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Draken International laying off 247 — 100 locally — after losing military contract

The layoffs will affect the company's employees in Lakeland.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 4:15 p.m. May 6, 2022
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Draken International, an aerospace and defense company, is laying off 100 employees in Lakeland after losing a contract with the U.S. Air Force.

The layoffs will begin May 20, according to a letter sent to the state to meet federally mandated Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act requirements.

The job cuts, according to the letter, were caused after the Air Force declined to renew its Adair II contract with Draken. According to a 2018 press release, the $280 million contract called for the company to provide adversary air services at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. This kind of training helps pilots learn how to deal with real world threats.

Losing the contract, according to the letter, means the “company will be required to permanently close a facility in Nevada due to circumstances out of its control and such closure will have additional mass lay off implications for the” Lakeland facility.

According to Nevada’s WARN webpage, Draken announced it would layoff 147 people in the state.

The company did say in the letter “certain employees” might be offered jobs in other area, adding that “at present, the company does not know which, if any, employees may be offered this option.”

Draken describes itself online as “a global leader providing operational readiness training for U.S. and Allied militaries.” The company’s headquarters are on Flightline Drive near Lakeland Linder Airport in Polk County.


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