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KMM hosts grand opening of addition, celebrates 30 years of business

In April 1987 Don Hedger and his wife, Patricia, founded Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing in a former Killdeer hardware store. Thursday, 30 years later, they celebrated a milestone in the company's history during the grand opening of an expansion at the Dickinson facility.

An additional 24,000 square feet was added to the current Dickinson facility, which will be used for building wire harnesses and fiber optic assemblies for Boeing's P-8A military surveillance aircraft.

The P-8A is a modified version of Boeing's 737 commercial jet, according to a press release from KMM. The jet has a nine-person crew and is equipped to hunt enemy submarines and perform reconnaissance and surveillance duties. It can carry missiles, torpedoes, mines and sonobuoys, which are dropped into the ocean to detect and track submarines.

Tim Heiser, Boeing Director of Defense, Space, & Security Supplier Management—Commodities & Services, spoke to the crowd Thursday about the partnership of both companies throughout the years.

"Boeing and KMM have enjoyed a fantastic relationship over the years in both the commercial aviation side of the business as well as programs which defend our nation," he said. "KMM has been there delivering top-quality products along the way. What you do matters."

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., also spoke during the program about the importance of a company like KMM in North Dakota.

"The economic activity you create is very very important for our state," he said. "But you know what else is important? ... the high quality work you do. I know the quality of work you do benefits all Americans."

The company employs around 350 people in Dickinson, Killdeer, Regent, and Hettinger where they manufacture wire har.

Dickinson Mayor Scott Decker, a former soldier, spoke about the importance of the work that KMM produces on the defense side.

"The quality that you turn out and the products that you make that saves people's lives every day is so important to the airman, the sailors, the marines, the soldiers on the ground," he said. "You just have to step back and appreciate the work you do for them and they really appreciate the quality that goes into every one of your products."

Last week, KMM was awarded the Supplier of Excellence Award for Advocacy from Boeing along with 12 other companies—out of 13,000.

Bryan Hanstad, KMM director of operations, has been with KMM for decades and gave a special thank-you at the end of the program.

"Thanks to all of the KMM teammates. You're a hard group to keep up with," he said. "You inspire me every day because of your hard work and I really appreciate and enjoy working with everybody. And lastly, of course, thank you to Don and Patricia, your courage is inspiring ... very very inspiring. Thanks for believing in us and creating a culture where we can raise our families and enjoy our work."