Monday, February 29, 2016

Contract: Rocketdyne, $115.3M

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, Calif., has been awarded a $115,312,613 other transaction agreement for the development of the AR1 rocket propulsion system prototype for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. This agreement implements Section 1604 of the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the development of a next-generation rocket propulsion system that will transition away from the use of the Russian supplied RD-180 engine to a domestic alternative for National Security Space launches. An other transaction agreement was used in lieu of a standard procurement contract in order to leverage ongoing investment by industry in rocket propulsion systems. This other transaction agreement requires shared cost investment with Aerojet Rocketdyne for the development of a prototype of the AR1 engine, a booster stage engine intended for use on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle. The locations of performance are Canoga Park; Sacramento, Calif.; Centennial, Colo.; Huntsville, Ala.: Stennis Space Center, Miss.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The work is expected to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2019. Aerojet Rocketdyne is contributing $57,656,307 at the time of award. The total potential government investment, including all options, is $536,029,652. The total potential investment by Aerojet Rocketdyne, including all options, is $268,014,826. The Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, is the contracting activity (FA8811-16-9-0003). (Source: DoD, 02/29/16)

Contract: Lockheed, $769.5M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $769,511,730 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, fixed-price-incentive-firm contract (N00019-15-C-0114) for recurring logistics sustainment services support for delivered F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, non-Department of Defense participants, and foreign military sales customers. Support to be provided includes ground maintenance activities; action request resolution; depot activation activities; Automatic Logistics Information System operations and maintenance; reliability, maintainability and health management implementation support; supply chain management; and activities to provide and support pilot and maintainer initial training. Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas (46 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (7 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (9 percent); Orlando, Fla. (32 percent); and Greenville, S.C. (6 percent). Work is expected to be completed in December 2016. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force (48 percent); Marine Corps (24 percent); Navy (15 percent); international partners (12 percent); and foreign military sales (1 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/29/16) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Contract: Pride Ind., $14.8M

Pride Industries, Roseville, Calif., was awarded a $14,836,991 modification (P00042) to contract W9124G-13-C-0002 to exercise the option for follow-on year base operations for the Ft. Rucker, Ala., Department of Public Works, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2017. Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $8,915,936 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Ft. Rucker, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/25/16)

Keesler reassignment

Maj. Gen. Mark Anthony Brown, commander, 2nd Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., is being assigned to vice commander, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, according to the Air Force chief of staff. (Source: DoD, 02/25/16)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Contract: Leidos, $13M

Leidos Inc., Arlington, Va., has been awarded a $13,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for high speed weapons research and development. Contractor will provide support of technology research and development, modeling and simulation, and testing to address issues related to high-speed weapons. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2021. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with four offers received. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $425,000 are being obligated at the time of award for task order 0001. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity (FA8651-16-D-0040). (Source: DoD, 02/24/16)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

U.S.-built A321 enters paint

The first U.S.-built A321 left the assembly
line last week and is now in the paint shop.
Airbus photo
MOBILE, Ala. – The first A321 jetliner built in the United States has now entered the MAAS Aviation paint facility at the Mobile Aeroplex, according to the MAAS Aviation website. The twin-engine, single-aisle passenger jet, which eventually will be delivered to JetBlue, is the first produced at the $600 million Airbus U.S. Manufacturing facility. Other A320 series jetliners are also at various stages of assembly on the production line in Hangar 9. (Sources: multiple, 02/23/16) Previous 2015Previous 2014

Friday, February 19, 2016

Command changes at 1st AF

Brig. Gen. David W. Hicks, vice commander of the First Air Force North at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., is being assigned to commander of NATO's Air Training Command-Afghanistan, commanding the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Southwest Asia. At Tyndall he'll be replaced as head of the First Air Force by Brig. Gen. Daniel J. Orcutt, commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Southwest Asia. (Source: DoD, 02/19/16)

Update pins down jobs lost

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The consolidation of operational contracts with Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans has reduced the number of contract workers at Stennis Space Center by 129 jobs. That's according to Stennis Space Center director Richard Gilbrech, who was among several NASA officials who spoke Thursday during the annual NASA update at Infinity Science Center, just outside SSC. At the beginning of this month Syncom Space Services took over the contracts from Jacobs Technology, which held separate contracts for the work at Michoud and SSC. Overall, the workforce at Stennis is about 5,000 workers, including a large contingent from the Navy. Michoud has some 1,220 workers. (Sources: The Advocate, Sun Herald, 02/18/16)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fort Rucker assignment

Maj. Gen. William K. Gayler, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Europe, Germany, has been assigned to commanding general of the Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, Fort Rucker, Ala., according to the Army chief of staff. (Source: DoD, 02/16/16)

Monday, February 15, 2016

DoD gives Raptor engine a boost

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- Contracts from the military to continue work on next generation propulsion systems to replace Russian engines is providing a boost to commercial space efforts. The development of the Raptor methane rocket engine received a sizeable boost in January when the Air Force awarded a $33.6 million contract to Space Exploration Technologies Corp., SpaceX. Specifically the work will be to develop the engine for the military's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, used for national security launches. But Raptor is also seen as key to SpaceX's commercial space ventures, and much of the work will be done at Stennis Space Center, Miss., which is already doing R&D work on the next-generation engine. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter, 02/09/16)

Sassano starts new life phase

NICEVILLE, Fla. -- He's been a part of region’s economic development effort for years, but Larry Sassano has stepped down as head of Florida's Great Northwest to do work less demanding of his time. His last day at FGNW was Jan. 31. Looking back on 35 years in economic development work, Sassano said helping to create regional business strategies has been his most rewarding work. A feature story. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter, 02/09/16)

Rockhill Group continues to grow

MOLINO, Fla. -- James "Rock" Rockhill admits that when he first started his aviation services business a dozen years ago, he was "all thrust and no vector." It didn't take long for the former F-15E pilot to realize that if he expected to survive in business, he had to add some direction to his charge forward approach. Once he did, the company took off. The Rockhill Group provides flight training, courseware development, aircraft leasing, maintenance and cryogenic services for the Air Force, Army, Navy and Federal Aviation Administration. It now has operations at more than two dozen locations and has 200 employees which will grow to 300 thanks to a new contract won in December. A feature story. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter, 02/09/16)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Work to shift to contractors

The Air Force will temporarily transition some active-duty maintenance units to contract maintenance beginning in fiscal year 2017 and continuing through fiscal year 2020. The move to contract maintenance for some non-deployable flying units and back shop maintenance will allow the Air Force to cross train about 1,100 experienced maintainers from F-16, A-10 and C-130 aircraft to the F-35 program to address a shortfall of 4,000 maintainers as a result of budgetary constraints. Avionics units at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base and Tyndall Air Force Base are among the locations affected. Other bases are Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Little Rock AFB, Ark., Nellis AFB, Nev., Eielson AFB, Alaska, Anderson AFB, Guam; Holloman AFB and Kirtland AFB, N.M.; Peterson AFB, Colo.; and Rota Air Base, Spain. The Air Force will use an existing contract vehicle to begin the transition. (Source: AFNS, 02/12/16)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Two die in small plane crash

DESTIN, Fla. -- Two people died when a small plane crashed in the Destin area Thursday night. The Piper Archer was registered to Texas-based Electrical Training. The two victims were identified as James Shumbert, 67, and passenger Sheryl Roe, 60, both of Alvin, Texas. A jogger called in and said he saw a small prop plane go down, and responders located debris and personal items scattered along the area between Henderson Beach and the Walton County line. Both victims have been recovered. The Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, WALA-TV, 02/12/16)

Contract: Raytheon, $27.2M

Raytheon Missile Co., Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $27,194,893 modification (P00022) to previously awarded contract FA8675-15-C-0022 to provide life of type buys and obsolescence components under the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Lots 28-30 production. Work will be performed at Tucson and is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2017. This contract involves foreign military sales. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/12/16)

New Orleans to Destin air service

NEW ORLEANS -- GLO, a charter service launched in November, will add a seasonal non-stop service to Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Fla. in March, the company said Thursday. GLO is scheduled to begin Friday, Saturday and Sunday flights from New Orleans to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport on March 25. The service will run through Sept. 5. One-way introductory fares to Destin start at $119 including taxes. (Source: Multiple, including, Northwest Florida Daily News, 02/11/16)

Three aerospace clusters take hold

MOBILE, Ala. -- When one of the world’s major aircraft manufacturers chose the Mobile Aeroplex as the site for its first jetliner assembly plant in North America, expectations soared. Economic developers found themselves having to temper those expectations. But now three distinct clusters of aerospace industry businesses have located at the Mobile Aeroplex. A feature story. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor Newsletter, 02/09/16)

The Embry-Riddle factor

If a region wants to be known as a hot spot for aerospace and aviation activities, it’s helpful to have one of the world’s best-known aerospace institutions set up shop in your back yard. And it has, big time. Call it the Embry-Riddle factor. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide campus has had operations in the Gulf Coast region for decades. It holds classes in New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, Pensacola, Milton, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview and Dothan. That’s more than a lot of regions can say. A feature story. (Source: Gulf Coast Aeorospace Corridor Newsletter, 02/09/16)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Contract: Reliance, $150.2M

Reliance Test & Technology, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has been awarded a $150,204,370 cost-plus-award-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Eglin Operation and Maintenance Services (E-OMS) support. Contractor will provide engineering and technical services necessary to operate the 96th Test Wing’s ranges and facilities in order to support the research, development, test and evaluation of weapon systems, subsystems, and components. Work will be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2018. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with three offers received. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA2486-16-C-0002). (Source: DoD, 02/11/16)

Contract: Lockheed, $81.4M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $81,386,343 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for requirements decomposition and development of Block 4 modernization program capabilities in support of the F-35A/B/C aircraft. This contract includes new and upgraded capabilities to provide enhancements and continuous improvements to maintain viability against evolving threats, reduce life cycle costs, and improve operational suitability. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in May 2017. This contract combines purchases for the Marine Corps (5.12%); Navy (8.12%); Air Force (30.98%); and non-U.S. DoD participants (24.22%). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting authority (N00019-16-C-0008). (Source: DoD, 02/11/16) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Contract: Lockheed, $47M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded not-to-exceed $47,000,000 for undefinitized delivery order 0026 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-14-G-0020). This order provides for non-recurring effort and integration tasks required to operate a hardware-in-the-loop laboratory used to build, modify, verify and validate, and distribute mission data file sets for the F-35. This contract will deliver modification kits to upgrade the RC West Block 3i Verification Validation Station to the Block 3F, 3F+, and 3F Digital Channelized Receiver/Technique Generator and Tuner Insertion Program configurations, and provide engineering support during the installation and integration of the modification kits, verification and validation test venue support in support of the F-35A aircraft for the governments of Japan and Israel, under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (53 percent); Orlando, Fla. (25 percent); Nashua, N.H. (18 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (2 percent); and San Diego, Calif. (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/11/16) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base is home of the F-35 integrated training center.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Broetje to set up in Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. – A company that specializes in final assembly line technologies is setting up shop at the Mobile Aeroplex. Broetje Automation's M-Technologie division will provide equipment design and support and final assembly technologies for the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility. The company specializes in small tools, line side equipment, and processes required for the final assembly of aircraft. Broetje's Project Manager, Roman Causse, will manage the Mobile location. M-Technologie is a division of Broetje Automation, which specializes in production processes in the aviation and aerospace industry. It has 650 workers at sites in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China and in the United States, Buffalo, N.Y., Charleston, S.C., and Wichita, Kan. (Source: Mobile Airport Authority, 02/08/16)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Blue Angels fly over Super Bowl

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Blue Angels Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron helped kick off the 2016 Super Bowl with a flyover at Levi's Stadium. The Blue Angels' six-jet Delta formation soared over more than 70,000 spectators at the stadium following the national anthem. The Blue Angels of Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., are currently training in California for the 2016 air show season and are scheduled to fly 65 demonstrations at 33 locations throughout North America in 2016, the Blue Angels' 70th anniversary year. (Source: NNS, 02/07/16)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

F-35 marks first; crosses Atlantic

An Italian Air Force pilot flying the first Italian-made F-35A Lightning II made history Friday after completing the maiden transatlantic crossing of the Lockheed Martin fighter. Aircraft AL-1 was refueled en route by Italy's own Boeing KC-767 tanker. The aircraft took off from Lajes Field on Portugal's Azores island group and touched down at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Friday after a seven-hour flight. It began its journey earlier in the week when it left Cameri Air Base, Italy, for the trip to Portugal. The plane was built at the Cameri final assembly line. In June 2014, a contingent of U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs had been poised to make the first transatlantic crossing to London to attend the Farnborough Airshow until an F-35A caught fire at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., temporarily grounding the fleet. (Source: Flightglobal, Defense News, 02/05/16)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Contract: X Corp, $50M

X Corp Solutions Inc., Stafford, Va., was awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (HDTRA1-16-D-0002) with a five-year ordering period and a ceiling of $50,000,000 for security and counterintelligence operations support services. This contract procures non-personal services to provide security and counterintelligence support to DTRA/SCC-WMD/JFHQ-E personnel, missions, and facilities worldwide. Work will be performed at DTRA locations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Travis Air Force Base, Calif.; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Kleber Kaserne, Kaiserslautern, Germany; and primarily, the Defense Threat Reduction Center in Fort Belvoir, Va. DTRA, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/03/16)

Contract: GD, $46.7M

General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a $46,672,970 single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract that will include terms and conditions for the placement of both cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price task orders for security cooperation, security assistance, foreign military sales technical, and program/project management support services to the Naval International Programs Office, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Command (WSS) and applicable customers of NAVSUP WSS International Programs Directorate. Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pa. (40 percent); Washington, D.C., (40 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (10 percent); and Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (10 percent). Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia Office, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00189-16-D-Z004). (Source: DoD, 02/04/16)

AFSOC planes dedicated

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Air Force Special Operations Command on Tuesday dedicated an AC-130H Spectre gunship and MC-130P Combat Shadow special operations aircraft for display in the airpark at Hurlburt Field. The AC-130 "Wicked Wanda" retired in December 2014 after some 40 years of service. The MC-130P had its last sortie in May 2015. Among other missions, the gunship served in the first Gulf War and participated in the Battle of Khafji. Its sister gunship, using the call sign Spirit 03, was shot down Jan. 31, 1991, killing the crew. Toward the end of the ceremony, the crowd paid tribute to the 14-member crew from Spirit 03. (Sources: 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, Northwest Florida Daily News, 02/02/16)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Eglin slates boat, flight operations

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group will conduct boat operations in the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay Feb. 8-11. Preparatory boat operations will take place in the bay today. Each morning, fighters will release munitions between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. about eight to 20 nautical miles south of Destin in the Gulf of Mexico. Notices to mariners will be issued prior to the missions and flyers will be handed out at the local marina. In the afternoons between 1 and 5 p.m., about 30 boats travelling in formation will transverse between the Mid-Bay Bridge and the Highway 331 Bridge. The boat formation will be used as targets by F-15s and F-16s flying over the area. No weapons or ammunition will be involved with this boat formation. Some boat operators will be dressed in various military uniforms and white costumes. They will carry rubber rifles, painted in high visible colors which will be kept out-of-view when transiting to and from the mission area. Some boats will have fake deck guns and rocket launcher tubes. The boats will also use marine flares as visual markers. These operations are part of the 53rd Wing’s Weapon System Evaluation Program. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 02/01/16)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Two die in plane crash

MOBILE, Ala. -- Two people died after a Cessna crashed near Mobile Regional Airport while returning from a charity flight. The plane went missing Monday evening when the tower lost contact with the plane, which was returning after flying a patient to Baton Rouge, La. The wreckage was found before 2 a.m. in west Mobile.  The Civil Air Patrol identified the victims of Monday night's crash as Maj. David R. Mauritson of Fairhope, Ala., a member of CAP since 1991, and 2nd Lt. Phil J. Dryden of Gulf Shores, who joined CAP in November 2015. (Sources: multiple, including, WPMI, WKRG, 02/02/16)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Contract: Lockheed, $15.7M

Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., has been awarded a $15,699,586 modification (P00014) to previously awarded contract FA8682-14-C-0084 for Lot 12 of NAMMO value engineering change proposal for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) production. Work will be performed at Orlando; Troy, Ala. and Salt Lake City, Utah, and is expected to be complete by Jan. 27, 2018. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 02/01/16)

Contract: Strategic Def. Sol., $13.2M

Strategic Defense Solutions LLC, Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $13,170,497 firm-fixed-price, incrementally funded, multi-year contract with options for gunnery range support, Ft. Rucker, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2017. Bids were solicited via the Internet with 12 received. Army Contracting Command, Ft. Benning, Ga., is the contracting activity (W9124G-16-C-0003). (Source: DoD, 02/01/16)