Stakes are High in AM-2 Matting Order
Small business qualifier Skill Metric Machine & Tool, Inc. in Delray Beach, FL recently received a 5-year, maximum $48.5 million, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for AM-2 metal matting accessory packages, in support of the Expeditionary Airfield program. Those packages contain items that help assemble, secure, and lock/stake the mats into place, so they can act as emergency airfields for USMC fighters, transports, etc. Work will be performed in Delray Beach, FL, and is expected to be complete in October 2016. $1.5 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured as an 8(a) small business set-aside competition via electronic request for proposals, and 1 offer was received by the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ (N68335-12-D-0001).
This sounds boring, but it’s critical to the way the US Marines fight. Anywhere in the world, the Marine Corps can install 4,000 feet of AM-2 steel matting and begin operating its airpower. At the 2010 Battle of Marjah, for instance, the Marines expected a really difficult fight, and needed consistent close air support. All with limited aerial tanker support, and just 10 AV-8B Harrier jets based over 150 miles away, at Kandahar Airfield. That would mean too much flying back and forth, and not enough time over the battlefield. Instead, a 4,000 foot expeditionary airfield was built at FOB Dwyer, just 10 miles from the battle, as a forward arming and refueling point (FARP). Result? Just 30 minutes from departure to a fully-fueled return, and full close-support coverage thanks to a 4x aircraft sortie rate.