Helmet Factory Grows in Newport

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A Newport company that manufactures military helmets has quadrupled its workforce in the last few months. CGF Helmets is a French-owned company that makes headgear for the military and law enforcement agencies.

Production Manager Winston Bowen says production has increased to 2,000 helmets a month. Bowen says the increase has been in the planning stages for about a year and isn’t the result of events since September 11.

He says growth has been steady since the plant went on line six years ago.

(Bowen) “I worked one year by myself. Then the second year could have been just two or three of us there, and then the last year or so we had as many as ten. And now we’re up to forty two.”

The Newport plant produces a newly designed military helmet called the TC2000. The helmet is a sophisticated two-way radio communications system.

Bowen says bids are out on several large orders that could bring additional jobs to the facility over the next year.

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