Monday, December 31, 2012

Contract: MacAulay-Brown, $30.9M

MacAulay-Brown Inc., Dayton, Ohio, is being awarded a $30,913,181 contract modification that exercises the first option year of the original contract. The option modification provides the same intelligence services to process, exploit and disseminate support services for Headquarters, Air Force Special Operations Command. The location of the performance is Hurlburt Field, Fla. Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 15, 2014. The contracting activity is AFSOC/A7KQ, Hulburt Field. (Source: DoD, 12/31/12)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The year in review

No doubt the headline-grabber for the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor in 2012 was the decision of Europe's Airbus to build a $600 million A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala. It will forever change the face of the already considerable aerospace activity in this region. But there were other significant aerospace stories for the region, including major steps in development of NASA's Space Launch System, progress in establishing the F-35 training center, an uptick in unmanned systems activities and corporate moves that over the long-run will have an impact on the region. (Source: Gulf Coast Perspectives, 12/29/12)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Contracts: Lockheed Martin, $5B

Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded five contracts related to the F-35 with a total value of some $5 billion. The first is a not-to-exceed $3,677,916,910 undefinitized modification to the previously awarded low rate initial production lot 6 advance acquisition contract for the procurement of 18 conventional take-off and landing aircraft for the Air Force; six short take-off vertical landing aircraft for the Marine Corps; and seven carrier variant aircraft for the Navy. The modification provides for all associated ancillary mission equipment. Work will be completed in February 2015. The second is a not-to-exceed $753,420,000 undefinitized modification to the previously awarded F-35 low rate initial production lot 6 advance acquisition contract to provide non-recurring sustainment and logistics support for delivered and projected air systems. This modification includes site stand-up and depot activation activities and the procurement of Autonomic Logistics Information System hardware and software; training systems; support equipment and spares. Work will be completed December 2015. The third is a not-to-exceed $374,495,232 undefinitized modification to the previously awarded low rate initial production lot 6 advance acquisition contract the manufacture and delivery of initial air vehicle spares in support of 60 low rate initial production lot VI and VII air vehicles (37 Air Force conventional; 12 Marine Corps short take-off aircraft; and 11 Navy carrier variants. Work will be completed November 2015. The fourth is a $48,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to perform engineering, programmatic, and logistics tasks supporting investigations or studies to determine the feasibility, practicality, desirability, or supportability of various F-35 air systems. Work will be completed December 2015. The fifth is a not-to-exceed $17,106,385 undefinitized modification to the previously awarded low rate initial production lot 5 contract. This modification provides for the manufacture and delivery of initial air vehicle spares in support of LRIP lot 5 air vehicles for the Air Force. Work will be completed in November 2015. Work on all five contracts will be done in Texas, California, Florida, New Hampshire, Maryland and the United Kingdom. The Naval Air Systems Comman, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/28/12) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Contract: Bell-Boeing, $1.4B

Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded a $1,405,744,559 modification to the previously awarded V-22 lot 17 advance acquisition contract for 17 fiscal 2013 MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft for the Marine Corps and four fiscal 2013 CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft for the Air Force. In addition, this modification provides funding for long lead components required for the manufacture and delivery of 19 fiscal 2014 lot 18 MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft for the Marine Corps and three fiscal 2014 lot 18 CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft for the Air Force. Work will be performed in a wide range of locations and is expected to be completed in September 2016. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/28/12) Gulf Coast note: Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., uses CV-22 tiltrotors.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New exec has F-35 background

PASCAGOULA, Miss. -- A retired rear admiral and former Lockheed Martin F-35 executive has been appointed executive vice president of shipbuilder VT Halter Marine. John J. Prendergast III, who spent more than 30 years in the Navy, will be responsible for a range of activities, including government contracts. After retiring from the Navy, Prendergast was named director of sustainment business operations for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter with Lockheed Martin. VT Halter Marine, with operations in Pascagoula and Moss Point, designs, builds and repairs a variety of ocean vessels. (Source: Mississippi Press, 12/26/12)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Contract: Composites Eng, $32.8M

Composite Engineering Inc., Sacramento, Calif., modification number P00007 is being awarded a $32,834,295 contract modification for the Lot 9 Sustainment and Lot 10 Production in support of the Air Force sub-scale aerial target program. The location of the performance is Sacramento, Calif. Work is expected to be completed by Apr. 30, 2014. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBYA, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 12/26/12)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

S. Korea buying Global Hawks

The Defense Department has proposed selling South Korea four Global Hawk surveillance drones in an order valued at $1.2 billion. The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said it notified Congress of the proposed sale, which includes infrared and electro-optical sensors, imagery analysis systems and moving target indicators on board the Block 30 Global Hawks. The sale would be the first order in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia has expressed interest in buying the aircraft but has yet to place an order. (Source: Bloomberg, 12/24/12) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawks are made in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Work to begin on SLS core

NEW ORLEANS -- Construction is set to begin at Michoud Assembly Facility on the major components of NASA’s Space Launch System, which will transport astronauts to deep space. The work is expected to bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to the Michoud when construction reaches its peak, starting next year and leveling off in 2015. The rocket's core stage will be built at Michoud, and the engines that will power the vehicle will be test-fired at Stennis Space Center, Miss. In Huntsville, Ala., a technical review of the core stage, called a preliminary design review, was successfully completed at Marshall Space Flight Center Thursday. (Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, NASA, 12/21/12)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Contract: Boeing, $118M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $118,049,122 firm-fixed-price contract to procure Lot 17 Guided Vehicle kits for the Joint Direct Attack Munition weapon system. The location of the performance is St. Charles, Mo. Work is expected to be completed by March 31, 2015. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 12/21/12)

Orion backup chute tested

NASA completed the latest in a series of parachute tests for its Orion spacecraft Thursday at the Army Yuma Proving Ground in southwestern Arizona, a step toward a first flight test in 2014. The test verified Orion can land safely even if one of its two drogue parachutes does not open during descent. Orion, which will take humans further into space than ever before, uses five parachutes. The 21,000-pound capsule needs only two main parachutes and one drogue. The extra two provide a backup in case one of the primary parachutes fails. The next Orion parachute test is scheduled for February and will simulate a failure of one of the three main parachutes. (Source: NASA, 12/20/12) Gulf Coast note: The Orion capsules are built in New Orleans; Stennis Space Center, Miss., tests the rocket engines for the Space Launch System.

OFP awarded for test program

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force was recently recognized with the Ferguson Award for Engineering for developing F-15 aircraft modernization system, Suite 7E. Suite 7E included software for the newly developed F-15 missile capability, the AIM 120D. The system has been approved by Air Combat Command to be operational on all 219 F-15s nationwide. The F-15 OFP CTF at Eglin is part of the 53rd Test Management Group and 46th Operations Group and is responsible for testing F-15 software upgrades to enhance air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. With the continued development of the F-22 and F-35, the plan is for the F-15 to be around for a while. OFP CTF is the first organization from Eglin to win the award since its inception in 2003. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 12/20/12)

GE buying Avio aerospace

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- GE has agreed to purchase the aviation business of Avio S.p.A., an Italy-based manufacturer of aviation propulsion components and systems for civil and military aircraft, for $4.3 billion. GE will acquire Avio's aviation business from Cinven, a European private equity firm that has owned Avio since 2006, and Finmeccanica, the Italian aerospace group. The transaction is subject to regulatory and governmental approvals. GE will not be purchasing Avio's space unit. (Source: Business Wire, 12/21/12) Gulf Coast note: GE Aviation is building an aircraft parts plant near Hattiesburg, Miss.; Finmeccanica owns Selex Galileo in Kiln, Miss.

County OKs incentives

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Mobile County Commission approved contributing $24,000 toward a compensation package to bring Airbus supplier Labinal Engineering Inc. to Mobile. The contribution is part of $106,000 in incentives made to the engineering company by the city, county and state in recent weeks. Labinal is a subsidiary of Safran Engineering Services of France. The company plans to build a $2 million engineering center at Brookley Aeroplex. Airbus is building an A320 assembly line in the city. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/20/12)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

SSC deputy director named

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- Jerry Cook has been selected as the deputy director of NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, the agency's primary testing ground for rocket engines and propulsion systems, and its systems engineering center for applied science activities. Cook served as the associate program manager of the Space Launch System (SLS) Program Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. He has served in a dual role as manager of the SLS Program Planning and Control Office. (Source: NASA/SSC, 12/20/12)

Contracts: Northrop, $52.5M

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems of San Diego, Calif., was awarded two contracts related to the MQ-8B Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing unmanned system. One was a $19,166,627 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for logistics services, and the other a $33,270,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the development, production, integration, and testing of nine radar systems. Work on both contracts will be done in San Diego, Calif., and Patuxent River, Md., with the first expected to be completed in November 2013 and the second in June 2014. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/20/12) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lockheed Martin marks 100 years

BETHESDA, Md. -- Lockheed Martin is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Lockheed Company, incorporated Dec. 19, 1912, in San Francisco, Calif. Brothers Allan and Malcolm Lockheed founded the company out of a garage, where they built their Model G seaplane. Their second plane, the F-1 Flying Boat, earned the company its first military contract. In 1995, Lockheed merged with Martin Marietta, also founded in 1912 as the Glenn L. Martin Co., to form Lockheed Martin. The Martin anniversary was celebrated in August. Lockheed Martin employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. It had net sales in 2011 of $46.5 billion. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 12/19/12) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin has operations in the Gulf Coast region, including the Space and Technology Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss. It's the builder of the F-35, which has a training center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

AF can use more state land

The Air Force will be allowed to conduct non-hazardous missions on additional state-owned land. The state Department of Environmental Protection agreed last week to let the Air Force us pockets of land across the region. The agreement is part of an effort to ease competition for range space on Eglin Air Force Base’s 450,000-acre reservation. In October, the Air Force signed its first agreement to use Florida Forest Service land. The Air Force plans to sign a similar agreement with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in the near future. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/18/12) Previous

Scott lauds L-3 expansion

CRESTVIEW, Fla. -- L-3 Crestview Aerospace and Gov. Rick Scott said the company will create 340 jobs within two years through the expansion of the company's manufacturing operation in Okaloosa County. The project is an investment of more than $13.7 million, including $7 million in facilities upgrades and the retrofit of hangar space at Bob Sikes Airport in 2013 and 2014. L-3 first announced the $7 million upgrade in November. (Source: Governor’s office, 12/18/12) Previous; Related column

County gives nod to sue Vision

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- Okaloosa County commissioners voted to sue Vision Airlines to get more than $146,000 in unpaid fees. Airports Director Greg Donovan was authorized to work with county attorneys to take Vision to court if it doesn’t pay by Dec. 31. Vision Airlines, which began offering flights at Northwest Florida Regional Airport in 2010, stopped service locally in February. Most of the money is for unpaid passenger facility charges, and the rest is unpaid utility, rent and fuel expenses. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/18/12) Previous

Contract: Boeing, $8.9M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $8,916,113 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for procurement of Laser Small Diameter Bombs (LSDB) retrofits, LSDB guided test vehicles, production, engineering, integration and test support and storage/shipping containers. The location of the performance is St. Louis, Mo. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/PZJ, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 12/18/12)

Contract: UT, $85.3M

United Technologies Corp., East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded an $85,282,562 contract modification for the F119 Engine Sustainment. Among locations of performance is Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Other locations are East Hartford; Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.; Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas; and Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/WWUK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. (Source: DoD, 12/18/12)

Pegasus getting 100 A320neos

Pegasus Airlines, second largest airline in Turkey, signed for up to 100 A320neo aircraft - 58 A320neo and 17 A321neo models - of which 75 are firm orders. Pegasus becomes a new Airbus customer and the first Turkish airline to order the A320neo. This is the largest single commercial aircraft order ever placed by an airline in Turkey. Last week AirAsia ordered 100 A320s. (Source: Airbus, 12/18/12) Previous. Gulf Coast note: Airbus will begin construction in the spring on an A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

X-47B completes at-sea tests

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, at sea -- The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completed its first at-sea test phase aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Dec. 18. The first aircraft of its kind aboard a Navy vessel, the Northrop Grumman-built X-47B was put through myriad trials to assess the viability of an unmanned system's operation aboard a carrier. Among the tests, the X-47B was towed using carrier-based tractors, taxied on the flight deck via its arm-mounted control display unit and had its digital engine controls tested within environments pervaded by electromagnetic fields. "The system has performed outstandingly," said Don Blottenberger, program manager for the N-UCAS Program Office. "We validated our capabilities on an aircraft carrier," said Mike Mackey, Northrop Grumman's program director. (Source: NNS, 12/18/12) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman builds portions of the Global Hawk and Fire Scout UAVs in Moss Point, Miss.

40th to test F-16 software

F-16s test software. Courtesy photo
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- For the first time, developmental testing for an F-16 operational flight program (OFP) will occur at the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin. The testing for Block 40 and 50 model F-16s is scheduled to begin in 2014. It will also be the first time developmental testing (DT) and operational testing (OT) of the OFP will be conducted at the same base. An OFP is the software in the F-16 that controls the avionics and allows the jet to interface with external weapons. It is currently in the design-try-out phase here. This phase is primarily to help the software developers. This new software package will be incorporated in all active-duty F-16s and many Reserve aircraft. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 12/18/12)

F-35A pilot training to begin

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Gen. Edward Rice, commander of Air Education and Training Command, said Eglin is ready to start training pilots in the Air Force's variant of the F-35. Training is slated to begin Jan. 7 with four 58th Fighter Squadron pilots and two operational test pilots. The Air Force is tentatively planning initial operating capability by 2016 when the first operational base opens. An AETC Joint Operational Test Team conducted an operational utility evaluation this fall, and presented its findings to Rice. The OUE lasted 46 days and focused on classroom and simulator training, along with six flights. (Sources: Eglin Public Affairs, Air Force Times, 12/17/12)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Incentives up for vote

MOBILE, Ala. -- The city and county vote next week on the incentives used to lure the first Airbus supplier to Mobile. A $70,000 benefit from the city will be voted on by the Mobile City Council Tuesday, and a $24,000 incentive will be voted on by the Mobile County Commissioners Thursday. The state is providing $12,000 to Labinal Engineering, a subsidiary of Safran Engineering Services, a France-based company that will create 50 jobs at Brookley Aeroplex. Airbus plans to build an A320 assembly line this spring. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/14/12) Previous

Friday, December 14, 2012

Contract: Lockheed Martin, $127.7M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $127,740,214 fixed-price-incentive-fee and cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to the previously awarded F-35 Air System Low Rate Initial Production Lot 5 contract. This effort is required to complete the definitization for the previously announced Undefinitized Contractual Action (UCA) for a total of 32 F-35 Air Systems. This modification procures LRIP 5 production requirements including: manufacturing support equipment; two program array assemblies; ancillary mission equipment, including pilot flight equipment; preparation for ferry of aircraft; and diminishing manufacturing sources redesign. This effort includes requirements for the international partner governments as well as for the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas; El Segundo, Calif.; Warton, United Kingdom; Orlando, Fla.; Nashua, N.H.; and Baltimore, Md., and is expected to be completed in October 2014. The contracting activity is Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. (Source: DoD, 12/14/12) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base is home of the F-35 training center.

Powerpack tests concluded

J-2X powerpack test at Stennis Space Center
NASA photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- Engineers conducted the final test-firing of the J-2X powerpack assembly Thursday at NASA's Stennis Space Center. The powerpack assembly, a system of components on top of the engine that feeds propellants to the bell nozzle of the engine to produce thrust, has burned millions of pounds of propellants during a series of 13 tests totaling more than an hour and a half in 2012. The testing team set several records for hot-firing duration at Stennis test stands during the summer. NASA engineers will remove the assembly from the test stand to focus on tests of the fully integrated engine. Installation on a test stand at Stennis will begin in 2013. The J-2X, developed by Rocketdyne, will power the upper stage of the Space Launch System that will take astronauts into deep space missions. (Source: NASA, 12/14/12)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gov thinks F-35 quieter

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin arrived at Eglin Air Force Base on Wednesday to see the F-35 in action. Shumlin, several staff members and two mayors made the trip to Eglin to see how the noise level of the F-35 compares to the F-16, which is currently housed at their National Air Guard Base in Burlington, Vt. The base is a contender to get operational F-35s. The group brought instruments to measure the noise, and Shumlin concluded the F-35 would be quieter than the F-16. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/12/12)

AirAsia orders 100 A320s

Airbus said it has received an order for 100 Airbus A320 aircraft from AirAsia. Asia's largest budget airline is expanding its fleet to tap into the robust growth in air travel in the region. The order had been widely anticipated in recent months. The price was not disclosed, but the list price would come to $9.37 billion. (Source: Fox Business, 12/13/12) Gulf Coast note: Airbus plans to build an A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

NASA best place to work

NASA was named the best place to work in the federal government among large agencies in a survey released today by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization. This ranking, which reflects NASA's highest results since this index was developed, makes clear that the agency's work force is focused on carrying out the nation's new and ambitious space program. The rankings are based on responses from nearly 700,000 federal workers. The Best Places to Work rankings are based on data from the Office of Personnel Management's annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted from April through June 2012 and additional survey data from nine agencies plus the Intelligence Community. This is the seventh edition of the Best Places to Work rankings since the first in 2003. NASA's Stennis Space Center was ranked second in the sub-agency component category. (Source: NASA, 12/13/12)

Contract: BAE Systems, $400M

T-6 trainer. BAE Systems photo
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- BAE Systems has been selected by the U.S. Navy to maintain and service T-34, T-44 and T-6 trainer aircraft under a contract valued at about $400 million over five years. The company will perform scheduled inspections, along with required repairs, modifications and logistical support, for more than 300 aircraft operated by the Chief of Naval Air Training. The contract was awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The work will be done at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., and Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla. BAE Systems will be actively recruiting from the existing skilled workforce at each site to fill maintenance positions. (Source: BusinessWire, 12/13/12)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Officer announcement made

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta announced today that the President has nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and for assignment as director, Air National Guard, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Va. Clarke is currently serving as commander, First Air Force (Air Force North), and commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 12/12/12) Tyndall is near Panama City, Fla. It's the home of F-22 training as well as the First Air Force.

Forestry tool wins award

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- A forest monitoring and assessment tool developed by NASA Stennis Space Center's Applied Science and Technology Project Office and other federal and university partners was chosen for a prestigious technology transfer award. The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer announced Nov. 26 that the ForWarn early warning system will receive the 2013 FLC Interagency Partnership Award. The award recognizes the efforts of laboratory employees from at least two different agencies who have collaboratively accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring a technology. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in partnership with Stennis Space Center, released ForWarn earlier this year as a satellite-based monitoring and assessment tool for tracking changes in forest vegetation across the country, and providing a strategic, national overview of potential forest disturbances and environmental threats. (Source: NASA/SSC, 12/12/12) For a background story, see Pages 7-8 of the April 2010 issue of Alliance Insight)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Contracts: multiple, $315M

Two Fort Walton Beach, Fla., companies, InDyne Inc. and Williams Electric Co., were among 10 companies awarded a $315,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to provide for the services in support of various security and control systems. The other companies were BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Md.; Honeywell HBS Solutions LLC, Minneapolis, Minn.; Johnson Controls BAS LLC, Huntsville, Ala.; M.C. Dean Inc., Dulles, Va.; Siemens Government Technologies Inc., Arlington, Va.; Smith and Wesson Security Solutions, Franklin, Tenn.; Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va.; and American Systems Corp., Chantilly, Va. Work location will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 6, 2017. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/11/12)

Contract: Boeing, $17M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $17 million contract modification for engineering, manufacturing and development phase option 1. The location of the performance is St. Louis, Mo. Work is expected to be completed by March 2014. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBYK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 12/11/12)

Monday, December 10, 2012

X-47B taxis on carrier

X-47B taxis on USS Truman
U.S. Navy photo
ATLANTIC OCEAN -- An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator aircraft for the first time taxied aboard a carrier Sunday. During the test aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, deck operators used an arm-mounted control display unit to remotely control the aircraft. Lt. Cmdr. Larry Tarver, Truman's aircraft handling officer, said every test on the aircraft brings the Navy one step closer to unmanned carrier aviation. "Nobody has ever done this before," said Tarver. The Northrop Grumman built X-47B is scheduled to complete taxi testing before Truman returns to its homeport in Naval Station Norfolk. (Source: NNS, 12/10/12) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman builds portions of two other UAVs, Global Hawk and Fire Scout, in Moss Point, Miss. Previous Related

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Tyndall cancels air show

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Next year's air show at Tyndall Air Force Base has been canceled because of budget constraints. Lt. Melanie Holiday confirmed Friday base officials had been planning for the March show when the word came from senior officials to terminate the plan. Tyndall officials said they made the decision to stop planning the event after consideration of fiscal responsibility and mission requirements. (Source: Panama City News Herald, 12/07/12)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Officer announcements made

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta announced that the President has nominated Air Force Col. Walter J. Sams for appointment to the rank of brigadier general and for assignment as mobilization assistant to the commander, 1st Air Force, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Sams' appointment was among 21 announced Friday. (Source: DoD, 12/07/12) Tyndall Air Force Base is near Panama City, Fla. It's the home of F-22 training as well as the 1st Air Force.

DOJ objects to sale

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The objection of the Justice Department prompted United Technologies and TransDigm Group Inc. to terminate the previously announced sale of the Goodrich Corp. pump and engine control systems business to TransDigm of Cleveland. Sale of the pump and engine control systems unit is one of the divestitures required by regulatory authorities as a condition of UTC's acquisition of Goodrich. UTC intends to comply with its obligation to sell this business to a buyer acceptable to the U.S. Department of Justice and European Commission. (Source: PRNewswire, 12/06/12) Gulf Coast note: The Goodrich Alabama Service Center is in Foley, Ala. Rocketdyne, a United Technologies company being sold to GenCorp, assembles and tests rockets at Stennis Space Center, Miss. Previous

Vision to offer Orlando non-stop

GULFPORT, Miss. -- Vision Airlines and the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi will start non-stop flights from Orlando, Fla., to Gulfport, Miss., starting Feb. 6. Service will be three days a week, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays. Flights will be aboard 136-seat Boeing 737 aircraft from Orlando Sanford International Airport. (Source: Sun Herald, 12/06/12)

UAVs touted at JCEDF dinner

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- Unmanned aerial systems were the focus of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation dinner at the Ocean Springs Civic Center. George Freeland, executive director of JCEDF, said that in economic development, it's important to pursue fields with high potential. And that's the case with UAVs. At Moss Point finishing work is done on Fire Scout unmanned helicopters and the central fuselage is built on all variants of the Global Hawk, including the Navy's version, Triton. The featured speakers were Walt Kreitler, director of the Triton program for Northrop Grumman, and Michael Toscano, president and CEO of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. (Source: Mississippi Press, 12/06/12)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

EADS deal ends state grip

In a restructuing of EADS, France and Germany ending their grip on the board room two months after the collapse of merger talks with BAE Systems. The first beneficiary is German auto group Daimler, which raised over $2 billion selling holdings as share prices rose. The European Aeronatuc Defense and Space company owns aircraft maker Airbus, along with businesses that build rocket and missile lauhers, satellites, fighter aircraft and helicopters. Under the new plan, German and French state interests will hold 12 percent each, and Spain will hold 4 percent. (Sources: multiple, including AFP via Space Wars; Reuters, 12/06/12) Gulf Coast note: EADS subsidiary Airbus plans to build an aircraft assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

Mobile gets supplier

MOBILE, Ala. -- The first Airbus-related supplier said it will build a $2 million engineering facility at Mobile's Brookley Aeroplex. The official word from Safran Engineering Services Thursday afternoon came five months after Airbus said it will build an A320 assembly line in Mobile. The Safran facility will open in 2013 and employ 50 engineers. One of its neighbors at Brookley will be the Airbus Engineering Center. Bruno Bernard, chief executive officer of Safran Engineering Services, said the company plans to "continue to grow with Mobile in its upward trajectory." (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/06/12) Previous

Contract: Lockheed, $386.7M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a not-to-exceed $386,694,924 modification to the previously awarded F-35 Low Rate Initial Production Lot 6 Advance Acquisition Contract to provide sustainment support for delivered air systems. This effort includes but is not limited to: ground maintenance activities; action request resolution; depot activation activities; Automatic Logistics Information System operations and maintenance; reliability, maintainability and health management implementation and support; supply chain management; activities to provide and support pilot and maintainer initial training; and procurement of replenishment spares and depot level repairs in support of flight operations. Work will be performed in Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (35 percent); Ft. Worth, Texas (25 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (8 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (5 percent); and various locations throughout the United States (27 percent); and is expected to be completed in October 2013. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 12/06/12)

Mobile getting Safran

Global aerospace and defense company Safran Group of France will announce Thursday plans for a $2 million engineering center in Mobile, Ala., according to the Mobile Press-Register. The center at Brookley Aeroplex will create 50 engineering jobs and will be operated by Labinal Inc., a Safran subsidiary and Airbus supplier. Airbus is building a $600 million A320 assembly line at Brookley. A news conference is slated for 3:30 p.m. CST. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/06/12)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

F-35 leadership changing

Defense News reports that U.S. Air Force Gen. Christopher Bogdan will be named as head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Joint Program Office on Dec. 6. Bogdan is currently the F-35 deputy program manager. In August, he was nominated to head the program by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. He takes over for retiring Vice Adm. David Venlet. (Source: Defense News, 12/04/12) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base is home of the F-35 training center.

Germany trip Q&A

Birmingham has begun its courtship of potential suppliers of a planned $600 million Airbus Americas plant in Mobile. Rick Davis, Birmingham Business Alliance senior vice president of economic development, joined the Alabama delegation in a trip to an aviation conference in Hamburg, Germany, last month. A Q&A by the Birmingham Business Journal. (Source: Birmingham Business Journal, 12/04/12)

Defense grants announced

The state of Florida has awarded $1.58 million in Defense Infrastructure Grants for fiscal year 2012-13 to local community organizations that support Florida military installations. The grants work to protect a $60 billion economic impact and more than 686,000 direct and indirect jobs, which the defense industry annually infuses into Florida. Eight military installations will benefit. In Northwest Florida, awards were given to Bay County Board of County Commissioners, Santa Rosa County, Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce and Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners. Okaloosa received awards for both Hurlburt Field and Eglin Air Force Base. Other communities in Florida with awards are the City of Jacksonville, Highlands County Economic Development Commission, and the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. The grants are performance-based and will be distributed after the recipient has fulfilled its project requirements. The funds provide support for local infrastructure projects that have a positive impact on the community and enhance an installation’s military value. They may be used for projects related to encroachment, transportation and access, utilities, communications, housing, environment and security. (Source: Enterprise Florida, 12/03/12)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Airman awarded Silver Star

A Hurlburt Field airman who rescued an injured Marine then was himself severely wounded by an improvised explosive device received the Silver Star last month at a ceremony at the Pentagon. Tech Sgt. Joe Deslauriers, an explosive ordnance technician with the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineering Squadron, lost both legs in the September 2011 explosion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/04/12)

Fire Scout breaks record

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The Navy's fourth Fire Scout detachment returned to Mayport, Fla., Dec. 1, after achieving several milestones during its five-month deployment aboard USS Klakring (FFG 42). The Fire Scout unmanned helicopter detachment logged more than 500 flight hours in the U.S. Africa Command Area of Responsibility in support of anti-piracy operations and providing real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support. With a record number of unmanned helicopters aboard Klakring, Fire Scout regularly maintained 12-hour days on station and regularly switching aircraft to provide continuous support. The system accomplished a new single-day endurance record, providing continuous ISR support for an entire 24-hour period. For the first time, Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light 42 conducted dual air vehicle operations, allowing the ship's commander to keep a constant watch on targets of interest. (Source: NNS, 12/03/12) Gulf Coast note: Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss., by Northrop Grumman.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Airport deputy chief named

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport has named John Van Etten as the new deputy chief of police. He'll work with Chief of Police Barbara Montgomery to oversee the airport police department. Van Etten has 28 years experience in law enforcement, and for the past eight years was police chief for the Panama City Police Department. (Source: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, 12/03/12)

States team for UAV site

The governors of Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia are partnering in an effort to establish a Federal Aviation Administration-designated test site for unmanned aerial systems. The Mid-Atlantic Unmanned Aerial Systems Coalition is hoping that an FAA designation could make the region a focal point for contractors and start-ups alike. The FAA is set to select six unmanned system test sites. (Source: Washington Post, 12/02/12) Previous

7th SFG a boost to economy

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Army’s 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), which officially opened its cantonment in October 2011, should pump about $3.2 billion into the Okaloosa County economy between 2010 and 2016, according to a report from the Haas Center at the University of West Florida. The 7th SFG moved to Eglin from its former home at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 12/01/12) The 7th is based at Duke Field, a 1,946-acre base within Eglin that also has the 919th Special Operations Wing of the Air Force Reserve.

Friday, November 30, 2012

F-35C hits weapons milestone

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- The F-35 integrated test force aboard Naval Air Station Patuxent River completed a weapons ejection milestone for the F-35 carrier variant Wednesday. CF-2, the second F-35C test aircraft, ejected a 2,000-pound inert GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and a 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb from an internal weapons bay into a foam-covered concrete pit, completing the series of first-ever ground weapons ejections for the F-35C. The team also successfully ejected the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). Overall, the team completed eleven weapon releases, split between the left and right weapon bays, earlier than planned. (Source: NNS, 11/30/12) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center, that will train pilots and maintainers for the three F-35 variants. Previous related

Airport director leaving

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Melinda Crawford is leaving her post as director of Pensacola International Airport to take a similar job in Charlottesville, Va., according to the Pensacola News Journal. Named director in December 2009, Crawford will remain airport director in Pensacola until mid-February. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 11/30/12)

Contract: CCI, $10M

CCI Group LLC, Shalimar, Fla., is being awarded a $10,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for simplified acquisition of base engineering requirements-maintenance, repair and minor construction efforts. The location of the performance is Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Work is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2013. The contracting activity is AFTC/PZIO, Eglin Air Force Base. (Source: DoD, 11/30/12)

Contract: BAE Systems, $76.6M

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $76,599,316 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for organizational, intermediate, depot level maintenance to support to support T-34 and T-44 aircraft. In addition this contract provides logistics support including labor, services, facilities, equipment, tools, related support equipment, and direct and indirect material to support 124 T-34, 55 T-44, 42 T-6A, and 141 T-6B aircraft based primarily at Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas, NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and NAS Pensacola, Fla. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi (50 percent), Whiting Field (39 percent), Pensacola (8 percent), and various sites within the continental U. S. (3 percent) including: NAS Lemoore, Calif.; Strike Fighter Weapons School, NAS Oceana, Va.; Marine Corp Air Station Miramar, Calif.; Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Huntsville, Ala.; and NAS Fallon, Nev. Work is expected to be completed in September 2013. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/30/12)

Test stand contract awarded

NORWALK, Conn. -- EMCOR Group Inc., announced that its subsidiary, Harry Pepper and Associates, has been awarded a task order by NASA under a previously awarded contract. The task order is for restoration of the B-2 Rocket Test Stand at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss. Harry Pepper and Associates will be responsible for all repairs and alterations necessary to restore the original functionality of the B-2 test stand. Work includes demolishing one of the major levels/decks of the test stand, reconstructing it with stainless steel structural framing and deck plate, and restoring its various areas of fixed deck by replacing the carbon steel, galvanized grating, and structural steel. (Source: Business Wire, 11/28/12)

Museum opening space exhibit

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola is opening a new space-themed exhibit to mark the 40th anniversary of the last walk on the moon. Former astronauts John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, James Lovell, Gene Krantz, Fred Haise, Eugene Cernan and more are all scheduled to attend the Dec. 15 opening of the exhibit, which will feature a full-scale replica of an Apollo Lunar Excursion Module. (Source:, link, 11/29/12)

UNO gets NASA grant

NEW ORLEANS -- The University of New Orleans is getting a three-year, $1.5 million grant from NASA to develop improvements to the nation's air traffic control system. The research is for the federal government project called "NextGen," a comprehensive overhaul of the air traffic system to increase capacity and safety. UNO researchers will be joined on the project by colleagues from LSU and Southern University. (Source: UNO, 11/29/12)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

X-47B launched by catapult

Preparing for first catpult launc of X-47B
Northrop Grumman photo
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- Northrop Grumman and the Navy conducted the Navy's first catapult launch of an unmanned system. The test of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator was conducted Thursday at a shore-based catapult facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. It marks the first of several shore-based catapult-to-flight tests that will be performed before the Navy's UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program catapult launches the X-47B from a ship. Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the UCAS-D program. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 11/29/12) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman builds portions of two other UAVs, Global Hawk and Fire Scout, in Moss Point, Miss. Previous

NASA evaluating Orion cracks

NASA is evaluating options to repairing the first Orion crew capsule set to fly in space after it developed cracks during pressure tests at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The test was designed to demonstrate weld strength and structural performance at maximum flight operation pressures. The damage is not expected to delay a 2014 test flight, where the capsule without a crew will be launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV to a distance 3,600 miles above the Earth. Orion is being developed to fly astronauts on deep space exploration missions. (Source: Florida Today, 11/28/12) The olive green aluminum alloy core of the Orion was built at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Bentley touts workforce

HAMBURG, Germany -- In a speech at the Aviation Forum 2012, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley touted the state's workforce and training programs as benefits for suppliers. Bentley is in Germany this week with a delegation of economic developers and elected officials trying to lure business related to Airbus' planned $600 million A320 assembly plant in Mobile. He said suppliers can benefit from the same positive business climate that helped attract Airbus. (Source:, link, 11/28/12)

Airline may be sued

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- Northwest Florida Regional Airport officials say they've tried to work with Vision Airlines to settle its debt, but that may change soon. Vision owes the airport $146,973, and is no longer communicating. Okaloosa County Airports Director Greg Donovan plans to ask the county commission at its second meeting in December for permission to send the airline a notice that legal action will be filed if it doesn’t repay the debt. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/28/12) The airline no longer serves the airport.

Groundbreaking scheduled

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal will host a ground breaking ceremony at 9 a.m. Dec. 5 for the future site of the Ground Ordnance Division and Tools and Methods Division's building. The hour-long ceremony will take place directly behind the Kauffman Training Complex, Building 8840, Range Road, Niceville, Fla. (Source: NAVSCOLEOD public affairs, 11/29/12)

Keesler finalist for award

The Pentagon has selected Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., as one of two top finalists in the U.S. Air Force for the Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award. Keesler, in Biloxi, will compete against McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., for the award. The final selection board will visit both bases in January. The winner will receive a $1 million award to invest in a quality-of-life element of the base. (Source: Sun Herald, 11/28/12)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Contract: Sikorsky, $12.5M

Sikorsky Support Services Inc., Pensacola, Fla., is being awarded a $12,522,539 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery, requirements contract for additional logistics services and materials for organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance to support 179 T-34, 54 T-44 and 192 T-6 aircraft based primarily at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and NAS Pensacola, Fla. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi (50 percent), Whiting Field (39 percent), Pensacola, (8 percent), and various sites within the continental United States (3 percent) including NAS Lemoore, Calif.; NAS Patuxent River, Md.; Oceana, Va.; Marine Corp Air Station Miramar, Calif.; Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Huntsville, Ala.; and NAS Fallon, Nev. Work is expected to be completed in January 2013. Funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/28/12)

Alabama pushes for suppliers

A contingent led by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has met with nine companies in Germany about a possible move to the state, Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said from Hamburg. That's according to The group is at the Aviation Forum, a supplier conference that has drawn more than 300 people representing about 150 companies. Alabama economic developers and elected officials are working to lure suppliers tied to Airbus' planned $600 million A320 assembly line at Brookley Aeroplex, which will begin producing planes in 2015. (Source:, link, 11/27/12)

J-2X test conducted

J-2X test at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
NASA/SSC photo
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- A J-2X power pack assembly had a hot fire test Nov. 27 at NASA's Stennis Space Center. Engineers pulled the assembly from the test stand in September to install additional instrumentation in the fuel turbopump. The test, which ran for 278 seconds, verified the newly installed strain gauges designed to measure the turbine structural strain when the turbopump is spinning at high speeds that vary between 25,000 and 30,000 rotations-per-minute. The J-2X engine, built by Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., will power the upper stage of NASA's Space Launch System, managed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The new heavy-lift rocket system will launch the Orion spacecraft and enable humans to explore new destinations beyond low Earth orbit. (Source: NASA/SSC, 11/27/12)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

X-47B makes history on carrier

X-47B hoisted aboard USS Harry S. Truman
Navy photo
NORFOLK, Va. -- The Navy hoisted an X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator on board aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Monday in preparation for the unmanned aircraft's first carrier-based testing. The X-47B, built by Northrop Grumman, has a wingspan of more than 62 feet, wider than an F/A-18 Super Hornet. It will undergo a variety of tests and will be controlled remotely via a hand-held unit. Truman will be the first modern aircraft carrier to host test operations for an unmanned aircraft. Capt. Jaime Engdahl, N-UCAS program manager, said the X-47B's delivery aboard Truman was among the most historic moments in the program's history. "The moment the aircraft set down on Truman's deck was the moment it officially met the fleet," said Engdahl. The test will be conducted over three weeks and will include in-port and underway demonstrations. (Source: NNS, 11/27/12) Gulf Coast note: Northrop Grumman builds portions of two other UAVs, Global Hawk and Fire Scout, in Moss Point, Miss.

Test complex has busy week

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. -- The E Test Complex at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center was busy the week of Nov. 5. Twenty seven tests were conducted over three days on three different rocket engines/components and on three E Complex test stands. These included tests on the three stands during a 24-hour period Nov. 6-7 and during a nine-hour-plus period on Nov. 8. Test managers characterized the convergence of tests as historic. (Source: Lagniappe, November issue)

Contract: Boeing, $178.6M

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $178,575,114 cost-plus-incentive fee contract for Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase 1 of the B61-12 Tailkit Assembly. This contract also includes a priced option for (EMD) Phase 2 and price goals for the production phase. The location of the performance is St. Louis, Mo. Work is expected to be completed by October 2015. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBBC, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 11/27/12)

Monday, November 26, 2012

UAV site contest shelved

The Federal Aviation Administration has indefinitely shelved competition to select six test sites to assess whether unmanned aerial vehicles can be integrated into manned airspace. The agency was to have named the six sites by next month, but missed a July deadline for requesting applications. Now the FAA says it needs to delay the competition because it needs to first address privacy concerns raised by the use of drone aircraft in the nation's airspace. The goal of the test sites is to determine whether UAVs can safely be operated alongside manned aircraft by 2015. (Source: Defense Communities, 11/26/12) Gulf Coast note: The region is involved in UAV activities.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

UK pilots begin training

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Last week, the first two United Kingdom pilots started training with the F-35. Royal Air Force squadron leader Franki Buchler and Royal Navy Lt. Cdr. Ian Tidball have joined the U.S. Marines Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, which is conducting initial training and instruction on the F-35B at Eglin Air Force Base. The U.K. pilots will take academic courses for about six weeks before they go on their first flights. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/23/12)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

QF-16 drone arrives

QF-16 arrives. Air Force photo
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group marked an important milestone with the Monday arrival of the first QF-16 drone for developmental testing. It will enable the Air Force to transition from a 3rd generation, Vietnam-era aerial target performance to 4th generation threat replication, said Lt. Col. Lance Wilkins, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron commander. The QF-16 is a supersonic reusable full-scale aerial target drone modified from an F-16 Fighting Falcon. At this time, the 53rd WEG uses QF-4s, made from 1960s F-4 Phantom, to conduct their full-scale aerial target missions. The targets allow the Air Force and allied nations to have a realistic understanding of what they could face on the battlefield. Boeing Global Services and Support will conduct testing on the QF-16. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 11/20/12)

F-22s back to normal ops

F-22 takes to the skies Monday.
U.S. Air Force photo
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla -- The 325th Fighter Wing resumed normal flight operations with the wing commander, Col. David Graff, flying one of the first F-22 Raptor missions Monday. The colonel stood the wing flying operations down following last week's F-22 crash at Tyndall. The pilot ejected safely and nobody was injured on the ground. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 11/19/12) Previous

Op F-35 squadron forms

The first operational squadron of F-35s began forming this week at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., with the redesignation of a Hornet F/A-18 squadron as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121. The squadron has received two F-35Bs, which can take off and land like a helicopter, and 14 more will arrive over the next year. (Source: Defense Communities, 11/21/12) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center. It will train pilots and maintainers on all three F-35 variants.

Resource for suppliers

MOBILE, Ala. -- Suppliers interested in working with Airbus now have a tool at their disposal. The company's website has a tab "Airbus for Suppliers," which allows companies to register to become a supplier, either for the company's global operations or specifically for the $600 million assembly facility that will be built in Mobile, Ala., at Brookley Aeroplex. (Source: Mobile Press Register, 11/20/12)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Report: EADS accord near

France and Germany are discussing a compromise in the ownership split of Airbus parent EADS. According to Reuters, each country would hold around 12 percent of the aircraft maker, people familiar with the matter said. Spain would retain 5.5 percent. Problems in the complex ownership structure came to light during the failed attempt to merge EADS and the UK's BAE Systems, a $45 billion merger that would have created the world's largest aerospace and defense conglomerate. (Source: Reuters, 11/20/12) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building a $600 million A320 assembly line at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Ala., that will employ about 1,000 people.

Fort Rucker's solar array

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A photovoltaic array being installed at Fort Rucker is expected to save the Army thousands and help the installation take a step toward achieving net zero status. The 51-kilowatt array is connected to Alabama Power's electrical grid, so any energy that is generated at Hatch Stage Field that isn't used can be fed back to the grid. (Source: Army, 11/15/12) Fort Rucker is the primary flight training base for Army aviation. It's near Dothan, Ala.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Contract: Raytheon, $6.4M

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $6,417,221 cost-plus fixed-fee contract to provide flight support for the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air missile. The location of the performance is Tucson, Ariz. Work is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2013. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBAD, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 11/19/12)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Architect for facility picked

MOBILE, Ala. -- Watermark Design Group of Mobile will design the first structure associated with Airbus' planned $600 million assembly plant at Brookley Aeroplex. The 35,000-square-foot training facility for the Alabama Industrial Development Training program will house labs and classrooms to train potential Airbus employees. The assembly line, announced in July, will employ 1,000. The first plane will be delivered in 2016. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/14/12)

Hallett announces retirement

MOBILE, Ala. -- Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce President Win Hallett announced his retirement during the annual board of directors meeting Friday. Hallett, who has been president since 1991, will retire sometime in 2013 when a successor is on board. The chamber is the lead industry recruiter for the Mobile area, and has played a prominent role in a string of Mobile job recruitment wins, most notably the recent decision of Airbus to build an A320 assembly plant at Brookley Aeroplex. "It has been an exhilarating ride. I have had the opportunity to travel literally all over the world meeting people and making friends in pursuit of having them come to Mobile and invest in our area to create jobs,” he said in a chamber release. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor, 11/16/12) Press release

Holiday Inn to go on AF beach

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- A $25 million hotel to be built on Eglin Air Force Base property on Okaloosa Island will be a Holiday Inn. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians are partnering with Innfree on the project. A groundbreaking for the 152-room Holiday Inn Resort, Destin West, was held Friday. For years after the announcement that a hotel would be built on 17 acres at Eglin's A-5 test site was referred to as the Emerald Breeze Resort. The hotel will have two towers, and the Air Force will have radar stations on the roofs of the buildings. The Air Force will collect rent from the developers. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/15/12) Release

L-3 Crestview Aerospace expanding

CRESTVIEW, Fla. -- L-3 Crestview Aerospace has announced its intention to expand the company's aircraft manufacturing operations in Okaloosa County. L-3 CA is investing more than $7 million in facilities upgrades, including the retrofit of hangar space, at the Bob Sikes airport. As part of the expansion, L-3 CA has increased its workforce at the Crestview facility by 158 full-time equivalent jobs in Florida. The company conducted six recruiting activities between June 2011 and October 2012. (Source: L-3 CA, 11/13/12)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Contract: Raytheon, $18.4M

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems Division, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $18,391,146 contract modification for the high-speed, anti-radiation Missile Targeting System R7 contractor logistics support services. The location of the performance is Tucson, Ariz. Work is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2013. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBAK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 11/15/12)

F-22 crashes; no injuries

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- An F-22 on a routine training mission crashed inside the perimeter of the base Thursday around 3:30 p.m., but the pilot safely ejected. The pilot had an unspecified problem about five miles southeast of Tyndall while returning to base. F-22 fighters were grounded for five months last year after some pilots complained of dizziness. The Air Force blamed a shortage of oxygen related to the vest. Col. David Graff, commander of the 325th Fighter Wing said there is nothing to indicate the crash is related to that issue, according to the Panama City News Herald. (Sources: multiple, including Panama City News Herald, Reuters, 11/15/12)

Tyndall command changes

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Col. David Graff, previous 325th Fighter Wing vice commander, took command of the 325th Fighter Wing from Brig. Gen. John K. McMullen in a change of command ceremony Wednesday. McMullen will head for Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to become Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Headquarters Allied Air Command. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing, 11/14/12)

Money OKd for road work

MOBILE, Ala. -- Some $12 million could be spent to repave or restore roads near Brookley Aeroplex in preparation for the 2015 beginning of Airbus' Mobile operations. The City Council approved an engineering portion on one of those contracts Tuesday: $105,000 with Geotechnical Engineering-Testing Inc., for soil and concrete testing along the deteriorated Broad Street between 15th Street and Interstate 10. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/14/12) Airbus plans to build a $600 million assembly line for the A320 family of passenger jets.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

EADS NA gets Lakota option

The U.S. Army awarded EADS North America a $181.8 million contract option for 34 more UH-72A Lakota helicopters, bringing the total aircraft ordered to 312. Army plans call for buying 347 Lakotas through 2016. EADS North America has delivered 243 Lakotas from its American Eurocopter plant in Columbus, Miss., where up to five per month are produced. (Source: EADS North America, 11/14/12) Gulf Coast note: American Eurocopter is part of EADS North America, the U.S. subsidiary of EADS. Another EADS company, Airbus Americas, plans to build a $600 million A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

F-35 eval completed

F-35 piloted by Lt. Co. Brian O'Neill
Air Force photo by Maj. Karen Roganov
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The last of 24 sorties of the Operational Utility Evaluation of the F-35A was completed Wednesday afternoon, a major step to opening the F-35 training pipeline. Eglin officials said Lt. Col. Brian O'Neill, 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron director of operations and a "student" in the OUE at Eglin, was at the controls. The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center at Kirkland Air Force Base, N.M., will certify the OUE is complete in the near future. Air Force officials started the F-35A OUE Sept. 10. In the evaluation, data is collected from all facets of F-35 training, including maintenance, classroom, simulator and flights as a precursor for the Air Force to train other services and allies. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor, 11/14/12) Previous

Sassano reflects on future

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Larry Sassano, long-time head of Okaloosa County economic development who will head up the 16-county Florida's Great Northwest, reflected on the future in an interview with the Northwest Florida Daily News. Sassano said his first duties with Florida's Great Northwest will be to meet with representatives from the 16 counties and their economic development groups to determine the best way for them to work together. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/13/12)

Monday, November 12, 2012

McMullen takes fini flight

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Brig. Gen. John K. McMullen, 325th Fighter Wing commander, took his final flight at Tyndall in an F-22 Raptor Nov. 9. The final sortie, called a 'fini flight,' marks the end of a pilot's flying time at a unit. McMullen will permanently change stations to Ramstein Air Base, Germany at the end of this month. Command will be relinquished to Col. David Graff, current 325th FW vice commander, during a change of command ceremony Wednesday. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 11/09/12)

More F-35 certifications expected

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The F-35 training program took a big step forward last week when Maj. Joseph Scholtz became the first outside pilot to fully complete his training. Three more pilots are expected to be fully certified by Tuesday. Scholtz is one of two operational evaluators who have been assessing the training system. Reports will be provided to the Air Education and Training Command. If approved, training will begin in earnest at Eglin in January. (Source: Defense News, 11/12/12)

Incoming LM CEO resigns

The incoming chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, Christopher E. Kubasik, resigned Friday at the request of the company board of directors for having an affair with a subordinate. Kubasik, 51, who was to become chief executive officer in January, is being replaced by Marillyn Hewson, 58. (Sources: multiple, including Wall Street Journal, 11/09/12, Bloomberg, Panama City News Herald, 11/11/12) Gulf Coast note: Lockheed Martin has operations throughout the Gulf Coast region, including Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and Stennis Space Center, Miss. The company builds the F-35 and F-22 fighters that are based at Eglin Air Force Base and Tyndall, both in Northwest Florida.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Airbus spillover discussed

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Airbus assembly line in Mobile will have an impact across Alabama and the Southeast through new suppliers, new jobs and new business for the state's existing industrial base. That’s according to Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus Americas Inc., who was keynote speaker Friday at a Birmingham Business Alliance luncheon. McArtor said Birmingham is well within the supply-chain radius for the plant. Airbus will build a $600 million, 1,000-job aircraft assembly plant in Mobile that will produce the A320 family of jets. McArtor also said there's potential for Airbus to collaborate with Alabama's universities. (Sources:, link, Birmingham Business Journal, 11/09/10)

Camp Shelby and UAVs

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- This huge training center south of Hattiesburg has become a key center for training with unmanned aerial systems, thanks, in part, to the fact that the base controls its own air space. National Guard, reserve and active duty soldiers come to the flight center, which opened in the spring, for training with small unmanned systems like Puma, Raven and Shadow, before returning to their units to perform their missions. (Source: Hattiesburg American, 11/10/12) Camp Shelby Joint Training Center is 137,000 acres and has about 3,000 personnel. It's the nation's largest state-owned mobilization center. Previous

Friday, November 9, 2012

Contract: Raytheon, $12.3M

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $12,278,400 contract modification for the delivery of modified control sections for the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (AGM-88). The location of the performance is Tucson, Ariz. Work is expected to be completed by Sep. 9, 2014. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBAS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: DoD, 11/09/12)

First ad for Mobile Airbus job posted

MOBILE, Ala. -- Airbus posted its first ad for a job at the plant it will build at Mobile's Brookley Aeroplex. It's for a director of human resources. The $600 million plant will eventually employ 1,000 people at full production. Construction will begin in summer 2013, with aircraft assembly is planned to start in 2015. The first delivery will be in 2016. (Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/08/12)

Report: Boeing outselling Airbus

Boeing reported it has secured more than 1,000 net new orders so far this year, putting it on course to sell more aircraft than rival Airbus for the first time since 2006. Boeing recorded 1,009 net orders through Nov. 6, the planemaker said on its website, driven by demand for 737 narrow-body jets. Boeing sales are running at more than double those of Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (Source: Reuters, 11/09/12) Gulf Coast note: Airbus will assemble the A320 family of aircraft in Mobile, Ala., beginning in 2016.

A320neo to highlight China show

Airbus will show off the A380 and its best selling single aisle aircraft the A320neo at the 9th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition. The Zhuhai Airshow is Nov. 13-18 in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai. A 1:20 scale cutaway A380 model and a 1:20 scale A320neo model will be displayed at the EADS stand. It's the first time for Airbus to showcase an A320neo model in China. The A320neo is a new engine option for the A320 family, which will enter into service in 2015. The A320neo incorporates latest generation engines and large "sharklet" wing tip devices, which together will deliver 15 percent in fuel savings. (Source: Airbus, 11/06/12) Gulf Coast note: Airbus will assemble the A320 family of aircraft in Mobile, Ala., beginning in 2016.

Boeing restructuring

Boeing is restructuring its defense, space and security businesses with plans to reduce management positions 30 percent and close and consolidate several facilities in California. It's an effort to cut $1.6 billion in costs by the end of 2015 and stay competitive. The company says the change is not directly related to sequestration or the presidential election. (Source: Reuters, 11/07/12) Gulf Coast note: Boeing has operations along the Gulf Coast.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Triton production begins

MOSS POINT, Miss. -- Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center next week begins production of the Triton unmanned system, a variant of the Global Hawk being built for the Navy for maritime surveillance. The 101,000 square-foot plant will work on the central fuselage of the first three of what will eventually be 68 Navy Tritons. (Source: Sun Herald, 11/06/12) The MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance aircraft has a different sensor payload than the Air Force, German or NASA versions of the Global Hawk. The Moss Point plant does central fuselages work for all variants of the Global Hawk. It also does finishing work on the Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. Previous: Australia eyes TritonGlobal Hawk Triton unveiled.

F-35 marks 500th sortie

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The F-35 surpassed its 500th sortie 16 days after reaching the 400 mark and only 238 days from the beginning of the program. Maj. Matthew Johnston of the 58th Fighter Squadron completed the 500th combined sortie for both the F-35A and F-35B at the 33rd Fighter Wing Nov. 2. The wing started flight operations March 6. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 11/06/12)

F-35 early performance praised

Initial feedback about the F-35 from Air Force pilots and maintainers at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., indicate it performs better than its predecessors did at a similar stage of development. The F-35 is proving to be relatively stable from a maintenance standpoint, said Col Andrew Toth, commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing. In the air there are "very limited" issues. The aircraft's hardware, software and Pratt & Whitney F135 engine all perform well, he said. (Source: Flightglobal, 11/06/12)

Memorial service held

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A memorial service was held Monday on Eglin's flightline for Maj. Garrett Knowlan. He died Oct. 11 while participating in Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. The memorial service brought family, friends and co-workers together to say their final good-byes. At the time of his death, Knowlan was serving as the executive officer for Brig. Gen. David Harris, the 96th Test Wing commander. (Source: Eglin Public Affairs, 11/06/12)

Sassano moving to FGNW

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- Larry Sassano has resigned as head of Okaloosa County's economic development group to take the top spot at Florida's Great Northwest. His last day with the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County is Nov. 30. He joins Florida’s Great Northwest Dec. 1. Kay Rasmussen, vice president of community and economic development for the Okaloosa County EDC, was named interim director of the organization. Florida's Great Northwest was founded in 2000 to market the 16-county Northwest Florida region. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 11/05/12)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $28.4M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace L.L.C., Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $28,363,341 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to exercise an option for organizational, selected intermediate and limited depot level maintenance for F-16, F-18, H-60 and E-2C aircraft operated by the adversary squadrons based at Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nev. Work will be performed in Fallon, Nev., and is expected to be completed in October 2013. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 11/05/12)

Blue Angels change commanders

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Capt. Greg McWherter, who has led the Blue Angels for the past four years, turned over command during a ceremony Sunday, the day after their final show of the season. The new leader is Cmdr. Tom Frosch, who's been in the Navy for 20 years. The team is based at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (Source: WALA-TV, 11/04/12)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

NASA at Wal-Mart

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- John C. Stennis Space Center is holding an event on space travel and the center's role in space at the Picayune Wal-Mart from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. Activities include learning about how people live and work in space, hands-on educational activities and facts about the International Space Station. More than 5,000 people are employed at SSC, which has a $682 million in economic impact. (Source: Picayune Item, 11/03/12)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Contract: Raytheon, $18.3M

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $18,306,962 cost plus incentive fee and firm fixed price contract for integration and weapon verification support. The location of the performance is Tucson, Ariz. Work is expected to be completed by December 2016. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The contract involves foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia. (Source: DoD, 11/01/12)

State land to be used to train

The Air Force will be able to conduct training exercises on state forest lands in Northwest Florida. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Florida Forest Service signed an agreement late last month that allows the Air Force to use some areas in the Blackwater River State Forest and Tate's Hell State Forest near Apalachicola. Air space has been used for years, but this is the first time the military can use the state forest. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/31/12)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Progress noted on F-35 helmet

A Lockheed Martin official reported progress Tuesday with its cutting-edge helmets that will be used with the F-35. Executive VP Tom Burbage told Reuters that the night-vision performance was the only real question left, but progress has been made on that. The helmet, which integrates data from all sensors and cameras aboard the jet, was designed by a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and Israel's Elbit Systems. (Source: Reuters, 10/30/12) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blue Angels to perform

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Blue Angels will be performing the final show of the season this weekend at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. The air shows at Sherman Field are Friday and Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with aerial performances throughout the day. The Blue Angels, based at NaS Pensacola, perform at 2 p.m. (Source: link, 10/29/12, Blue Angels)

Monday, October 29, 2012

SLS update provided

NEW ORLEANS -- NASA provided businesses an update on the Space Launch System during a seminar at Michoud Assembly Facility last week. It drew about 150 people -- 90 businesses from 10 states and the District of Columbia. The core stage of the 70-ton SLS, designed to carry astronauts into deep space, will be built at Michoud by Boeing. The engines that will power two stages will be tested at Stennis Space Center, about 40 miles away in Mississippi. An unmanned test of SLS is scheduled for 2017. (Sources: New Orleans Times Picayune, 10/24/12, Baton Rouge Advocate, 10/28/12) Previous

Friday, October 26, 2012

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $34.7M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $34,689,207 firm fixed price contract for acquisition of aircraft maintenance support services for T-1A, T-6A, T-38C SUPT and T-38C IFF. The location of the performance is Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Work is expected to be completed by Sept. 29, 2019. The contracting activity is AETC CONS/LGCK, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. (Source: DoD, 10/26/12)

County gets encroachment report

MILTON, Fla. -- Santa Rosa County on Thursday got the final version of the Eglin Air Force Base Small Area Studies report on encroachment. The Northwest Florida Military Sustainability Partnership, which includes Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties and Eglin, has been conducting the study since 2011. It recommends Santa Rosa amend land development codes and enact 35- to 50-foot height restrictions, depending on the location in a proposed Eglin Military Airport Zone. It also recommends reducing the maximum allowable density of developments in some areas. Santa Rosa in the past has taken steps to protect Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton from encroachment. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/25/12)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crash blamed on disorientation

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- An investigative board concluded that spatial disorientation caused a plane crash in Africa that killed four airmen. Capt. Ryan P. Hall, Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten of Hurlburt Field died Feb. 18 when their U-28A troop support aircraft crashed near Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti. Spatial disorientation is the failure to correctly sense the position, motion or attitude of the aircraft in relation to the surface. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/25/12) Previous

General: Eglin RDT&E safe

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- The consolidation of Air Force Materiel Command from 12 to five centers was not designed to pave the way for moving Eglin Air Force Base's research, development, test and evaluation function to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. That's what Brig. Gen. Arnold Bunch, director of Edwards' Air Force Test Center, told the Florida Defense Support Task Force during a Wednesday meeting. Bunch said he's striving to keep Eglin's RDT&E function "flyable and viable." Since the reorganization was announced late last year, leaders in Northwest Florida have been concerned about the fate of Eglin's RDT&E function. The consolidation was carried out in July. The task force was established in January to protect the state's 20 bases. It also met behind closed doors to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the state's bases. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/24/12)

Control tower in reach?

DESTIN, Fla. -- After years of discussion, an air traffic control tower at the Destin Airport is closer. A traffic tower would allow for simultaneous launches of planes at Destin and the Northwest Florida Regional Airport at Eglin Air Force Base. Right now planes at Destin must wait while traffic clears at Eglin. An air traffic control tower was approved earlier this year by the FAA. The county still must opt to proceed, and an environmental assessment will have to be done. (Source: Destin Log, 10/23/12)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Task force meeting

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. -- Florida's Defense Support Task Force, created in 2010 to protect the state’s military bases, meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. on Okaloosa Island. Among the items to be considered is an application through which entities can seek funding from the task force. Companies or agencies eligible would be those that can prove their existence enhances the mission of an area military base. The task force was created with a $5 million legislative appropriation. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 10/22/12)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Airman identified

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- An active-duty Hurlburt airman who was found dead Sunday after a boating accident has been identified. The body of Airman 1st Class Colby Siegel, 1st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was found near the waters by the Cedars condominium, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's office. The cause of the accident is under investigation. (Source: 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, 10/22/12)

Keesler is AETC nominee

For the second year in a row, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., won the highest command-level honor it can receive. Air Education and Training Comand Commander Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., announced that the 81st Training Wing at Keesler as the AETC winner of the Commander-In-Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence. The Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award is a presidential award for exemplary support of Defense Department missions, and is the highest award a military installation can receive. The CINC's IEA was created in 1984. The AETC winner was selected by a board of command senior leaders from many different career fields. (Source: AETC Public Affairs via Keesler, 10/22/12)