U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, asks a question during his visit to Airborne ECS in Port Angeles on Tuesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)​

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, asks a question during his visit to Airborne ECS in Port Angeles on Tuesday. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)​

Congressman offers to help new Port Angeles business

PORT ANGELES — U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer offered to help one of Port Angeles’ newest businesses explore possible U.S. Navy contracts during his visit Tuesday.

The Democrat from Gig Harbor toured Airborne Environmental Control Systems’s new facility in the port industrial park Tuesday morning and had a chance to talk the company’s president, Bill Lee.

Lee, a Joyce native, signed a five-year lease with the Port of Port Angeles in May to move his company, which designs advanced cooling systems for military sensors and lasers, from New York to Port Angeles.

Lee told Kilmer that until now his company has mostly designed cooling systems for air and ground vehicles, but would be open to potential Navy contracts.

“Everything thus far has been all Air Force stuff and one Army program,” Lee said.

He said he’s worked on submarines before and would be interested in expanding.

He plans to manufacture products in Port Angeles and create upward of 100 local jobs throughout the next five years, he said in May.

As Lee and Kilmer talked, crews worked to build office space in the mostly-empty building. After the office space is finished the plan is to move toward product development and production planning on site.

In the coming months, Lee plans to hire people to work with computer numerical control (CNC) machines, 3-D printing, environmental testing, engineering, procurement and other disciplines.


Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

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