Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Contract: Tybrin, $38.7M

Tybrin Corp., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., has been awarded a $38,685,530 contract modification which will exercise Option Year Eight for software engineering support of guided weapons evaluations, simulations, and other services supporting research and development for the principals and customers of the Air Armament Center. AAC/PKET, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/31/10)

Contract: InDyne, $8.8M

InDyne Inc., Reston, Va., was awarded an $8,809,359 contract modification which will provide photographic services associated with base support and the development, acquisition, testing, deployment, and sustainment of air-developed weapons including research, development, test, and evaluation photography. AAC/PKET, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/31/10)

Airport installs body scan system

SAN DIEGO - The Transportation Security Agency at Lindbergh Field plans to debuts its new full-body scanner. The TSA is rolling out 450 of the scanners in U.S. airports this year. According to the machine’s maker, California-based Rapiscan Systems, a low energy x-ray beam images the front and back of a person, compiling the data into a computer-generated image that can reveal objects concealed under clothing. (Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, 08/30/10) Gulf Coast note: Rapiscan has a manufacturing facility in Ocean Springs, Miss.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Airport expansion nears completion

PENSACOLA, Fla. – A $35 million terminal expansion project at the city-owned Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport is 98 percent complete. Greenhut Construction Co. was the general contractor for the expansion that began in August 2008 and was financed with airport revenue bonds and federal grants. The 1,400-acre airport offers 76 daily flights on six major air carriers. For the first seven months of this year, the airport handled 1.19 million passengers, up from 1.16 million in 2009. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 08/29/10)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Contract: Regal, $22.8M

Regal Select Services Inc., Abbeville, Ala., is being awarded a $22,755,119 firm-fixed-price contract for facility inmate grounds and public works services at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. It provides for routine grounds maintenance and other as needed services aboard the air station and surrounding areas. Work will be performed in Pensacola and is expected to be completed by August 2015. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/27/10)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Braun impressed with SSC

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA's chief technologist says there are a lot of options for getting humans to distant places in space, but with all of them the "pathway to do that will go through Mississippi." Robert Braun was at NASA's Stennis Space Center today as part of a national tour to bring attention to the $5 billion Space Technology Program slated to start next fiscal year. The program will focus on developing transformative new space technologies, from propulsion systems to space habitats and more. This was Braun's first visit to SSC, and he admits he strongly associated it with propulsion testing but found "it's really much more than that." He noted the large number of additional federal agencies, and said he sees a number of partnership opportunities. Braun said that one of the first things that impressed him about Stennis was "how quickly people can do things here," such as taking an innovative idea and doing the testing. While SSC is most noted for test and evaluation, Braun sees it playing a role in the Space Technology Program and working on transformative technologies through the innovative partnership program, which will become a part of his office in 2011. So what will he tell his bosses about Stennis Space Center? "First thing I'm going to say is how cool it is," he said. (Source: Tcp, 08/26/10)

Drone entered restricted DC airspace

Navy operators lost control of a Fire Scout unmanned helicopter earlier this month and didn’t regain control before the drone entered restricted airspace around the nation's capital. Once communications were re-established, the Fire Scout returned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The Navy is calling the problem a "software" issue. A program that was to have brought the UAV back to base in a communication failure did not work as intended. A software modification has been developed, according to the Navy. All six Fire Scouts were grounded after the incident, but are expected to return to flight status next month. (Sources: New York Times, Navy Times, 08/25/10) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GE Aviation picks Alabama

GE Aviation will create a $45 million coatings facility for military jet engine components in Alabama, officials announced today. GE Aviation, of Cincinnati, Ohio, is in the final stages of selecting a site for the center. The coatings facility will be involved in the GE Rolls-Royce F136 jet engine being developed for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. GE Aviation's Alabama facility will be 200,000 square feet and is expected to open in the 2011-2012. The facility is expected to employ 300-400 people. Pratt & Whitney makes the primary engine for the F-35, and GE Rolls-Royce is the alternate engine. (Source: Multiple, including Mobile Press-Register, 08/25/10) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the home of the Joint Strike Fighter Training Center; Rolls-Royce tests large commercial jet engines at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Navy slates runway expansion meeting

Robertsdale, Ala., will hold a public meeting later this month so local residents can provide comments on Navy plans to extend runways at two outlying fields in Baldwin County. The Navy wants to extend runways at the Barin and Summerdale outlying fields and will acquire 200 acres at each site. The outlying fields are used by pilots training at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla. The T-6B Texan, a more powerful aircraft, is scheduled to replace the T-34 Turbo Mentor. The transition is expected to be complete by 2013. The public meeting is Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. in the Central Annex Auditorium in Robertsdale. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 08/25/10)

F-16 tests flight termination system

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - An F-16 was blown apart last week to test an aerial-target flight termination system. The test, done by the 780th Test Squadron and overseen by the QF-16 special program office, was to demonstrate not only the flight termination system design, but to assess the debris footprint. The QF-16 is a supersonic reusable full-scale aerial target drone that will provide a 4th generation full-scale aerial target for air-to-air and surface-to-air weapons system evaluation conducted by the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Currently the WEG uses QF-4s. Each drone contains a FTS needed to satisfy range safety requirements for use in unmanned missions. The first production QF-16 is scheduled to be delivered in 2014. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 08/25/10)

NASA chief technologist visiting

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun will visit Stennis Space Center Thursday and hold a media briefing at 1:30 p.m. CDT. Braun will discuss innovation and technology in NASA's future and the important role that Stennis Space Center will play in future space exploration programs. Braun is one of the youngest senior leaders at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Source: NASA, 08/25/10)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stennis opens new storage facility

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new, storm-resistant Records Retention Facility that consolidates and protects records storage at the nation’s premier rocket engine test facility. This facility will also house history office operations. The new facility will house and protect the history and the historical documents related to Stennis and its rocket engine test work. It was designed to meet all specifications and storage criteria set forth by the National Archives and Records Administration. Stennis is the first NASA center to open a NARA-compliant storage facility. (Source: NASA, 08/24/10)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Contract: Jacobs, $103.3M

Contract: Jacobs, $103.3M
Jacobs Technology Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., was awarded a $103,319,031 contract modification which will provide technical, engineering and acquisition support at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and its other tenant units. At this time, no money has been obligated. AAC/PKES, Eglin Air Force Base, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/20/10)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Contract: Rockwell Collins, $140.7M

Rockwell Collins Inc., Government Systems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was awarded a $140,705,351 contract to provide for Common Range Integrated Instrumentation System, 36-month, engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase for Increment 2, with options for Increment 3 technology maturation; Increment 1 and 3 (EMD); and 1, 2 and 3 production and sustainment. The objective of the CRIIS program is to develop, test and field the next generation range instrumentation systems intended to replace the Advanced Range Data System currently in use on DoD test ranges. AAC/EYBC, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/17/10)

600 jobs to land at Michoud

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans will get 600 new jobs when Blade Dynamics, a wind turbine blade and component manufacturer, moves into NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility. Blade Dynamics, a British company, partnered with American Superconductor Corp. and Dow Venture Capital on the project. To qualify for $30 million in state incentives, Blade Dynamics had to incorporate in the United States and place headquarters in New Orleans. It has to create 600 direct jobs by 2015, and the company will invest $13 million. The state estimates there will be 970 indirect jobs, with $35.8 million in new state tax revenue and $23.9 million in new local tax revenue over the next 10 years. Michoud, which for years built the external tanks for the space shuttle, is one of the world's largest manufacturing centers and sits on 832 acres. (Sources: Times-Picayune, New Orleans City Business, 08/17/10)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

AEHF successfully launched

The first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the Air Force was successfully launched Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard an Atlas V rocket. The multi-satellite AEHF system will provide the military with global, protected, high capacity and secure communications. It’s the successor to the five-satellite Milstar constellation. The AEHF constellation will also serve Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 08/14/10) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin Mississippi Space & Technology Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss., provides the core propulsion modules.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reserve base gets new plane

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Marine Corps is updating its fleet of small transport airplanes and has designated a newly formed squadron at the Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse as home for the first two of the new aircraft. The first UC-12W Huron arrived Tuesday morning and the second is expected to arrive at the air station later this week. The "Whiskey" model replaces the older UC-12Bs. The Marines have purchased six of the airplanes from Hawker Beechcraft for $8 million each. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 08/11/10)

New squadron stands up

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - The 345th Airlift Squadron was officially re-activated as an active associate unit to the 403rd Wing this week. The 345th AS is the first C-130J active associate unit in the Air Force and the third active associate unit to activate under its parent wing, the 19th Airlift Wing from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Within the next few months, the 345th AS will integrate 112 aircraft maintenance, operations and support personnel with the 403rd WG's Citizen Airmen. The 345th AS's new commander is Lt. Col. Craig Williams. (Source: 403rd Wing Public Affairs, 08/09/10)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

O'Keefe, son, survive plane crash

Five people, including former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, were killed and four survived a private plane crash in Alaska Monday night, according to a variety of reports. Two of the survivors were EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe, the former NASA administrator, and his son. The plane crashed some 300 miles from Anchorage. (Source: Multiple, 08/10/10)

O'Keefe, former senator in plane crash

Five people were killed and four survived a private plane crash in Alaska Monday night, according to a variety of reports. One of those on board was EADS North America CEO Sean O'Keefe, the former NASA administrator, the company confirmed. Former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was also believed on the plane that crashed some 300 miles from Anchorage. (Source: Multiple, 08/10/10)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Contract: Boeing, $20.3M

Boeing Co., St Louis, Mo., was awarded a $20,327,974 contract modification to provide eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) extended user evaluation assets: eight MOP warheads and eight MOP toolkits. The modification will also provide various support items: eight MOP loading adapters; eight carriage and release equipment; 16 separation nuts; 16 fuzes; and four separation nut simulators, with associated proposal preparation charges. AAC/EDBK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/09/10)

Contract: Raytheon, $450.8M

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $450,827,357 contract to provide engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) program (nomenclature, Guided Bomb Unit-53/B). SDB II is a joint Air Force and Navy program. The SDB II will initially be integrated on the F-15E, F-35B and F-35C aircraft. Miniature Munitions, AAC/EBMK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/09/10)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Contract: Raytheon, $492.4M

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $492,440,683 contract to provide: 132 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Air Intercept Missile (AIM)-120D All-up-Round (AUR) missiles; 12 AIM-120D Air Vehicles Instrumented (AAVI); 87 AIM-120D Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); 273 AIM-120C7 AURs for Foreign Military Sales customers; warranty for 85 AIM-120D AURs for the U.S. Air Force; warranty for 10 AAVIs for the Air Force; warranty for 87 CATMs for the Air Force and Navy; warranty for 58 AIM-120C7 AURs for Foreign Military Sales customers Chile (13) and Jordan (45); 192 non-developmental item-airborne instrumentation units; test equipment; AIM 120D guidance section and rear data link for the Air Force; HIF/Spike life time buy; and contractor logistics support. This includes foreign military sales to Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey, Singapore, Canada, Korea, Chile, Finland, United Kingdom (44 percent). AAC/EBAC, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 08/06/10)

Senate defies Obama on NASA

The Senate on Thursday defied administration plans to gut NASA's rocket development program, voting to pass a compromise bill that preserves some of the contracts from the Constellation program. In February the president said he would cancel plans to return astronauts to the moon and beyond and instead have commercial companies sent them to low Earth orbit. The bill must be reconciled with legislation now in the House. (Source: Orlando Sentinel, 08/05/10)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

ST Aerospace parent gets contract

Singapore Technologies Engineering, parent of ST Aerospace Mobile in Mobile, Ala., has signed a contract to maintain 75 Boeing 757s for Delta Air Lines over the next 18 months. Most of the work will be done in Texas, but at least some will be done in Mobile at the company's Brookley complex. The Mobile operation has 1,400 workers. Singapore Engineering also owns VT Halter Marine, which has 1,500 workers in Pascagoula, Moss Point and Escatawpa, Miss. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 08/04/10)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tanker deadline missed, bidder protests

U.S. Aerospace filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office after it missed the deadline by minutes for filing a bid to build tankers for the Air Force. The Los Angeles-based contractor filed the protest Monday after the Pentagon rejected the U.S. Aerospace/Antonov proposal as late. The Pentagon is only considering bids now from Boeing and EADS. (Sources: Washington Post, Aviation Week, 08/04/10) Gulf Coast note: EADS wants to assemble its tankers in Mobile, Ala.

Monday, August 2, 2010

NASA to discuss GRIP

NASA will discuss its upcoming research into the formation of hurricanes during a media teleconference Thursday at 2 p.m. CDT. The Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes mission will study how hurricanes are created and why they can intensify rapidly. The mission involves three NASA research aircraft, including Global Hawk. GRIP will run from Aug. 15 to Sept. 25. (Source: NASA, 08/02/10) Gulf Coast note: The quarterly newsletter, Alliance Insight, a publication of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Alliance for Economic Development, discussed the project in a feature story last year. Article. Newsletter.

NG issues warning, but optimistic

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Northrop Grumman has issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications to 52 employees at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. Companies are required to provide advance notice to employees of potential large layoffs. "We are currently awaiting an award from the government for the support we provide to the VAW-77 squadron," said Marty O'Connell, Northrop Grumman Technical Services Field Support Services program manager. "Our team is confident we will continue to support the squadron.” Northrop Grumman since 1995 has provided maintenance to the Navy Reserve E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning Squadron. (Source: Northrop Grumman via Globe Newswire, 07/30/10)

Eglin wing becomes directorate

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - The 308th Armament Systems Wing was re-designated July 30 as the Air Armament Center's Armament Directorate to comply with new personnel strength standards for units across the Air Force. The wing's six subordinate groups were also re-designated as divisions and their 24 squadrons will be re-designated as branches. The wing's mission will not change and no gain or loss of jobs is expected. The headquarters and staffing locations of the newly re-designated organizations will also remain the same as members continue to manage the acquisition of 14 munitions and combat support programs as well as multiple projects critical to the warfighter. (Source: Eglin Air Force Base, 08/02/10)