Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Airport eyes military contract

MOSS POINT, Miss. - Trent Lott International Airport, now equipped with a control tower and fire station, plans to go after a military contract that could increase its revenue by 25 percent. Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard planes already use the airport’s one runway for touch-and-gos, but they can’t stop or refuel because the airport doesn’t have a military fuel contract. That may be about to change. Carol Snapp, airport director, said they have begun the process to acquire one. (Source: Sun Herald, 05/29/11)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blue Angels boss steps down

The commander of the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team, Navy Cmdr. Dave Koss, voluntarily stepped down after some of the team's jets flew at a lower altitude than allowed at a Virginia air show last weekend. The team is on indefinite safety stand-down because of the error. Four of the six F/A-18 Hornets flew below their specified altitude in a diamond formation at the Lynchburg, Va., show. They all landed safely. The team canceled performances at Friday's graduation at the U.S. Naval Academy and a Memorial Day weekend performances in Millville, N.J. Koss is being replaced by Navy Capt. Greg McWherter, who commanded the team before Koss took over in November 2010. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 05/27/11)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Contract: Raytheon, $82.9M

Raytheon Missile Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $82,972,665 firm-fixed-price contract modification for the Miniature Air Launched Decoy low rate initial production lot four. Work will be performed at Tucson, Ariz. AAC/EBJM, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/27/11)

Images show extent of river sediment

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA’s Applied Science and Technology Project Office at the John C. Stennis Space Center has provided satellite images to the Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana showing large amounts of sediment throughout coastal Louisiana as a result of flooding on the Mississippi River. The images show three large areas of sediment, or plumes, moving through the floodwaters across Louisiana. The U.S. Geological Survey and NASA are providing satellite imagery to help in flood response efforts. It's part of the Applied Science and Technology Project Office's commitment to use data from agency satellites to help communities address issues of concern. (Source: NASA, 05/27/11)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Contract: Textron, $9.9M

Textron Systems Corp., Wilmington, Mass., is being awarded a $9,890,927 contract modification for the Sensor Fuzed Weapon India Foreign Military Sales case integration phase one eight-month effort. This effort supports foreign military sales to India. AAC/EBJI, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/26/11)

Eglin JSF maintainers train at Pax

Future JSF maintainers Air Force maintainers are getting hands-on experience with the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Seven airmen from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., were at the Navy station for 75 days to gain first-hand experience maintaining the F-35B and F-35C variants, while those aircraft continue flight test and evaluation. They are the second group from the Wing to visit the F-35 test facility at Pax River. The crew arrived April 19 and another group is expected to follow this summer. Lockheed Martin is scheduled to deliver the F-35A aircraft AF-8 to Eglin later this year. (Source: Joint Strike Fighter Public Affairs, 05/26/11)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Regent suspends Mobile operations

Regent Aerospace, which overhauls aircraft seats and interiors, said it's temporarily suspending operations at Brookley Aeroplex because it has yet to obtain a required Federal Aviation Administration approval. Mike Lilley, vice president of California-based Regent, said seats now being worked on will be taken back to the firm's Indianapolis facility, and that the 20 Mobile workers will also be relocated there temporarily. Regent hopes to get the approval from the FAA and reopen in Mobile within two weeks. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 05/24/11)

New spacecraft based on Orion

NASA said Tuesday that a new spacecraft to take humans into deep space will be based on designs for the Orion crew exploration vehicle, and be built by Lockheed Martin. Orion, originally designed to take astronauts back to the moon, is a surviving component of the Constellation manned space exploration program canceled by President Barack Obama last year. The new spacecraft is called the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and will carry four astronauts for 21-day missions and be able to land in the Pacific. NASA has spent some $5 billion on Orion since it awarded Lockheed Martin the prime contract in September 2006. NASA still needs to finalize plans for a heavy lift vehicle. (Sources: NASA, AFP via Montreal Gazette, Space News, 05/24/11) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin built the Orion ground test article at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Contract: Aerojet, $31.8M

Aerojet General Corp. of Rancho Cordova, Calif. is being awarded a not to exceed $31,778,418 firm fixed price contract modification for the procurement of warhead cases and internal components to support the Precision Lethality MK82 Quick Reaction Capability program. This effort will cover delivery of 50 test warhead cases and internal components as well as post initial operation capability support for the Air Force and up to 70 test warhead cases and internal components for the Navy. This effort also includes the procurement of 400 warhead cases and internal components, support for first article inspection of warheads manufactured on steel mandrels and configuration control boards. Work will be performed at Rancho Cordova, Calif. The contracting activity is AAC/EBSK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 05/24/11)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blue Angels cancel performance

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Navy's Blue Angles flight demonstration squadron have canceled the practice demonstration and air show scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. The cancelation is due to a safety stand down period imposed by the team's commanding officer after a lower-than-normal maneuver that took place during the team's last performance at Lynchburg Regional Air Show Sunday in Lynchburg, Va. Following this low maneuver all aircraft landed safely without damage or injury to personnel. During the training stand-down the team will remain in Pensacola for additional training and air show demonstration practice. It has yet to be determined if the Blue Angels will perform the flyover at the Naval Academy graduation Friday. (Source: Blue Angels, 05/23/11)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Airport sets record in April

Northwest Florida Regional Airport had the busiest month in its 54-year history in April. The airport at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., had 96,788 passengers, up 43 percent from April 2010. Last month's figure also outpaced the airport's previous high set in July 2001 by more than 13 percent. Greg Donovan, the airport director, said Vision Airlines, which expanded its service to 15 new destinations in late March and early April, was the overwhelming reason for the large increase. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 05/21/11)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Contract: System Studies, $10.3M

System Studies and Simulation, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $10,277,453 firm-fixed-price contract to provide advanced aircraft flight training services at the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Ala. Work will be performed in Fort Rucker, Ala., with an estimated completion date of May 22, 2012. The U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Center, Fort Rucker, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/18/11)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lakota delivered to SD Guard

EADS North America delivered the first of six UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters to the South Dakota Army National Guard during a delivery ceremony at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota's Black Hills. The UH-72A Lakota is produced by American Eurocopter in its Columbus, Miss., manufacturing facility at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The South Dakota Army National Guard will ultimately receive six Lakota helicopters, four in the Medical Evacuation configuration and two in the Security and Support Battalion configuration. (Source: EADS, 05/16/11)

Contract: Northrop Grumman, $42M

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Aerospace Systems Unmanned Systems, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $42,000,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to convert eight Army Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Navy configuration. Work will be performed in Moss Point, Miss., (71 percent), and San Diego, Calif. (29 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/16/11)

Contract: Boeing, $9.2M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $9,285,819 firm-fixed-price contract modification to provide 389 MK-82 SAASM/AJ Joint Direct Attack Munitions under production Lot 15. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. AAC/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 05/16/11)

Friday, May 13, 2011

403rd gets new commander

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - The 403rd Wing now has a new commander. It's Col. Jay D. Jensen. The command changed during a ceremony at the Event Center, during which the flag passed from Brig. Gen. James Muscatell Jr. to Jensen. From April 1999 to July 2008, Jensen served with the 403rd at Keesler, working with the 815th Airlift Squadron. Muscatell commanded the wing since January 2009. He's heading for Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. (Source: Sun Herald, 05/12/11)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

AF picks housing contractor

It's still is undecided where to build privatized housing at Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field, but there's now a contractor to do the job. The Air Force announced that Picerne Military Housing will build the homes and then be the landlord to active-duty service members for the next 50 years. In addition to Eglin and Hurlburt, the Air Force contract includes bases in California, Alaska, Kansas and North Carolina. The deal is valued at more than $545 million. The developer will build up to 929 homes at Eglin and 484 homes on Hurlburt. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 05/12/11)

DRS Technologies cuts workforce

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - New Jersey-based DRS Technologies has laid off about 65 workers from its Fort Walton Beach office. The layoffs were the second time this year that workers were let go. DRS cut 38 employees in February. Officials blame it on the ebb and flow of contracts. The office in Commerce and Technology Park specializes in communications, unmanned aircraft and boarder security products. It now has about 790 people. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 05/11/11)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Contract: Lockheed Martin, $45.8M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., is being awarded a $45,757,735 firm-fixed-price contract modification for an increase quantity buy of 75 baseline missiles for the Joint-Air-to-Surface-Missiles Program Office. Work will be performed in Orlando. The AAC/EBJK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (Source: DoD, 05/09/11)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eglin a Predator squadron candidate

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is a candidate for an Air Force Reserve Command MQ-1 Remote Split-Operation squadron, officials said. The base is the candidate for a single MQ-1 squadron of 140 personnel and associated equipment. There are no remotely-piloted aircraft associated with this action, only ground control systems. The primary mission of an MQ-1 RSO squadron is to support the MQ-1 Predator aircraft operations that conduct close air support, air interdiction, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Remote split-operations consist of launching a drone via line-of-sight operations from one location, and controlling the aircraft remotely from a mission control element that is operated at another location beyond line-of-site. Officials will begin conducting evaluations of Eglin, covering a range of operational and facility issues. Based on the results of these efforts, officials expect to announce the preferred alternative in summer 2011. (Source: AFNS, 05/04/11)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Airport to promote Vision

Northwest Florida Regional Airport at Eglin Air Force Base/Valparaiso will spend more than a half-million dollars to market Vision Airlines in its five newest destinations. The $550,000 will pay for billboard, newspaper and television advertising for the new flights to and from Las Vegas, St. Louis, Fort Lauderdale, Memphis, Tenn., and Lafayette, La. The flights are scheduled to start the week of June 1. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 05/03/11)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NASA awards services contract

NASA has awarded five indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity sole source contracts to Aerospace Corp. of El Segundo, Calif., for specialized engineering, evaluation and test services. These five cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts will support eight NASA centers, including John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss., and have a total maximum value of $658.25 million. The period of performance is from the date of award thru Nov. 30, 2018. (Source: NASA, 04/29/11)

Blue Angels to perform

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team will perform over Pensacola Bay Tuesday and Wednesday in commemoration of the centennial of naval aviation. The Blue Angels will perform at noon Tuesday and at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Both shows will also feature vintage aircraft fly-bys and various flight demonstrations. Viewing areas are at Fort Pickens and the seawall at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (Source: Pensacola News Journal via Navy Times, 05/01/11, Baldwin County Now, 05/02/11)

Monday, May 2, 2011

NASA facility named for Estess

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - NASA and community officials paid tribute to the late John C. Stennis Space Center Director Roy S. Estess on May 2, naming a site facility in his memory and announcing establishment of the annual Roy S. Estess Public Service Leadership Award. Estess, a Mississippi native and graduate of Mississippi State University, was director of Stennis Space Center from 1989 to 2002, gaining a reputation as an agency pioneer, as well as a mentor and coach to many who later led or still lead throughout NASA. "His legacy will not be forgotten," Stennis Director Patrick Scheuermann said during the ceremony at the south Mississippi facility. "The significant contributions of Roy Estess will be etched in our memories for generations.? (Source: NASA, 05/02/11)