Air Force, industry discuss Ops Center work

Air Force and industry officials are meeting this week outside of Boston to discuss the highly anticipated Air and Space Operations Center Weapon System Integrator contract.

Officials at the service’s Electronic Systems Center will explain the acquisition strategy for the multi-year deal that could be worth more than $2 billion. Air Force officials want to hire a company to manage and update the service’s 17 air and space operations worldwide, a training facility at Hurlburt Air Force Base, Fla., and a help-desk site at Langley Air Force Base, Va., according to a March 21 service statement.

"Over the past several months, our team has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Defense Department to fine tune the plan to deliver a transformational capability that will make the Air and Space Operations Center a powerful weapon to use against our adversaries," said Col. Terence Szanto, commander of the center’s Operational Command and Control Systems Group.

Air Force officials plan to issue the solicitation’s draft request for proposals in May and set a July deadline for the final request for proposals due. They plan to award the contract by the end of the year.

The RFP originally was expected earlier this year, but DOD officials wanted to review the acquisition and funding strategy. They changed the official designation of the contract to recognize the centers, where service commanders plan military air campaigns, as a weapon system, said Maj. Joe Nedeau, deputy program manager for the center’s weapon system modernization initiative.

"By its nature, this contract will allow us to focus on inherently governmental functions and program management, while contactors can draw upon their wealth of engineering talent to address technical issues," Nedeau said.

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