Boeing moving defense unit headquarters from St. Louis to Washington DC

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Another economic hit for St. Louis. Boeing's Defense Space and Security is leaving town. That means a number of Boeing executive offices are moving to thE Washington D C area. Representatives from Boeing say this is not a major blow for St. Louis.

Boeing's BDS CEO Leanne Caret is relocating to the DC area in January. A small number of top executives in St. Louis report directly to her. Over time about 50 members of their support staffs will follow. Boeing has not released specific numbers, but a spokesman says they are relatively minute, considering Boeing's manufacturing in St. Louis with the FA-18 on the military side and the new 777X on the commercial side will remain untouched. Boeing has about 14,000 workers in the St. Louis region, even recently relocating about 500 office jobs to St. Louis from its facilities elsewhere.

"So, what this means, is a small number of our BDS senior leaders will transition to the Washington DC area. That's really going to enable us to be closer to customers and key decision makers," said Phil Carder.

"I think, if you look on the other side of the ledger; just in the last 4 months we've gotten not only the additional 700 jobs because they're doing commercial work here for the first time, on the 777X, we also just recently got an additional 500 jobs Boeing wide." said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

"Operations at the St. Louis site will remain as they are today. That includes fighter production, weapons training systems, and of course our new composites manufacturing facility for the 777X commercial airplane," said Phil Carder.

Carder says Boeing will still have a sizable, vibrant, presence at their St. Louis location. Even though she's relocating, CEO Leanne Caret will maintain a St. Louis office.