The USA’s Contract Field Teams (CFT) Program quickly deploys skilled technicians on site to accomplishes depot and organizational level inspection, maintenance, modification and repair at operational Government locations worldwide. The program works with each of the USAF’s Air Logistics Centers (ALCs), plus USAF Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Mobility Command (AMC), Air Force Reserves (AFRES) and the US Air National Guard (ANG). CFT contracts can also be used to support the needs of the US Army, Navy, Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other American Federal Agencies. The program started in 1951, and the last contract was issued in 1997, expiring in 2008. Hence the new award.
The US Army makes extensive use of this contract vehicle for Army Aviation Support, and the US Navy operates an aviation fleet that is larger than most national air forces. since the roster of firms involved in these activities is very similar no matter which service is making the request, piggybacking on a fully fleshed out contract and using similar terms and conditions makes a lot of sense. FAA support, meanwhile, involves the repair of navigation equipment, electronics, and other components of civil aviation infrastructure.
Like most multiple-award contracts, the “winners” are really just given an opportunity to compete for relevant task orders. When a specific need arises, the umbrella contract’s extensive terms and conditions are already set, and bids can be offered and evaluated very quickly. That arrangement saves time and money for the military, the firms involved, and ultimately for American taxpayers. At this time $280,000 has been committed, and the contracts will be managed by the 327 ASW/FT at Tinker AFB in Midwest City, OK.
Winners under the new CFT program, with DefenseLINK announcement errors corrected, include:
The Qatar Emiri Air Force currently flies old Westland Commando helicopters in heavier utility and maritime roles, and SA341 Gazelles in light helicopter and attack roles. The AW139 will fit somewhere in the middle.
Think of RFID (Radio Frequency I.D.) as a bar code that can be read at a distance, instead of having to be scanned directly. RFID is becoming a pervasive feature in the American defense supply chain, and is beginning to make inroads into other markets as well. While supply chain solutions remain its main use, it is also a common feature in security solutions like ‘smart’ access cards. That latter use has led to a number of problems lately, including the posting of armed guards to secure sensitive government facilities in Europe.
NXP Semiconductors is currently filing suit in The Netherlands against Radboud University in Nijmegen, in an attempt to keep its researchers from publishing a paper about reported security flaws in NXP’s widely distributed MiFare Classic RFID chip. The chip’s 48-bit encryption was high end in 1994, but is considered very vulnerable by modern standards. The chip’s security flaws were publicized in a 2007 crack, but the downside of hardware-based security systems is the expense and time involved in changing them. In light of recent events, government agencies employing smart cards will need to factor that unpleasant reality into their purchasing decisions. Ken van Wyk, principal consultant at KRvW Associates is quoted by Computerworld on this issue:
“It turns out it’s a pretty huge deal… There are a lot of these things floating around out there. Using it for building locks is the biggy, especially when it’s used in sensitive government facilities – and I know for a fact it’s being used in sensitive government facilities.” Van Wyk noted in March that one European country had deployed soldiers to guard some government facilities that used the MiFare Classic chip in their smart door key cards… “You have an RFID chip deployed by the millions,” said van Wyk. “Switching that around is extremely costly and won’t happen very quickly. It could be it will take them months or a year to do that.”
WRS Infrastructure and Environment, Inc. in Tampa, FL received a $7 million firm-fixed price contract for the construction of a water resource area and irrigation reservoir levees, canals, pumping stations, control structures, siphon, access roadways, and associated work in Florida’s Highlands and Okeechobee Counties. Readers who don’t fish for bass can consult the map above to find these counties, located in Florida’s central farming belt just north of Lake Okeechobee.
Work is expected to be complete by Nov 30/10. 65 bids were solicited on April 2/08, and 19 bids were received by the U.S. Army Engineer District in Jacksonville, FL (W912EP-08-C-0013).