April 24, 2017

Last P-3C Orion Leaves Pax for Aviation Boneyard

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The last P-3C Orion at NAS Pax River is headed to the aviation boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. The Tester reports that Air Test and Evaluation Squadron — VX- 1 — said goodbye to the command’s last P-3 late last month. An anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare patrol aircraft, the P-3C’s mission is to provide surveillance across land and sea. “The P-3C Orion has provided us, as operators, with a wealth of assets to complete any mission in any AOR,” said Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class Sean Smith, aircrewman assigned to VX-1. “VX-1 continually led the operational test of new systems before they went to the fleet so I’m proud to have been a part of the legacy that is the P-3C Orion.”

The US government has released a once-secret policy document dubbed “the playbook” that shows how officials select drone targets in areas outside war zones and the role the president has in the process, Agence France Presse reports. Published Saturday by the American Civil Liberties Union, the 18-page Presidential Policy Guidance provides more details than the government had previously revealed on how drone strikes are approved.

Score one for the little guy. Breaking Defense reports tiny drones, no bigger than the palm of your hand, were the big stars of a US Army’s Pacific Manned-Unmanned Initiative experiment in Hawaii. The larger ground robots got mixed reviews. Apparently they found it difficult to maneuver in the jungle.

A US company in the explosives-trace-detection business wants to acquire a French hoverboard company that it hopes will excite the defense, security, and commercial markets. Zapata Industries SAS of Marseilles, France, reached a proof-of-concept milestone this year by producing a personal flight system it is calling Flyboard Air, bringing the long-fantasized concept of an intuitive hoverboard into reality. The company hopes the US military wants to jump onboard.

While recent attacks in Europe inspired by the Islamic State group are hastening a need to up the ante against the terrorist organization, government officials from around the world also are looking to intensify efforts to seize on recent battlefield gains, C4ISRNET reports. Officials from several nations, including members of NATO, participated in a meeting late last month at Joint Base Andrews to discuss progress made by the anti-ISIS coalition and the campaign’s next steps to, as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said, “deliver [ISIS] a lasting defeat.” Part of these efforts will include cyber operations.

RADM Mat Winter will be assigned as Joint Strike Fighter deputy director, Inside Defense reports. Winter is currently serving as the chief of naval research. His previous assignments include executive assistant to the JSF program director, chief engineer for JSF integrated flight and propulsion control, and the program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons.

The Department of Defense Inspector General issued a report that brings the Army’s Automatic Fire Extinguisher System weapons program under fire over safety shortfalls, Breaking Defense reports. The AFES in the M109A7 Paladin artillery vehicle “did not protect the entire howitzer crew compartment during fire survivability testing,” the report states. DoD says the safety system must be fixed before the vehicle is fielded and potentially faces enemy fire.

The last known remaining 1935 Lockheed Electra L-10E will be transported this week from El Cajon, CA, to Atchison, KS, Warbirds News reports. The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation recently acquired the restored aircraft — named Muriel — with plans to house it at a new Amelia Earhart Museum. “The Electra L-10E is the same model aircraft flown by Earhart on her fateful final flight around the world,” Karen Seaberg, director of the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation, said. “Our goal is to use Muriel as the anchor of the new museum to bring Amelia Earhart’s story to life from her hometown.”

Efforts continue by the US Navy and Lockheed Martin to salvage a communications satellite that launched June 24 from Cape Canaveral and has been stranded in the wrong orbit, at least temporarily, by a propulsion system failure, clickorlando.com reports. Reports say that after the lift-off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, the fifth Mobile User Objective System satellite, or MUOS-5, was supposed to perform engine firings. The satellite experienced “a failure of the orbit raising propulsion system” during an engine burn June 29, halting that maneuver, the Navy said last week.

A company claims that an artificial intelligence program it designed allowed drones to repeatedly “defeat” a human pilot in simulations in a test done with the Air Force Research Lab, Breaking Defense reports. A former US Air Force battle manager reportedly tried repeatedly and failed to score a kill and repeatedly shot out of the air.

For the first time in 14 years, the military is rewriting its body composition standards and the methods used to determine whether troops are too overweight to serve, Military Times reports. Pentagon officials expect to publish a new policy later this year, a document expected to have sweeping effects on how the military defines and measures health and fitness.

Contracts:

CB&I Federal Services LLC, Alexandria, VA, has been awarded a $400,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Facilities Acquisitions for Restoration and Modernization program. Contractor will provide for the mechanical, electrical, and controls for construction, and/or design-build projects for military ground testing facilities. These projects include plan and infrastructure sustainment, restoration, and modernization to support the research, development, test and evaluation mission. Work will be performed at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, and its associated geographically separated units at White Oak, MD; and Moffett Field, CA, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 7, 2021. This award is a result of a competitive, multiple-award acquisition, and 13 offers were received. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $758,463 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Test Center, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, is the contracting activity (FA9101-16-D-0006).

Black & Veatch Construction Inc., Overland Park, KS, has been awarded a $400,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Facilities Acquisitions for Restoration and Modernization program. Contractor will provide for the mechanical, electrical, and controls for construction, and/or design-build projects for military ground testing facilities. These projects include plan and infrastructure sustainment, restoration, and modernization to support the research, development, test and evaluation mission. Work will be performed at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, and its associated geographically separated units at White Oak, MD; and Moffett Field, CA, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 7, 2021. This award is a result of a competitive, multiple-award acquisition, and 13 offers were received. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $910,594 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Test Center, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, is the contracting activity (FA9101-16-D-0007).

Turner Construction Co., New York, NY, has been awarded a $400,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Facilities Acquisitions for Restoration and Modernization program. Contractor will provide for the mechanical, electrical, and controls for construction, and/or design-build projects for military ground testing facilities. These projects include plan and infrastructure sustainment, restoration, and modernization to support the research, development, test, and evaluation mission. Work will be performed at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, and its associated geographically separated units at White Oak, MD; and Moffett Field, CA, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 7, 2021. This award is a result of a competitive, multiple-award acquisition, and 13 offers were received. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $583,529 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Test Center, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, is the contracting activity (FA9101-16-D-0008).

Healtheon Inc., New Orleans, LA, has been awarded a $400,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Facilities Acquisitions for Restoration and Modernization program. Contractor will provide for the mechanical, electrical, and controls for construction, and/or design-build projects for military ground testing facilities. These projects include plan and infrastructure sustainment, restoration, and modernization to support the research, development, test, and evaluation mission. Work will be performed at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, and its associated geographically separated units at White Oak, MD; and Moffett Field, CA, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 7, 2021. This award is a result of a competitive, multiple-award acquisition, and 13 offers were received. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $657,494 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Test Center, Arnold Air Force Base, TN, is the contracting activity (FA9101-16-D-0009).

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Comments
2 Responses to “Last P-3C Orion Leaves Pax for Aviation Boneyard”
  1. Dan Poe says:

    The P-3C Orion was a big part of my childhood. Growing up as a Navy Brat of a P-3 pilot, I can remember the unique sound of one overhead. When we heard one coming, we would look to see what the tail letters were and we knew if it was dad or not (I remember ‘LL’ was VP-30). Dad was stationed in Key West when I was in middle school and he was attached to VX-1. He came back to Pax River after that and within a year, VX-1 moved to Pax. Sad to see the plane go, but what memories it’s trip to the boneyard has brought back!

  2. Billy Swinney says:

    Heck yea Smith, we taught you well my friend. We’re still killing it in the Fleet!

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