A military and tactical gear company says it will set up its United States headquarters at the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.
Revision Military makes helmets and goggles used by soldiers and members of law enforcement. Governor Chris Sununu announced the company’s decision this morning, citing his own policies for helping to lure the company.
It turns out Revision has had its eyes on New Hampshire for several years.
NHPR’s Todd Bookman joins All Things Considered host Peter Biello to talk about the company, and the long-running efforts to attract it to New Hampshire.
(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)
So how big is Revision Military and how big is this for New Hampshire?
Revision calls itself a “world leader” in military and tactical solutions. They’ve won government contracts for their helmets and goggles. These are really high-tech devices that soldiers and law enforcement rely on. There’s a lot of design and engineering that goes into this equipment.
Revision was started in Canada 17 years ago. It operates manufacturing facilities in Vermont, and also has offices in the United Kingdom. Right now, it employs about 400 people worldwide.
And now it’s coming to New Hampshire?
Yes, according to today’s announcement, Revision is making Pease its official U.S. headquarters. Product development and manufacturing will take place here. It isn’t clear how many employees it may one day have here, but there are already several managers based in New Hampshire.
Did the company say how or why it chose New Hampshire?
In today’s release, the company says the state was attractive, in part, because of its proximity to military customers in the Greater Boston area. It also said academic institutions including UNH were a draw.
It’s worth pointing out that Sig Sauer, which recently won a huge contract with the U.S. Army for handguns, is located at Pease. So is a company named Wilcox, which also makes tactical gear. So it certainly won’t stick out in the neighborhood.
In his statement, Governor Sununu says Revision was the first company he met with after being elected in 2016. He appears to be taking credit for landing this business.
He’s taking credit the way any governor would. Remember a major initiative of Sununu’s was the ‘100 Businesses in 100 Days’ campaign he undertook, trying to lure businesses to New Hampshire.
Revision, it appears, had New Hampshire on its mind well before its meeting with Sununu.
In October, 2016, the company issued a statement to the media saying that it was going to add a manufacturing facility in New Hampshire.
I spoke with a company spokesperson today and she said Revision spent much of 2015 and 2016 considering its options in terms of expansion. New Hampshire was on that shortlist.
The company in fact met with state officials, including then Governor Maggie Hassan. This is kind of how it works: when big companies are considering setting up shop in a state, that state does all it can to try to lure them. If we need proof of that, consider what’s happening with Amazon right now.
So what you’re saying is this has been a long courtship…
Yeah, that appears to be the case. What Revision announced today though is that this is going to be more than just a new manufacturing plant in New Hampshire. The company is going to staff up a lot of top-level people here.
There’s no word yet however on when this new facility may really get up and running.