Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week in review (5/9 to 5/15)

For a program that's been cricitized for delays and cost overruns, anything good that's said about the program is probably welcome. That's what happened during the week when the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was recognized for its "cutting-edge design and technology" by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The organization presented the award in Washington, D.C. during the week. Lockheed is developing the F-35 with principal partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be the home of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter training center.

Two big NASA contractors could be on the hook for millions in program shutdown costs if the Obama administration revamps manned space-exploration. ATK and Lockheed Martin are waging battle with NASA's leadership over who will cover possibly more than $1 billion in such expenses, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the situation. Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are NASA facilities in the Gulf Coast region.

- Developers plan to build a "green" Holiday Inn at the Stennis Technology Park that could bring more business to the 26-acre site at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Mississippi 603, just outside Stennis Space Center, Miss. The total investment is about $15 million. The hope is to begin construction in late summer.

Lawmakers who support Boeing's bid to build tankers for the Air Force introduced legislation to require the Pentagon to add the value of government subsidies to a competing proposal from EADS. It would amount to $5 million per plane.

Boeing wants to build tankers based on the 767, and EADS wants to build modified A330s. The Pentagon won't consider the WTO ruling in part because of the appeals process, in part because of a counter complaint by the European Union against Boeing. EADS wants to assemble its tankers in Mobile, Ala.

Representatives from Northwest Florida were in North Carolina during the week holding a series of town hall meetings near Fort Bragg to provide information to thousands of military personnel who will be relocating to Eglin Air Force base next year.

About 30 organizations from Northwest Florida were represented. The bed down of the 7th Special Forces at Eglin will bring 2,200 new soldiers to the region by the middle of 2011. When spouses and children are added, the total population increase in the region has been estimated at more than 6,000.

- The 24th Naval Aviation Symposium was held during the past week at the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon, was also inducted into the Hall of Honor during the event.

Speegle Construction Inc., Niceville, Fla., was awarded an $11 million contract for the construction of the 7th Special Forces Group backyard training ranges, 7SFG compound, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile Regional Contracting Center, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. … A. E. New Jr. Inc, Pensacola, Fla., was awarded a $16.1 million contract to design-build two single-story sprinkler-equipped child development center facilities. Work is to be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity. … L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $14 million contract action to provide aircraft maintenance and logistics services in support of the Navy's T-34 and T-44 aircraft. Half the work will be performed at the Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla., and half at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas

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