Saturday, January 31, 2015

Week in review (1/25 to 1/31)

For the Gulf Coast aerospace corridor, the week was dominated by news items concerning the F-35, including the start of training for the first pilot from the Royal Australian Air Force and extreme weather testing of an F-35B from Maryland. But Pensacola also got on the radar with something out of this world.

Here's your week in review:

At Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., an F-35B is continuing testing under extreme weather conditions at the base’s McKinley Climatic Laboratory. The F-35B is from the Patuxent River Integrated Test Force in Maryland, and the tests are being done by the 96th Test Wing.

The testing, which began four months ago and won’t end until March, is designed to validate the capability of the plane to operate in weather conditions anywhere in the world. The laboratory supports all-weather testing of weapon systems to ensure they function regardless of climatic conditions. (Post)

Meanwhile, the first Royal Australian Air Force pilot has begun training at Eglin to fly the F-35A. Eglin is home of the F-35 integrated training center, which trains all branches and all foreign partners in all three variants of the Lockheed Martin fifth generation fighter.

Squadron leader Andrew Jackson’s first flight will be months from now, and may not be in either of Australia’s two F-35A jets. Australia’s second F-35A pilot, David Bell, will start training in mid-2015. Australia plans to buy 72 of the planes, with the first arriving in Australia in late 2018. The first jet rolled off the production line in 2014. (Post)

Over in Fort Worth, Texas, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. was awarded a $10.6 million modification to a previously awarded contract in support of the F-35 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot VI for the government of Italy.

This modification provides for the F-35 Italian National Database, including a Database Generation System to support delivery of the first Italian full mission simulator. Work will be performed in Turin, Italy (80 percent) and Orlando, Fla. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2017. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Post)

In another contract, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was awarded a $10 million ceiling priced modification to a previously awarded contract to redesign, test and certify the F-35 Ground Based Data Security Assembly Receptacle. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (51 percent) and Orlando, Fla. (49 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2016. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Post)

Navy Outlying Field Choctaw in Navarre, Fla., hosted a short-notice Naval Special Warfare Group training exercise Jan. 23 when weather conditions left the East Coast SEAL team without a drop zone.

After coordination with the Naval Air Station Whiting Field Air Operations, NOLF Choctaw, used primarily for naval aviation training, was transformed for four multiple air drops from a Dobbins, Ga., Air Reserve Base C-130 that circled the field at about 10,000 feet. Whiting Field has 13 outlying fields used for training. (Post)

-- The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform at an air show at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., March 28-29. It will be Keesler’s first air show and open house in four years. This year's air show also features the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team and is expected to draw between 180,000 and 200,000 spectators. (Post)

-- Pensacola International Airport during the week unveiled a campaign designed to welcome sci-fi convention participants to town next month. The airport has put up signs that call the facility "Pensacola Intergalactic Airport" in advance of the Feb. 27 to March 1 Pensacon 2015.

The welcoming campaign, which will last until March 3, was done in partnership with Pensacon. The convention includes fans of multiple comic genres, including anime, sci-fi, fantasy and more. Last year’s convention drew 17,000 participants. (Post)

By the way, there are two airports in this country that actually use intergalactic in their names. According to a search of the internet, both are in Wyoming. One is Bunch Grass Intergalactic Airport in Powell, and the other is Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport in Green River.

If anyone had asked me, I would have suggested "The Upside of Florida Interstellar Airport/Spaceport." Has a nice ring, don't you think?

While I'm on the subject of space, Orbital Sciences Corp. stockholders during the week approved the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc. About 99 percent of the votes cast at a special meeting voted in favor, representing some 85 percent of the total of outstanding shares of Orbital common stock. The merger is expected to close Feb. 9. ATK will be renamed Orbital ATK Inc. Orbital Sciences tests rocket engines at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

Xator Corp. of Destin, Fla., along with InDyne Inc. and L-3 National Security Solutions Inc., both of Reston, Va., Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., and Herndon, Va., have each been awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for force protection site security systems. The total not-to-exceed combined amount for these multiple contracts is $486,000,000. … Crane Electronics Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a maximum $9.8 million contract for high voltage power supplies. The contract has a five-year base with no option periods. The location of performance is Florida, with a Jan. 28, 2020 performance completion date. … Airbus Defense and Space Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $25 million contract modification to procure program year 10 contractor logistic support for the UH-72A Lakota Helicopters. The work will be performed in Columbus, Miss. … PAE Applied Technologies LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $31 million modification to exercise the option to a previously awarded contract for base operations support services. Work will be performed at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., and is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2015. The 81st Contracting Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, is the contracting activity. ... L-3 Communications Corp., Madison, Miss., was awarded a $52 million contract modification to acquire maintenance/modifications for the Army's fleet of C-12/RC-12/UC-35 fixed wing aircraft. The work will be performed in Madison.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Week in review (1/18 to 1/24)

Late in the week the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest figures on union membership in the country. What may be the most striking on the national level is the drop since 1983, the first year for which comparable figures are available.

At that time, the union membership rate among American workers was 20.1 percent, and there were 17.7 million union members. In the most recent figures, 11.1 percent were members of unions. That’s 14.6 million people.

In the four states that are part of the I-10 aerospace corridor, the rate went up slightly in three of the four and remained the same in the other. Mississippi had the lowest union membership of the four with a rate of 3.7 percent, same as in 2013. Louisiana had a union membership rate of 5.2 percent in 2014, up from 4.3 in 2013, and Florida had a union membership rate of 5.7 percent, up from 5.4 in 2013. Alabama's union membership rate was 10.8 percent in 2014, up from 10.7 in 2013. (Post)

The state with the lowest union membership was North Carolina at 1.9 percent, and the state with the highest was New York, with 24.6 percent. The state with the largest number of union members was California, with 2.5 million. Over half of the 14.6 million union members in the country live in seven states: California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio, though these states accounted for only about a third of wage and salary employment nationally.

In 2014, 16.2 million wage and salary workers were represented by a union. This group includes both union members and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract.

In Alabama, 12.1 percent of workers are represented by unions, and in Florida, 7 percent are represented by unions. In Louisiana, 6.4 percent are represented by unions and in Mississippi, 4.5 percent are represented by unions.

The first F-35C for the Marines arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., earlier this month from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas. It was delivered to Strike Fighter Squadron 101 by Lt. Col. J.T. "Tank" Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander.

This plane is the first of five Marine Corps F-35Cs that will be delivered to VFA-101 at Eglin. Marine F-35 pilots primarily fly F-35Bs, the short take-off vertical landing variant, but the F-35C will be used for carrier operations.

The first operational Marine Corps F-35C fleet squadron, VMFA-115, is scheduled to stand up at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., in 2019. (Post)

Meanwhile, the Marine Corps is moving forward with plans to base its fleet of F-35B's in Japan and the United States. In 2017, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 will relocate from Yuma, Ariz., to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.

Marine F-35 squadrons will also routinely deploy to Japan on six month rotations as part of the service's unit deployment program. F-35Bs at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where pilots and maintainers are trained, will be included in the rotation. (Post)

Air Force F-35As are also going to be based overseas, but in Europe. The Air Force will base two squadrons at RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom, with the first aircraft slated to arrive in 2020.

Economic development
Aerosync Support, which specializes in helicopter repair, modifications and upgrades, will set up shop at the Santa Rosa Industrial Park in Milton, Fla. The company is making a capital investment in excess of $1.75 million.

Aerosync qualified for a performance-based incentive program aimed at increasing high-skilled, high-wage jobs in Florida. Aerosync provides support for Bell and Sikorsky helicopters for both the commercial and military markets.

Greg Bartlett, president of Aerosync, said the company decided on Santa Rosa County because of the large aerospace market in both commercial and military sectors, and the Santa Rosa Industrial Park offers the opportunity for expansion.

Aerosync, which also has operations in Wichita, Kan., and Bogata, Columbia, will create 25 jobs in Santa Rosa County. (Post)

-- Speaking of jobs, over in Mobile, Ala., aerospace giant Airbus posted notices for two positions that are open for the A320 final assembly line being built at the Mobile Aeroplex. One opening is for a deliver transactions manager, the other for sales contract manager. The assembly line, which will produce the most popular line of Airbus jetliners, will be opening in the fall of this year and produce its first jet in the spring of 2016. (Post)

-- The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition is back on track with an expansion of its research facility following a nearly year-long delay caused by flooding in April 2014. Completion is scheduled for February 2016. The three-story, 30,000-square-foot building will consolidate work done at several buildings, increase IHMC’s footprint and allow for future growth.

IHMC is a research institute investigating a broad range of topics related to building technological systems aimed at amplifying and extending human cognitive, perceptual, and physical capacities. Some of its work is in aerospace. (Post)

Gulf Power is partnering with the Air Force and Navy at three military bases in Northwest Florida to build large-scale solar energy farms. Tentative plans call for the farms to be located at Eglin Air Force Base near Fort Walton Beach (30 megawatts), Holley Outlying Field in Navarre (40 megawatts) and Saufley Field in Pensacola (50 megawatts).

As an intermittent energy resource, the solar farms will not replace Gulf Power's generation plants, but will be able to provide energy that will diversify the power supply and provide a cost-effective alternative during peak energy usage. It still has to be approved by the Florida Public Service Commission.

HelioSage Energy of Virginia would begin construction in February 2016 and the solar farms could be in service by December 2016. According to Eglin officials, the base has entered into negotiations to lease 240 acres adjacent to Northwest Florida Regional Airport for the Gulf Power/HelioSage project. (Post)

-- Silver Airways said during the week that it will provide service from Pensacola International Airport to Jacksonville and from Panama City’s Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport to Orlando and Tampa, beginning March 19. Silver Airways uses 34-seat Saab 340B Plus turbo-prop aircraft for all its flights. (Post)

-- Okaloosa County commissioners during the week changed the name of Destin Airport to Destin Executive Airport. But they delayed changing the name of Northwest Florida Regional Airport to Destin-Ft. Walton Beach International Airport. Some commissioners wanted more time to study the matter. The airport, goes by VPS, is at Eglin Air Force Base. (Post)

The third Navy Mobile User Objective System satellite launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early in the week atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V. The MUOS satellite is designed to improve secure satellite communications for mobile U.S. forces.

Five of the Lockheed Martin MUOS satellites will eventually be launched to form the constellation. Think of them as high-flying cell towers -- 22,000 miles above Earth, in fact. Two MUOS satellites launched in 2012 and 2013. Ultimately, the constellation and network will extend narrowband communications availability past 2025. Work on the core propulsion system for the A2100 satellite-based spacecraft is done by Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

-- Praxair Inc., of Danbury, Conn., was awarded a five-year, $53 million contract by NASA to provide liquid hydrogen to Stennis Space Center, Miss.; Kennedy Space Center, Fla.; Marshall Space Flight Center, Ala.; and Glenn Research Center, Ohio. NASA uses liquid hydrogen as fuel for rocket engine development, testing and the launching of spacecraft. (Post)

L-3 Communications Vertex of Madison, Miss., was awarded two contracts by DoD, one for $15.6 million and the other for $16.4 million, each for six month extensions of the current bridge contract at Corpus Christi Army Depot, Corpus Christi, Texas, to provide highly specialized aircraft production indirect labor services augmenting the civilian workforce. ... Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems Inc., Bethesda, Md., was awarded a $37.6 million contract modification to exercise the first option for the Next Generation Technical Services (NGTS) III requirement. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Stennis Space Center, Miss.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and Lorton, Va.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Week in review (1/11 to 1/17)

Airbus moves toward increasing A320 production; more jobs posted for Airbus in Mobile, Ala.; the resignation of the top job recruiter in Florida; and the streamlining at United Technologies were among the stories of interest to the Gulf Coast region during the week.

Here's the week in review:

Airbus is moving closer towards raising production of its A320. The company declared the supply chain is stable, and hinted on a decision to produce more A320s in coming months. Airbus produces 42 A320-family jets a month and is targeting 46 a month. Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will open in the fall of this year. (Post)

Speaking of the Airbus plant in Mobile, the company is looking for a final assembly line planner and delivery planner. Both require at least nine months' training abroad, and both require at least an associate's degree with a bachelor's degree preferred. (Post)

-- China Aircraft Leasing Co. has firmed up its contract with Airbus for 100 A320 family aircraft. The order comprises 74 A320neo, 16 A320ceo and 10 A321ceo. Including this new order, China Aircraft Leasing’s backlog with Airbus stands at 140 A320 family aircraft. (Post)

Spanish carrier Air Europa has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines for 14 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Rolls-Royce powered the first 787 test flight in December 2009, the first 787-8 to enter service in 2011 and the first 787-9 to enter service last year. Trent engines are tested at the company’s test facility at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

United Technologies Corp. is eliminating UTC Propulsion and Aerospace Systems and creating two stand-alone business units: engine-maker Pratt and Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems. UT Aerospace Systems has 160 locations, including UTC in Foley, Ala. (Post)

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $7 million modification to a previously awarded delivery order. This modification authorizes two additional Engineering Change Proposals for air vehicle retrofit modifications to be incorporated into designated F-35 aircraft, and includes retrofit modification kits, installation, and labor.

Five percent of the work will be done at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Other work locations will be in Fort Worth, Texas; Ogden, Utah; Cherry Point, N.C.; Yuma, Ariz.; and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (Post)

Economic development
Florida's top jobs recruiter is stepping down. Gray Swoope, the state's secretary of commerce and head of Enterprise Florida, is resigning at the end of February. Swoope, who came to Florida after leading Mississippi’s economic development team, served during the entire first term of Gov. Rick Scott. Swoope said he plans to remain in Florida but did not say what he plans to do next. (Post)

L-3 Communications Corp., Madison, Miss., was awarded a $60.3 million modification
to previous contract to support maintenance for the Army's fleet of C-12/RC-12/UC-35 fixed wing aircraft. Work will be performed in Madison. … HX5 of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded a $3 million incentive contract for advisory and assistance services. The contractor will provide combat rescue helicopter program support. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. … Williams Electric Co. Inc., of Fort Walton Beach was among 10 companies added as awardees to previously announced $2.5 billion contract for services necessary to perform the procurement and installation of utility monitoring and control systems, and similar services such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, building automation systems, supervisory control and data acquisition systems and other automated control systems and electronic security systems and/or force protection measures worldwide.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Week in review (1/4 to 1/10)

Je Suis Charlie

The terrorists who thought murdering unarmed journalists was the best way to silence what they found offensive didn't understand human nature. The best way to ensure people will do something is to tell them they can't.

"We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us." – Francois Rabelais

"There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable." – Mark Twain

That said, here's your aerospace week in review:

SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Saturday morning in a mission to bring supplies to the International Space Station and its six astronauts. But another part of the mission, the unprecedented return of the first stage to a floating barge in the Atlantic Ocean, failed.

The company's founder, Elon Musk, said the first stage of the rocket made it to the platform east of Jacksonville, Fla., but the booster came down too hard and broke apart. Activities of SpaceX are of interest to this region because the company plans to test its latest generation rocket engine at Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Post)

While we're on the subject of Stennis Space Center, the RS-25 engine that will power America's Space Launch System launch vehicle into deep space had its first successful test Friday at NASA's rocket engine testing facility in South Mississippi. The RS-25, formerly the space shuttle main engine, fired up for 500 seconds on the A-1 test stand. It was the first hot fire of an RS-25 engine since the end of space shuttle main engine testing in 2009. Four RS-25s will power the SLS on future missions that will launch the Orion capusule into space. (Post)

-- The third Mobile User Objective System satellite is scheduled to launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Jan. 20. The MUOS satellite is designed to improve secure satellite communications for mobile U.S. forces. Five of the Lockheed Martin MUOS satellites will eventually be launched to form the constellation. Work on the propulsion system for the A2100 satellite-based spacecraft is done at Stennis Space Center. (Post)

Turkey plans to buy four more F-35 fighters from the United States, in addition to the two it had already ordered, according to the country's defense ministry. Turkey has long planned to purchase 100 jets to replace its F-4 and F-16 fleet, but increasing costs have hampered the acquisitions. Turkey is one of the nine partner nations that helped fund development of the Lockheed Martin F-35. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. (Post)

In another F-35 item during the week, the Pentagon said the two squadrons of U.S. Air Force F-35s will be based at RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom. The first aircraft are scheduled to arrive at Lakenheath in 2020. At the same time the Pentagon announced that decision, it announced the consolidation of some U.S. infrastructure in Europe. It includes the return of 15 sites to host nations. It’s part of the European Reassurance Initiative, and will save the U.S. $500 million annually. Changes will impact the U.K., Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. (Post)

Speaking of bases, Florida's Naval Air Station Pensacola and Naval Air Station Whiting Field won a sweep of the Navy's 2015 Installation Excellence Awards. NAS Pensacola was No. 1 in the large base category, and Whiting was No. 1 in the small base category. The award lauds the top Navy commands at shore for their installation management, program excellence and community outreach. Now the two first-place winners compete for the nomination to represent the Navy for the DoD-wide 2015 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence, which will be announced in the spring. (Post)

-- The 325th Fighter Wing is now conducting a deployment exercise designed to test the wing's ability to deliver combat air power. The exercise will evaluate the wing’s ability to prepare personnel, aircraft and support equipment for a simulated departure. The wing typically exercises a variety of situations six times a year ranging from hurricane preparations to emergency responses. The 325th Fighter Wing's primary mission is to train and project combat power for F-22 Raptor pilots and maintenance personnel. (Post)

-- Air Force Col. Daniel J. Orcutt of Hurlburt Field, Fla., has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Orcutt is currently serving as commander, 505th Command and Control Wing, Air Combat Command, Hurlburt Field. (Post)

-- Scientists and engineers at the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Alabama’s Fort Rucker recently tested a device that may make hoist rescues less risky. The Enroute Care and Airworthiness Division, using an HH-60M, Army medic, rescue basket and crash dummy, tested an anti-rotational device designed to reduce the potential for an uncontrolled spin of a stretcher being lifted to the helicopter. (Post)

Airbus, Boeing
Airbus increased its deliveries in 2014, setting a new company record, a source at the
company told Reuters during the week. The Airbus Group subsidiary beat its 2013 peak of 626 deliveries. An Airbus spokesman would not comment on orders or deliveries ahead of the annual news conference Jan. 13. Meanwhile, Boeing set a record in 2014 for commercial airplane deliveries and orders, the company said. Boeing delivered 723 commercial airplanes last year, breaking a company record for the second consecutive year. Airbus is building an A320 family final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will open this year. (Post)

While on the subject of Airbus, the company posted its first available position of 2015 for its A320 final assembly line being built at the Mobile Aeroplex. It’s for a quality services technician, responsible for implementing and monitoring quality management processes and procedures. (Post)

Economic development
Two industrial parks in Santa Rosa County, Fla., have been certified by Gulf Power's "Florida First Sites" program. They are Northwest Florida Industrial Park at Interstate 10 and Santa Rosa County Industrial Park. Certification means the sites have proper zoning, service to utilities and meet other qualifications that make them ready for development. Both sites are targeting aerospace along with other types of businesses. The first site certified as VentureCrossing in Bay County, Fla., which also targets aerospace. (Post)

Northrop Grumman Global Hawks unmanned systems in all its variants have flown more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission hours in one week than ever before. Global Hawks flew 781 hours from Sept. 10-16. The Air Force's RQ-4 Global Hawk flew 87 percent of the missions, while the Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstration aircraft and NASA's Global Hawk hurricane research assets flew the rest. Global Hawks are manufactured at Northrop Grumman facilities in Moss Point, Miss., and Palmdale, Calif. (Post)

Exelis, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded an $8.4 million modification to a previously awarded contract for system sustainment. The contractor will sustain the infrastructure of the C-6 radar to include the weapon system management and engineering; field service team; radome maintenance; and requirements definition, analysis, and modeling. Work will be done at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2015. Space and Missile Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is the contracting activity.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Week in review (12/28 to 1/3)

Anyone who follows aerospace news from this region will easily recall the long battle between Boeing and Airbus to build aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force. Airbus, which at the time went by EADS, hoped to build them in Mobile, Ala.

Boeing won the contract to build the planes in Everett, Wash.

Last weekend Boeing and the Air Force successfully completed the first flight of the KC-46 tanker test program. The Boeing 767-2C took off from Paine Field, Wash., and landed three hours and 32 minutes later at Boeing Field. The aircraft will receive its military systems following certification. Boeing is under contract to deliver the first 18 of 179 KC-46 aircraft to the Air Force by 2017. (Post)

Mobile lost out on that contract, but ended up with something that is, arguably, far better. It is the home of an Airbus A320 final assembly line. The plant will open in the fall of this year, and the first jetliner – an A321 for JetBlue – will roll out of the plant in 2016.

Four contracts announced by the Department of Defense during the week have ties to the Gulf Coast Interstate 10 aerospace corridor. They have a cumulative value of $96.6 million, and two of the contracts involve Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

In one contract, Jacobs Technology Inc. of Fort Walton Beach was awarded a $42.4 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development of a launch test set complex for prototype testing and qualification of a launcher subsystem for the U.S. Navy and the government of the United Kingdom.

Work will be done in China Lake, Calif., and is expected to be completed in December 2019. The contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy (90 percent) and the government of the United Kingdom (10 percent) under the foreign military sales program. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake is the contracting activity. (Post)

In another contract, Cubic Defense Applications Inc. of San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $15.2 million contract to design, develop, integrate and test hardware and weapons simulations source code software for the Royal Saudi Air Force P5 combat training system.

Cubic also will provide contractor logistics support of on-site advice and informal training in operation and maintenance of Saudi P5 CTS equipment at King Abulaziz, King Faisal, King Khalid and King Fahad Air Bases in Saudi Arabia.

The P5 system is designed to provide real-time training for air-to-air, air-to-ground and surface-to-air combat missions by recording mission data, relay time, space and positioning information between participating aircraft during training sorties. The system is used by the military in the Gulf Coast region.

Work will primarily be performed at San Diego and Fort Walton Beach, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 17, 2017. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Post)

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Eglin is also the contracting activity for another contract. In this one, Raytheon Co. Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded an $18.7 million contract for HARM targeting system contractor logistic support. Contractor will provide depot repair services and sustaining engineering for HTS pods, as well as a variety of other HTS sustainment-related services and supplies. (Post)

The fourth contract of interest to the region was awarded to Cymstar Services LLC of Broken Arrow, Okla. It was awarded a $20.4 million contract modification for operations and sustainment support for the C-130J maintenance and aircrew training system devices, as well as material and travel costs to support the effort. The work will be done at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Little Rock AFB, Ark., and Dyess AFB, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2015. (Post)