Aleut Technologies gains foothold in DOD mentoring program

Mentoring program aims to boost small companies’ presence

The small Alaskan firm Aleut Technologies outbid competitors last year to win a support contract for the Missile Defense Agency’s Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBX) platform, which will be stationed on the Aleutian island of Adak. Now the company hopes to take advantage of that contract to upgrade its operations and capabilities.

Aleut Technologies entered into a partnership this month with Boeing under the Defense Department’s Mentor-Protégé Program. Under the three-year agreement, Boeing will provide training to Aleut Technologies in areas such as business development and program management.

The DOD Mentor-Protégé Program, which Congress mandated in 1991, receives about $26 million in appropriations each year for assisting minority-owned contractors, which includes companies run by American Indians, Alaskan natives and Hawaiian natives. DOD recently expanded the program to include companies owned by women, service-disabled veterans and companies located in historically underused business zones.

Unlike a similar program the Small Business Administration runs, the DOD program focuses on technology transfer.

DOD also looks for small companies with some government experience whose capabilities match current needs, said Victor Ciardello, mentor-protégé program manager. “If you’re a start-up, you’re probably not going to get into the DOD program, which is looking for [companies] that are somewhat developed and have the potential to really grow,” he said.

Aleut Technologies intends to use its agreement to gain management, program development and strategic development training from Boeing, said Grandin West, president and chief operating officer at Aleut Technologies.

“The Mentor-Protégé agreement will allow Boeing to provide Aleut Technologies with significant training opportunities in various disciplines,” he said.

Aleut Technologies holds a $16 million a year renewable subcontract to provide support services for the SBX, an advanced radar system mounted on a sea-going platform that can track and assess long-range ballistic missile threats. Aleut Technologies’ support includes providing an escort vessel, the Dove, along with refueling and other services.

When the SBX platform is in its new home at Adak, about 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage, in late spring or summer 2007, Aleut Technologies will be the primary provider of support

services. It is also involved in redeveloping the former naval station into a residential community and fishing facility there.

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