The Air Force plans to declare its new AC-130J "Ghostrider" gunship ready for combat operations by the end of September. That’s according to Lt. Gen. Marshall "Brad" Webb, head of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
He told reporters at the Air Force Association’s annual conference in National Harbor, Md., that it won't go into combat for a couple more years because of the high pace of operational missions abroad, which makes in more difficult to train special operators on the new gunship’s new weapon system.
The AC-130J, designed for close-air support, is armed with a 30mm GAU-23/A cannon and suite of precision-guided munitions that include the GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb and AGM-176 Griffin missile, and a 105mm M102 howitzer system. (Post)
The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 2 recently evaluated new, fully digitized navigation charts to streamline mission planning initiatives for the military. It’s the first major upgrade to the charts in some 30 years.
AFOTEC completed a successful operational test on a digitized navigation chart prototype in 2016, and the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency asked AFOTEC evaluate three new digitized charts for use by the Air Force and other military branches.
Over six weeks, Detachment 2 tested the new charts at nine military installations across the U.S., including at Eglin, using 16 different airframes. The new charts will be available for military operations as early as 2019. (Post)
The Air Force’s 33rd Maintenance Squadron provided training and support to F-35C operations aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln from Aug. 30 to Sept. 7, 2017.
Two airmen and two sailors from the aerospace ground equipment flight and the wheel and tire shop qualified Abraham Lincoln sailors to operate F-35 support equipment, bringing the U.S. Navy one step closer to initial operations capability. With this training, the Abraham Lincoln's aviation structural mechanics are now qualified to tear down, inspect, clean, rebuild and service wheel assemblies. (Post)
The Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office received three Excellence in Economic Development Awards for 2017 from the International Economic Development Council during the IEDC Annual Conference Sept. 17-20 in Toronto. Two were related to aerospace and aviation.
One was a gold award for its aviation industry brochure in the category of special purpose print brochure, which details Santa Rosa County's advantages to companies in the aviation, aerospace, and related industries. The EDO took home a bronze award in the category of special purpose website, for SantaRosaAviation.com, a micro-site showcasing the county's advantages to companies in the aviation, aerospace, and related industries.
The office also won a silver award for its Career Pathways website, a project also in the category of special purpose website. The website is designed to provide students and their families guidance on local career opportunities. (Post)
Fort Walton Beach contracts
There were multiple contracts awarded during the week that will involve workers at Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
-- Reliance Test & Technology of Fort Walton Beach was awarded an $8.7 million modification to previously awarded contract for Eglin Air Force Base operation and maintenance support service. Work will be performed in Fort Walton Beach and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2026. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.
-- Fort Walton Beach will share work with San Diego in another contract. Cubic Global Defense, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $61 million contract for P5 combat training system/tactical combat training system updates. Work will be completed Sept. 30, 2022. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.
-- Fifteen percent of the work will be done in Fort Walton Beach under a $24.3 million contract modification that was awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp., Rotary and Mission Systems, Baltimore, Md. This contract exercises options for vertical launching system modules and associated equipment with the MK 41 vertical launch system. Work is expected to be completed by December 2022. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
-- The SURVICE Engineering Co. LLC, Belcamp, Md., was awarded a $10 million contract to perform research and development analysis for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in the areas of air weapons systems survivability and lethality, test and analysis support, modeling and simulation (M&S), and M&S verification, validation and accreditation. Ten percent of the work will be done in Fort Walton Beach and is expected to be completed in September 2022. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.
-- The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded a $68.5 million modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification provides for the procurement of the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G structural repair manual. Six percent of the work will be done in Fort Walton Beach. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
-- Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum, Md., was awarded a $12 million job order under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement for spare parts to support organic depot repairs of the AN/ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures system. Five percent of the work will be done in Fort Walton Beach and is expected to be completed by April 2020. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity.
Fluor Federal Solutions LLC, Greenville, S.C., was awarded a $14.4 million modification under a previously awarded contract to exercise option 10 for base operations support services at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., and outlying areas of Saufley Field, Corry Station, and Bronson Field. Work will be performed in Pensacola and is expected to be completed March 2018. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Rotary and Mission Systems, Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $22 million modification to previously awarded contract for academic and simulator formal training and instruction. Work will be performed at Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; Harrisburg Air National Guard Base, Pa.; and Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom; and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2018. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity. … Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative, Wewahitchka, Fla., was awarded a maximum $36.3 million modification to a 50-year contract with no option periods, to incorporate a price redetermination rate increase, retroactive to June 1, 2014. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va. … JAR Assets Inc., Mandeville, La., was awarded a $9 million modification to previously awarded contract exercising the second option year for transportation of bulk jet fuel and marine diesel fuel by barge. Work will be performed at ports and points along the inland waterways and Gulf Coast locations in the Gulf Region with an expected completion date of Sept. 30, 2018. The U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity. … URS Federal Services Inc., Germantown, Md., was awarded a $15.5 million modification to a contract for rotary-wing flight instructor services. Work will be performed in Dothan, Ala., with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2018. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Eustis, Va., is the contracting activity. … Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $450 million contract for Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) II integrated engineering change proposal contract. Work will be performed in Tucson, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2024. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity … A host of companies were awarded a combined $998 million for research, development, test and evaluation of weapon systems, subsystems, and components work. Air Force Test Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. … Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative Inc., De Funiak Springs, Fla., was awarded a $60.2 million modification to a 50-year contract for additional utility services for the electric system at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va.