely autonomous company by this summer.

Mission Systems, which currently operates within the company’s Information and Technology Services segment, currently employs around 7,000 workers at 100 locations in 18 countries, earning an estimated $1.5 billion in 2013.

“A corporate headquarters is a great anchor for any community, and they tend to be active in the community,” said Andy Merritt, chief defense industry officer for the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. “They will also have to add people to fill a whole host of structure that they didn’t have as a division office,” including a human resources department.

Although Mission Systems has not announced any plans to expand — employment, facilities or otherwise — or released any economic impact data, an Exelis spokesman reiterated the company’s positive role in the community.

“Locally, we believe Exelis sets a high bar for community service and support,” George Rhynedance, vice president and director of communications for Mission Systems, said in an email. “We are active in the local community — supporting local charities and nonprofit organizations — and are committed to serving military veterans and their families …”

The split seems to have been arranged in order to diversify Exelis’ portfolio, allowing each company to more effectively compete in their own respective markets: Exelis working primarily in commercial endeavors and the new company focusing on contracts with the U.S. government.

After the transition, Mission Systems will be renamed and rebranded and will continue to provide its clients with facilities management, logistics and network communications services. The split will diversify Exelis’ portfolio, allowing each company to more effectively compete in its own respective markets: Exelis working primarily in commercial endeavors and the new company focusing on contracts with the U.S. government.

Kenneth Hunzeker, division president and general manager since 2011, will lead the new local headquarters.

Exelis is itself a spinoff company that was created in 2011 by New York-based parent company ITT Corp.

The company’s Mission Systems headquarters is at 655 Space Center Drive in Colorado Springs, although it also operates downtown offices on Colorado Avenue.

 

Exelis Mission Systems 

655 Space Center Drive

Founded: 2014

Employees: 7,000 worldwide