Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump proposes 2021 BRAC

The White House's proposed budget for 2018 released Tuesday calls for a new round of military base closures in 2021. Like many other proposals within the budget, it's likely to face numerous objections from a Congress that so far has rejected the Pentagon's calls to close bases because of a roughly 20 percent excess capacity. The last Base Realignment and Closure round was in 2005. (Sources: multiple, including The Hill, Military Times, 05/23/17) The Gulf Coast region has multiple military bases, many with aviation missions.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Contract: Raytheon, $14.7M

Raytheon Co., Keyport, Wash., is being awarded a $14,727,503 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity requirements contract to provide maintenance and support for the AN/AQS-20 sonar mine detecting set to maintain and improve system sustainability. The AN/AQS-20 is a towed, mine hunting and identification system for Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships. Support will include but will not be limited to, repair; overhauls and other scheduled maintenance; hardware and software maintenance; tracking and resolution of obsolescence issues; technology improvements; reliability and maintainability improvements; development and incorporation of change notices and engineering change proposals; test support; engineering services; spares and repair parts; design efforts and hardware upgrades to improve system performance, sustainability, reliability, and other activities in support of the program. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $77,104,544. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, R.I. (65 percent); Keyport, (30 percent); and Panama City, Fla., (5 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2018. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Florida, is the contracting activity (N61331-17-D-0001). (Source: DoD, 05/23/17)

RS-25 controller tested

Controller tested today at SSC. NASA photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- NASA engineers successfully conducted the second in a series of RS-25 flight controller tests today. The test was reset after a facility issue, subsequently resolved, forced rescheduling of a May 16 hot fire. The 500-second test – more than eight minutes – was on the A-1 Test Stand and is designed to test the controller, the key modification to the former space shuttle engines that will be used on the core stage of the Space Launch System. NASA’s Space Launch System, which will take astronauts deeper into space than ever before, will be powered by four RS-25 engines. The first flight controller was tested in March. (Source: NASA/SSC, 05/23/17)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A special A321 delivery

MOBILE, Ala. – Deliveries of jetliners to airline customers is becoming routine in Mobile, but the Delta Air Lines jet picked up Thursday was a special delivery, at least for the Delta pilot. The pilot who came to get the A321 passenger jet is a Mobile native. Jared Hodge first learned to fly at what was then called Brookley Field and is now the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, home of the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility. He requested the assignment because the plane was built in his hometown. (Source: WKRG, 05/19/17)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Contract: Lockheed, $137.8M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $137,834,819 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-14-C-0002) to provide additional funding for affordability-based cost reduction initiatives in support of low-rate initial production Lot 9 F-35 fighter. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (25 percent); Warton, U.K. (20 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); Nagoya, Japan (5 percent); and Baltimore, Md. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2020. This modification combines purchases for the Air Force (80 percent); Marine Corps (16.4 percent); and the Navy (3.6 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/19/17) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Contract: Raytheon, $7.2M

Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded $7,183,792 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0009 under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement (N00383-15-G-003H) for the repair of nine multi-functional antenna assemblies used in support of the F-18 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar System. Work will be performed in Forest, Miss., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 2018. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/19/17)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

SSC plays role in upgraded A2100

Lockheed Martin engineers at Stennis Space Center, Miss., have completed the propulsion subsystem for the first modernized A2100 satellite. The subsystem raises the satellite into orbit after launch and keeps it on station throughout its mission life. The propulsion subsystem, a hybrid of electrical and liquid technology, was built at Lockheed Martin’s Space and Technology Center at SSC then shipped to Denver, Colo., for assembly and integration into the larger spacecraft. This first propulsion system is for Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1, a satellite for Arabsat and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. The satellite will provide advanced telecommunications capabilities, including television, Internet, telephone, and secure communications, to customers in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The satellite is slated for launch in 2018. Lockheed Martin is building five modernized A2100 satellites for a host of missions and customers around the globe. (Source: Intelligent Aerospace, 05/18/17)

SSC wins NASA award

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Stennis Space Center, for the second time in the award’s eight-year history, has been awarded NASA’s fiscal year 2016 NASA Small Business Administrator's Cup. The award is presented annually to recognize the NASA center that has the best overall small business program. SSC first received the cup in 2011 for having the most innovative small business program in the agency. Five years later, SSC is receiving the cup for the center-wide effort and support to promote and better integrate all small businesses in support of the Stennis programs and mission. In FY 2016, SSC had its most successful overall year on record with regard to the percentage of dollars awarded to small businesses. The award was presented to Stennis Space Center Director Richard J. Gilbrech by Acting NASA Administrator Robert M. Lightfoot and Associate Administrator of the Office of Small Business Programs Glenn A. Delgado. (Source: NASA, 05/18/17)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Core stage now at MSFC

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System has finished a 17-day trip by barge and is moving ever-so-slowly to a building at Marshall Space Flight Center to undergo stress testing. The barge Pegasus moved the 40,000-pound core, built at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, via the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers to a landing some seven miles from the MSFC test stand. At MSFC, the core will be fitted with data channels and hydraulic lines that will subject it to the stresses of launch. The test program will last until early next year. The engine core is one of four cores that will be tested at MSFC. (Source: al.com, 05/16/17) After the test at MSFC, the core will be sent to Stennis Space Center where it will be tested with all four RS-25 engines attached. Previous

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Contract: Northrop, $303.9M

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $303,936,000 for modification P00017 to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive contract (N00019-15-C-0002) for the procurement of three low-rate initial production Lot 2 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft. In addition, this modification provides for one main operation control station, one forward operation control station, trade studies, and tooling. Work will be performed in San Diego (42.9 percent); Red Oak, Texas (11.3 percent); Baltimore, Md. (11.3 percent); Salt Lake City, Utah (8.7 percent); Bridgeport, W.V. (6.3 percent); Indianapolis, Ind. (3.7 percent); Palmdale, Calif. (2.2 percent); Moss Point, Miss. (1.6 percent); Santa Clarita, Calif. (1.2 percent); Montreal, Quebec, Canada (0.9 percent); Vandalia, Ohio (0.5 percent); Medford, N.Y. (0.3 percent), and various locations within the continental U.S. (9.1 percent). Work is expected to be completed in April 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting. (Source: DoD, 05/16/17)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Land swap costs up

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A deal that would swap a Navy helicopter landing field in Escambia County in exchange for land in neighboring Santa Rosa County is still in the works, but cost is becoming a factor. Escambia County wants the current landing field in Beulah to create a commerce park. In anticipation of the deal, Escambia County purchased some 600 acres in Santa Rosa County for $1.68 million. The agreement also states that Escambia County would fund improvements to the land to ready the land for Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton to use as a helicopter landing field. Escambia County approved $4.9 million for improvements, but the expected improvement costs have gone up. The final cost breakdown is expected within the month. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 05/15/17)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Fallen honored at memorial

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Airmen, Marines, sailors and soldiers came together May 6 to honor and remember their fallen explosive ordnance disposal brethren during the annual memorial ceremony at the Kauffman EOD Training Complex. About 500 people ventured to the EOD Memorial Wall this year, as six new names were added to the engraved lists that now contains 326 people. The 2017 event marked the ceremony's 48th year. Each year, a wreath is placed in front of each branch of service's list of names before they are read aloud. After each list is completed with the phrase “We remember,” the names are saluted by an enlisted and officer EOD member. The families of the EOD technicians added to the wall each year receive a folded flag that was flown over the memorial. (Source: DoD, 05/10/17)

Delta orders more A321s

Delta Air Lines has placed an incremental order for 30 firm A321ceo aircraft. This order follows three previous Delta orders for the Current Engine Option version of the largest Airbus A320 series jetliner. The airline took delivery of its first A321 in March of last year. Delta now has ordered a total of 112 A321s, each powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International. Many of Delta’s A321s are being delivered from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Ala. The airline received its first U.S.-manufactured A321 last year. By the end of 2017, the Airbus facility in Mobile is expected to produce four aircraft per month, most going to Airbus’ U.S. customers. (Sources: Airbus, al.com, ATW, 05/11/17)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SLS fuel tank dome damaged

NEW ORLEANS -- A piece of test hardware for NASA's Space Launch System was damaged May 3, the space agency said. The incident was reported by the internet site NASA Watch and later confirmed by al.com. The hardware damaged was the bottom dome of a test Liquid Oxygen Tank. It was not welded to the rest of the tank at the time. NASA and prime contractor Boeing have formed independent assessment teams. The impact on the SLS development calendar is unclear. (Sources: NASA Watch, al.com, 05/10/17)

Wing activated at Hurlburt

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center was deactivated and the 492nd Special Operations Wing activated during a ceremony here Wednesday. Col. Nathan Green, who assumed command of the Air Force Special Operations Air Warfare Center last July, took command of the new wing. Like the organization it replaces, the 492nd SOW’s mission is to train, educate and equipping special operators and perform test and evaluations of special operations programs and equipment. The wing’s forerunner is the 492nd Bombardment Group, which flew special operations missions in World War II. The name was a cover for its real mission – flying heavily modified B-24s behind German territory to deliver agents and supplies to the resistance. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 05/10/17)

Contract: Raytheon, $7.2M

Raytheon Missile Co., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $7,172,609 firm-fixed-price modification (P00054) to previously awarded contract FA8675-15-C-0022. Contractor will provide life of type buys, obsolescence components under the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile Lots 28-30 production. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2019. This contract involves foreign military sales to Japan, Norway, Romania, Turkey, and Australia. Fiscal 2016 and 2017 production funds in the amount of $7,172,609 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/10/17)

GKN gets formal welcome

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – State and local leaders gathered at the new GKN Aerospace facility near Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Tuesday to welcome the global aircraft supplier. "Every now and then in the life of a community, a window opens up and you get to look a little bit into the future, and today, this morning, is one of those times," said Wayne Stubbs, port executive director and chairman of the Bay Economic Development Alliance. In February GKN Aerospace announced it would build a manufacturing facility in Bay County, the company's first site in Florida. Guests Tuesday included Gov. Rick Scott. GKN Aerospace will create at least 170 new full-time equivalent jobs by the end of 2020. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 05/09/17) Previous

Passenger count up at PNS

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The number of passengers passing through Pensacola International Airport have steadily grown over the past five years. Departures during this year’s first three months are 4.7 percent higher than in the same span in 2013. March performed particularly well, with 7.4 percent more departures this year over 2016. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 05/09/17)

Panel wants info on T-45

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The House Armed Services Committee wants more information from the Navy as part of its ongoing probe into problems with T-45 training aircraft used at Naval Air Station Pensacola and bases in Mississippi and Texas. The committee wants to schedule of all tests and evaluations of equipment associated with the trainer, as well as the Navy’s actions in response to test results. Pilots had complained about oxygen issues with the jet, which is still flying with limitations on maneuvers. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 05/09/17) Previous

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mayor wants plane display

BILOXI, Miss. -- Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich wants to honor Keesler Air Force Base with the return of an Air Force plane along U.S. 90. Gilich proposes moving a decommissioned 1956 F-104 jet on display at Keesler to the center median of U.S. 90 near White Avenue, down the street from the base. Gilich in a letter to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force pointed out that for many years there was a plane on display near the same location. But all were lost over time to natural disasters. If the Biloxi Council agrees with his vision at Tuesday’s meeting, the city will ask the museum for the loan of the jet and the Mississippi Highway Commission for approval to relocate the plane. Keesler supports the idea and has offered logistical support for the move. (Source: Sun Herald, 05/08/17)