Saturday, January 30, 2016

Week in revew (1/24 to 1/30)

Some operations and maintenance workers at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are losing their jobs. How many is unclear.

NASA combined the separate operations and maintenance contracts for the two facilities into one to save money. Jacobs Technology had held both contracts, but Syncom Space Services won the new contract.

As is the usual case, the new contractor hires back many of those who worked for the previous contractor. But in this case not as many workers are needed. There were about 800 workers handling operations and maintenance at the two facilities under the old contracts. The new contractor takes over Monday.

NATO will send five Global Hawks to Sigonella Air Base in Sicily this year. The drones are part of the Alliance Ground Surveillance system NATO is setting up in Italy amid growing regional and global concern about the presence of the Islamic State group across the Mediterranean in Libya. Fifteen NATO members are in the process of acquiring the Global Hawk surveillance systems. All variants of the Global Hawk are built in part in Moss Point, Miss. (Post)

JetBlue says it's ready to overhaul the cabins of its A320 jets. The restyling of all 130 of JetBlue’s A320s marks the first complete redesign of A320 interiors since JetBlue launched in 2000. JetBlue officials say the restyling is partially an attempt to make the A320 cabin interiors more like the interiors found on the airline’s newer A321s. JetBlue will receive the first Airbus A321 built in Mobile, Ala., later this year. (Post)

It may be that folks from this region lost interest in the U.S. aerial tanker since Boeing beat Airbus and won the contract a few years back, but I still follow the project. Boeing and Air Force aircrews successfully completed the KC-46A tanker’s first refueling flight last weekend over Washington state. The KC-46A offloaded 1,600 pounds of fuel to an F-16 flying at 20,000 feet. EADS, now Airbus, had competed for the refueling contract and planned to build the tankers in Mobile, Ala. Boeing won, and Airbus instead opted to build A320 series jetliners in Mobile. (Post)

An associate who will be doing a military column for future issues of the Gulf Coast Reporters’ League Business Quarterly told me in an email that the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron is scheduled to perform a fly-over during the Feb. 7 Super Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif. The Blue Angels, home based in Pensacola, Fla., are currently training in California for the 2016 air show season.

In another matter, he said senior Hurlburt Field leaders will hold a town hall meeting in Marianna Feb. 4 over plans to increase the use of Marianna Municipal Airport for CV-22 Osprey training. Hurlburt Field has 15 CV-22s in its base inventory. The meeting will be at 2 p.m. inside the airport terminal building at 3689 Industrial Park Dr.

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