A “handful” of assembly workers have been laid off at the Force Protection (Nasdaq: FRPT) manufacturing facility, and plans to build a new type of armored vehicle there have been put on hold.

However, the South Carolina-based company is not closing the plant.

Instead, a company spokesperson told WRAL.com Monday that training for U.S. military personnel in how to use Force Protection vehicles and some maintenance operations will be moved to Roxboro from South Carolina.

“We are not closing the plant” said Tommy Pruitt, senior communications director at Force Protection. “We did lay off a handful of assembly employees because we are not going to build vehicles at the plant.”

A year ago, Force Protection announced it would use an abandoned automotive textile plant as the site to build a new vehicle, the Cheetah. Force Protection designs and builds huge trucks that are specially designed to counter mines and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, in Iraq and Afghanistan. The vehicles are loaded with high-tech gear designed to defeat IEDs as well as carrying heavy, specially designed armor.

The U.S. Department of Defense has yet to place any orders for the Cheetah. Force Protection had planed to create at least 270 jobs for Cheetah work. As of last week, “more than 20” people had been hired, Pruitt said.

“We continue to aggressively market it,” Pruitt said of the Cheetah.

Last week, Force Protection won a $42.5 million contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for maintenance and other work.

The company has a backlog of orders for existing vehicles to fulfill through next year, Pruitt said.

In the near future, the Roxboro facility will be where Force Protection trains Marines and soldiers to use its equipment.

Asked how many people would need to be hired in Roxboro, Pruitt said, “I don’t have any numbers as far as what we might need.”

Moving training to Roxboro from South Carolina, Pruitt said, “would be a little more convenient” for Marines and soldiers based in North Carolina.

He also said the Roxboro facility might still be used for vehicle manufacture in the future.

“It is important for us to maintain a presence there,” Pruitt said. “There is adequate space should we need it for manufacturing.”