Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week in review (1/20 to 1/26)

The successful test of an AJ-26 engine; a fuel line failure in an F-35B; completion of a weapon fit check for the F-35; the test of an airborne router; kudos for the Mobile Airbus project; new air service at one airport and concerns over a passenger decline at another; and a planned museum exhibit honoring women were among aerospace stories of interest to the Gulf Coast region during the week.

Here's the week in review:

Aerojet's AJ26 engine completed a hot fire test late last week at NASA's Stennis Space Center (SSC) in south Mississippi. Orbital Sciences Corp., Aerojet and NASA monitored the full-duration test in support of the Antares rocket program.

It was the eleventh AJ26 engine to be tested at SSC, NASA's primary rocket engine testing facility. After the test data is reviewed, the AJ26 will be configured for flight and shipped to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

At Wallops the engine will be fitted to Orbital's Antares rocket and will provide the boost for the first stage. Aerojet is a GenCorp company. Last year the company purchased Rocketdyne from United Technologies. (Post)

Failure in a fuel line that caused an aborted takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., resulted in the grounding of the F-35B, the Marine Corps variant of the fifth-generation fighter. Flights were suspended pending completion of an engineering investigation.

The fueldraulic line failure occurred in the aircraft designated BK-1, the operational test and evaluation F-35 owned by the UK. The initial inspection after the aborted takeoff discovered a detached fueldraulic line in the aft portion of the engine compartment. The line is part of the fuel-based hydraulic system that controls the actuators of the F-35B's vectoring exhaust system.

Pratt and Whitney makes the F135 turbofan engine that powers to F-35, and Rolls-Royce provides the swivel module, a pipe that redirects the rear thrust from the horizontal to the vertical direction, as part of its integrated lift system. The Stratoflex division of Parker Aerospace supplies the fueldraulic line, according to Aviation International News.

Eglin is home of the F-35 training center. The grounding does not affect the Air Force and Navy variants. (Post)

-- The Air Force and Raytheon successfully completed a fit check of the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II on the F-35. Four SDB II shapes were loaded into an F-35 weapon bay alongside an Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile. Sweeps of the inboard and outboard bay doors verified there was adequate clearance between the two weapons. SDB II can hit targets from a range of greater than 40 nautical miles. (Post)

The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce's efforts in landing the $600 million Airbus A320 assembly facility was named one of four honorable mentions in Business Facilities' 2012 Economic Development Deal of the Year competition.

"Mobile's selection as the only site in the Western Hemisphere assembling aircraft for Airbus cements Alabama's status as an up-and-coming aerospace manufacturing giant," said Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers.

The plant is expected to eventually employ 1,000 people. A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held in April. Airbus’ decision to build in Mobile has already led to the decision of Safran Group to build an engineering facility in Mobile. (Post)

Tests were completed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., this month on a flying wireless router, not unlike the routers found in homes – but this one is attached to a 30mm Gatling gun. The flying router is a software upgrade called Net-T or network tactical for the LITENING and Sniper advanced targeting pods for all legacy fighters and the B-1.

The 40th Flight Test Squadron tested the software's capability, beginning in October, to allow groups of ground forces to communicate with each other via Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver-5, an arm-mounted touchscreen device.

The Net-T pod capability allows units with ROVER-5s to communicate directly with each other using the aircraft to route signals, so long as the troops are in line-of-sight with the aircraft.

After the study is sent to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in mid-February, the software will return to Eglin to begin the operational testing with the 53rd Wing. The flying router could be transmitting data in operational aircraft by 2014. (Post)

Spirit Airlines has launched nonstop daily service between New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It wants to expand to twice-daily flights in June. Spirit, of Miramar, Fla., has a fleet of 35 Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft and operates flights to 49 destinations in the United States, Caribbean, Bahamas and Latin America. (Post)

-- Why has passenger traffic decreased at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport? Officials are conducting price evaluations to determine whether rates are competitive with other airports in the region. December marked the fourth straight month of passenger decreases. (Post)

-- In Mississippi, Keesler Air Force Base's Air Force Medical Genetics Laboratory received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists. Keesler operates the only genetics center in the Department of Defense. The Keesler genetics laboratory, an element of the 81st Medical Operations Squadron, is one of more than 7,000 CAP-accredited facilities worldwide. (Post)

Air Force Maj. Gen. William H. Etter has been nominated for appointment to lieutenant general and for assignment as commander, First Air Force and commander, Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Etter is assistant to the chairman, joint chiefs of staff for National Guard matters, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (Post)

-- Three Air Force officers at Hurlburt Field, Fla., were nominated for promotions. Col. James C. Slife, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, was nominated for appointment to brigadier general; Air Force Brig. Gen. Marshall B. Webb, director, plans, programs, requirements and assessments, headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, was nominated for appointment to major general; and Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Leahy, commander of the 23rd Air Force, director of operations Air Force Special Operations Command, was nominated for appointment to major general. (Post)

-- Four female aviators visited Naval Air Station Pensacola during the week to help the National Naval Aviation Museum gather material for an exhibit honoring contributions women to naval aviation since World War I. The four, who flew in aboard an E-2C Hawkeye patrol plane, provided video interviews for the exhibit. The crew is part of the Carrier Airborne Early Warning System of the USS Carl Vinson. The exhibit will open later this year. (Post)

CSC Applied Technologies LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $28.5 million contract modification for Keesler Air Force Base Operations Support Services. The location of performance is Keesler AFB, Miss. The contracting activity is 81 CONS/LGCM, Keesler Air Force Base. (Post)

STEM: Schools along the Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana coast are getting nearly $110,000 in Ingalls Shipbuilding grants for science, technology, engineering and
mathematics lessons in their classrooms. (Post)

LPD 17: Huntington Ingalls is floating the idea of continuing production of the LPD 17 hull in Pascagoula, Miss., as a platform for ballistic missile defense and other missions. (Post)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week in review (1/13 to 1/19)

Updates on satellites with ties to Stennis Space Center; Eglin Air Force Base's search for an unmanned underwater robot; 50-year-old weapons parts that will save the Air Force $14 million; Top Guns in Pensacola; and reassignments effecting Eglin were among the stories of interest to the Gulf Coast aerospace region during the week.

Lockheed Martin completed system testing on the second satellite in the Navy's Mobile User Objective System, MUOS-2. It's now in storage awaiting launch in July 2013. The MUOS system is designed to provide simultaneous voice, video and data services for on-the-move warfighters. The five-satellite global constellation is expected to achieve full operational capability in 2015. Work on the core propulsion system for MUOS, an A2100 satellite-based spacecraft, is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

Another satellite with ties to SSC has been delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin delivered the second Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, GEO-2, Space Based Infrared System spacecraft during the week. It's slated for a March liftoff atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V. The satellites in geosynchronous orbit will provide improved missile warning capabilities. The team has also begun work on the fifth and sixth GEO satellites. Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center works on the satellite’s propulsion subsystem, used to maneuver the satellite in orbit. (Post)

Maybe Mobile, Ala., should count its blessings that it will be building commercial jetliners instead of Air Force tankers. The Air Force's aerial tanker program faces potential budget issues that could force a renegotiation of the Pentagon’s contract with Boeing.

Defense News reports that the program is being squeezed by current funding levels and a potential sequester. DoD planned to spend $1.8 billion on the program in fiscal year 2013, but Congress has failed to pass a new budget, leaving financial support at 2012 levels under a continuing resolution. The tanker is still in the development stage, where budgets are slated to ramp up year-to-year. (Story)

-- Boeing has taken over the number one spot from Airbus after a decade of trailing its European rival. Boeing ended 2012 with 1,203 net orders, while Airbus had 833. Still, Airbus delivered record numbers of airliners last year, 588 aircraft to 89 customers, 17 of them new customers. Boeing delivered 601 planes. Anything involving Airbus is of high interest to the Gulf Coast region. Airbus will break ground on its A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala., in April. (Post)

-- BOC Aviation, the Singapore-based aircraft leasing subsidiary of Bank of China, placed a new firm order, signed in December 2012, for the purchase of 50 A320 Family aircraft including 25 NEOs. In addition, Citilink, a subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, placed a firm order for 25 A320neo aircraft. The contract, signed in December 2012, follows an order placed in 2011 by Garuda Indonesia for 15 A320ceo and 10 A320neo aircraft for operation by Citilink. (Post)

-- OK, here's another story with an Airbus/Mobile connection. The president of the Fairhope, Ala., council wants the return of a Festival of Flight, which has not been held for five years. One of the reasons for a return of the event at the H.L. "Sonny" Callahan Airport is Airbus’ decision to build an A320 assembly line in Mobile. The feeling is a return of the festival and perhaps a trade show and job fair will help attract more aerospace business to the airport. (Post)

Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is looking for companies able to provide unmanned underwater vehicles and sensor payloads to help recover air-delivered test weapons and provide other support to the Air Force 96th Test Wing and its ocean test range near Eglin.

The Air Force Test Center at Eglin issued a sources-sought notice for the Small Unmanned Marine Vehicle Systems Services program. Systems should be self-contained and portable for remote operations; deployable from the coastline or from a 40-foot work boat; have a range of 420 nautical miles; and be capable of 24/7 operations. (Post)

Airport scanners with revealing body images will be going away by June. Congress ordered the scanners either produce a more generic image or be removed by June. On Thursday, California-based Rapiscan, the maker of the X-ray, or backscatter, scanner, said it wouldn't be able to meet the June deadline. The Transportation Security Administration said Friday that it ended its contract for the software with Rapiscan. The company manufactures parts of the scanners at its facility in Ocean Springs, Miss. (Story)

-- The Air Force saved more than $14 million recently when it retrieved a supply of weapons parts given to Greece years ago under the Marshall Plan. The modified 40 mm M2 A1 gun parts can be used in AC-130 gunship, and the Air Force Special Operations Command now has enough barrels to last the remainder of the gun’s lifecycle on the gunship.

The Greek army retired the weapons in 2005 and they were sitting in a warehouse. The Air Force reclaimed 139 barrels, five breech rings and miscellaneous parts. The parts arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in December. (Post)

-- Speaking of parts, the Air Force awarded BAE Systems of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., a $25 million contract to help manage obsolete parts for aircraft, weapon systems, and a range of electronics and equipment. The work will be managed at the BAE Systems facility in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Additional work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.; and Robins Air Force Base, Ga. (Post)

-- The Navy’s Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, popularly called "Top Gun," are at Naval Air Station Pensacola practicing air-to-air combat. The detachment, with 15 F/A-18 and F-16 aircraft and 140 military and civilian personnel, will operate out of NAS Pensacola through Jan. 24. They usually operate out of Fallon, Nev., but the Navy said Fallon’s winter weather is often unsupportive of air-to-air training. (Post)

-- An attorney representing Okaloosa County planned to file a lawsuit against Vision Airlines to recoup more than $146,000 in unpaid fees. The Okaloosa County Commission voted last month to sue Vision if the discount carrier did not pay its debt, or at least develop a new payment schedule, before the end of the year. Vision Airlines began serving Northwest Florida Regional in December 2010, but is no longer serving the airport. (Post)

Brig. Gen. Scott W. Jansson, commander, DLA Aviation, Defense Logistics Agency, Richmond, Va., will replace Maj. Gen. Kenneth D. Merchant as program executive officer for weapons, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Merchant will become director, global reach programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. (Post)

-- Brig. Gen. Michael J. Kingsley, vice commander of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., will become director of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Afghanistan Transformation Task Force, Headquarters, International Security Assistance Force, Kabul, Afghanistan. Kingsley has been selected for the rank of major general. (Post)

-- One more item on the personnel front. The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama named Neal Wade as chairman, succeeding former Gov. Albert Brewer, who led the Birmingham-based research group since its founding in 1988. Wade continues his work as head of the Bay County Economic Development Agency in Panama City, Fla. (Story)

University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Science researchers are
studying turning marine micro-algae into fuel. Under the direction of Dr. Donald Redalje, the school's Marine Science lab at Stennis Space Center, Miss., is studying algae grown from Mississippi coastal waters.

While biofuel blends have already found their way to naval war ships and test flights on commercial airliners, Redalje and his team are looking for ways to streamline the process. (Post)

Center: The need for a comprehensive understanding of the waters and resources of the Gulf of Mexico has prompted the University of Southern Mississippi to take the lead in formation of the new Center for Gulf Studies. (Post)

Austal: Austal Hull 130 Chartering, LLC, Mobile, Ala., was awarded a $7 million modification under a previously awarded firm, fixed-price contract to exercise a six-month option period for the worldwide charter of one U.S.-flagged passenger/cargo ferry. (Post)

Rescue: The U.S. Coast Guard helped saved 12 sailors after their 170-foot research ship, Seaprobe, capsized about 141 miles south of Pensacola. (Post)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Week in review (1/6 to 1/12)

The delivery of the core structure for a NOAA weather satellite to Stennis Space Center; San Antonio’s win over Biloxi for an Air Force training school; the delay in the move of an operational F-22 squadron to Tyndall Air Force Base; and the early delivery of two Global Hawks to the Air Force were among the news items this week of interest to the Gulf Coast aerospace region.

Here's the week in review:

Training for airmen who direct combat airstrikes will move from Hurlburt Field, Fla., to Lackland, Texas. Word that came down this week that Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland is the preferred alternative to host the Terminal Air Control Party (TACP) School. Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., came in as the second choice.

There's been an increase in demand for TACPs to support Army units, and the current school at Hurlburt simply isn't large enough. The 19-week training at Hurlburt produces 270 graduates earch  year, but the Air Force wants to increase that by another 100.

Air Force TACPs act as the battlefield liaison between ground forces and aircraft overhead. They direct close-air support firepower toward enemy targets on the ground. (Post)

In another training-related story during the week, a member of the 33rd Fighter Wing will be heading for Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to represent the Air National Guard at the Air Force Warfare Center. Lt. Col. Randal Efferson, 33rd Operations Group deputy commander, is a senior leader at the wing who helped set up the F-35 integrated training center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Efferson also led the Operational Utility Evaluation team through his squadron's F-35 pilot training program, which resulted in an Air Force Education and Training Command "ready to train" decision in December 2012. (Post)

Nearly 30 aircraft and some 850 personnel for an operational F-22 Raptor squadron are now scheduled to transfer to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., in the spring of 2014.

The transfer of the fighter squadron from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., involves 620 active duty and 230 Air Force Reserve manpower authorizations. Twenty-one F-22s and seven T-38 Talons will move from Holloman to Tyndall. Until then, Tyndall will continue training pilots on the F-22 and prepare for the expanded mission. (Post)

Lockheed Martin delivered the core structure for the first National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration next-generation geostationary weather satellites to the company's Mississippi Space and Technology Center on NASA's Stennis Space Center.

At SSC the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite--R Series (GOES-R) will undergo propulsion system integration. For the next 11 months, the team will integrate GOES-R's fuel tanks, lines, thermal controls and other systems within the core structure. GOES-R is based on the company's award-winning A2100 satellite series.

The rigid external structure of the first GOES-R, which will enclose the satellite's propulsion system and support the payloads, was designed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems and manufactured by ATK Aerospace Group's Space and Components Division.

The Lockheed Martin Space and Technology Center at SSC works in a long list of satellites that are based on the A2100 satellite series, including military. (Post)

-- NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss., presented its Contractor Excellence Award to Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne during the week for its commitment to teamwork, safety, customer service, and technical and managerial excellence at the center.

PWR, based in Canoga Park, Calif., and with an engine assembly facility at SSC, developed the space shuttle main engine, which powered 135 shuttle missions from 1981 to 2011, and is developing the J-2X engine that will help power NASA's Space Launch System. The company also develops engines for military rockets and missiles.

The Contractor Excellence Award was established in 2008 to recognize contractors, subcontractors or providers for outstanding performance during a three-year period. (Post)

The global unmanned aerial vehicle payload market, valued at some $43.7 billion at the end of 2012, will increase to $68.6 billion by 2022, according to an estimate by Strategic Defense Alliance.

Market demand is anticipated to be driven by increased UAV procurement by several countries and continuous requirement formulations in areas such as persistent surveillance, suppression/destruction of enemy air defense, communications relays and combat search and rescue. Another factor that will drive the market is the increasing incorporation of UAVs in civilian applications.

The Gulf Coast region is heavily involved in the UAV field. (Post)

-- Northrop Grumman delivered two Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to the Air Force ahead of schedule. In 2012, three new Global Hawks were delivered to the Air Force and five previously delivered aircraft completed installation of additional sensors that will allow them to gather multiple types of intelligence data during a single mission.

A total of 37 Global Hawks have been delivered to the Air Force. Global Hawk has logged more than 80,000 flight hours and has been used over battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Global Hawk central fuselages are built in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

-- A company-owned Triton is being built by Northrop Grumman for use as a development and demonstration platform for at-sea surveillance under the Navy's MQ-4C Triton program.

Triton, based on a Global Hawk airframe, provides a detailed picture of surface vessels to identify threats across vast areas of ocean and littoral areas. The aircraft will be outfitted with the same intelligence-gathering sensors and communications suite as the Navy's Tritons.

The Triton central fuselage is built in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

-- Telephonics Corp., a subsidiary of Griffon Corp., Long Island, N.Y., was chosen to provide a multimode maritime radar system for the Navy's MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.

A $33 million contract was awarded to provide the development, production, integration and testing of nine radar systems. The new Telephonics RDR-1700B+ radar will give the MQ-8B Fire Scout wide-area search and long-range imaging capability to complement the capabilities of its current electro-optical infrared payload.

Fire Scouts are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

Applied Systems Engineering Inc., Niceville, Fla., was awarded an $11.7 million contract for the procurement of Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) Advanced Tactical Navigator (ATACNAV) units and Anti-Spoofing Module Advanced Tactical Navigator High Accuracy units in support of the Battle Management Systems Program. Work will be done in Niceville, Fla., and is expected to be complete by January 2018. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va., is the contracting activity. (Post)

Avondale: The Avondale shipyard near New Orleans is being considered by Hunting Ingalls Industries as a commercial construction and engineering projects site instead of for end-of-the-year closure. (Post)

Overcharges: Ingalls is looking into time-charging irregularities by employees, and is using an outside third party to help. The irregularities at the Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard were discovered by company personnel. (Post)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Week in review (12/30 to 1/5)

The president signed the $633 billion fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act into law during the week, despite objections to some parts. It includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel, $527.5 billion for DoD's base budget and much more.

It's nearly 700 pages and there are items of interest to the Gulf Coast region, including a requirement that all three versions of the F-35 have their initial operational capability no later than June 1, 2013. All the training is done at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

The act also has a provision for $41.7 million for construction at Eglin of the Special Operations Forces Aviation Foreign Internal Defense (AvFID) operations and maintenance facilities. AvFID is a new mission of the Air Force Reserve's 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field. The wing is giving up the MC-130 Combat Talons and taking on the role of advising friendly foreign partners in the use of aviation. The NDAA also provides $16 million for construction of a fuel storage facility at Hurlburt Field, home of Air Force Special Operations.

NDAA also authorizes the Air Force to procure two space-based infrared system satellites. Portions of the SBIR are built at Stennis Space Center, Miss. The total amount obligated or expended for the two satellites can’t exceed $3.9 billion.

The act also requires the Air Force to maintain the operational capability of each RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk -- none of the funds can be used to retire, prepare to retire or place in storage an RQ-4 Block 30. Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

The NDAA also affirms the Pentagon’s authority to conduct military activities in cyberspace through a unified command. Cyberspace is a key military activities in the Gulf Coast. The Air Force provides training for cyber space personnel at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., and Corry in Pensacola, Fla., is the home of the Navy's Center for Information Dominance. Training is also done at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

The NDAA also deals with Littoral Combat Ships. It requires the Secretary of the Navy to submit to the congressional defense committees a report by Dec. 31 of this year comparing the costs and performance of the two Littoral Combat Ship designs. One LCS type is built in Wisconsin and the other is built in Mobile, Ala., by Austal USA.

Now for the rest of the week in review:

The House approved a Senate amendment to a bill sponsored by Space and Aeronautics
Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo, R-Miss. It requires commercial launch companies to buy insurance for damage to third parties, and extends a waiver to allow American astronauts to continue to fly aboard Russian spacecraft to access the International Space Station through 2020.

The bill also conveys a sense of Congress regarding future U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, stressing the need to ensure continued development of both NASA's Space Launch System and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, along with the pursuit of commercial crew services to the ISS.

Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, and Stennis Space Center, Miss., are both involved in the SLS program. SSC also tests rocket engines for commercial launch companies. (Post)

Air show
Northrop Grumman won't participate in the 2013 international air show in Paris, but could beef up its presence at air shows in Australia and the Middle East. It's part of the company's overall drive to cut costs in light of tighter U.S. defense budgets. Northrop, which builds portions of the Global Hawk and its variants as well as the Fire Scout UAVs in Moss Point, Miss., also skipped the Farnborough international air show outside London last year. (Post)

Alcoa Fastening Systems received Airbus' Supply Chain and Quality Improvement Program Best Performer Bronze award for 2012. AFS, chosen out of some 250 suppliers, provides fasteners to Airbus for all of its major programs including the A320, A330, A340, A350, A380 and the A400M. There will be a ground breaking this year for an Airbus assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will build A320 aircraft. (Post)

EADS North America, Herndon, Va., was awarded a $26.3 million contract that will provide for the modification of an existing contract to procure contractor logistics support for Mission Equipment Packages for the Light Utility Helicopter program. Work will be done in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2016. … Thales Raytheon Systems, Fullerton, Calif., was awarded an $18.5 million contract that will provide for the modification of an existing contract to procure Sentinel radars and spares in support of Foreign Military Sales. Work will be performed in Fullerton, Calif., and Forest, Miss., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2013. … MacAulay-Brown Inc., Dayton, Ohio, was awarded a $30.9 million 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 Air Force Special Operations Command headquarters. The location of the performance is Hurlburt Field, Fla. The contracting activity is AFSOC/A7KQ, Hulburt Field.

Signet: Signet Maritime Corp. of Pascagoula, Miss., has delivered Signet 141, a 140-foot deck barge that will be available for charter throughout ports in the Gulf of Mexico and assist customers in the Port of Pascagoula. The Pascagoula facility began construction of the new vessel in May. Signet 141 was christened Dec. 20. (Post)