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No word yet on C-130 contract

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

There was no word on Monday about the future of a contract to overhaul the Coast Guard’s fleet of C-130 aircraft at Base Elizabeth City — even though a spokesman for the current contractor said last month his company expected a decision by now.

Leonardo DRS spokesman Michael Mount said in May his company had submitted a bid to the Coast Guard to continue the overhaul work it’s performed on the agency’s search-and-rescue aircraft in Elizabeth City since 2010. Mount said then DRS expected the contract to be awarded no later than June 18.

Mount didn’t have any update on the C-130 contract Monday, however, and attempts to reach Coast Guard officials were unsuccessful.

City Manager Rich Olson said Monday afternoon he hasn't heard anything about the future of the contract either. He said he has heard frustration about a lack of information on the contract, however, from representatives of the three companies bidding for it.

Olson said he couldn’t disclose the names of the three firms. But one is almost certainly Leonardo DRS, which is based in Arlington, Virginia. The other two are likely L3 Technologies, which is based in New York City, and DynCorp International, which is based in McLean, Virginia. Both L3 Technologies and DynCorp International have placed want ads on the job-search website indeed.com for what appears to be C-130 Coast Guard-related work in Pasquotank County. 

Olson said the subject of the C-130 contract came up recently in casual conversations he and other city officials had earlier this month during the change-of-command ceremony for the new Coast Guard commandant, Adm. Karl Schultz. The ceremony was held at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Olson said representatives of the three companies that submitted bids for the C-130 work expressed frustration to him about no decision having been made. Asked if the firms’ representatives had any idea when the contract would be awarded, Olson said they didn’t.  

Olson was asked whether the representatives gave him an idea of when they were hoping a decision would be made.

"That was part of their frustration,” he said. “They had no idea what was going on, what the timeline was — not sure why the contract hadn't been awarded yet — and so on and so forth."

Lt. Cmdr. Scott Stechschulte, a public affairs officer at the Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center, which oversees the C-130 overhaul work, has said the agency doesn't have a firm date for awarding the contract. At the same time, Stechschulte has made clear the ALC doesn’t expect any disruption in work on the aircraft.

A spokesman for L3 Technologies has already said his company doesn’t plan to comment on whether the firm is seeking the C-130 contract. Attempts to obtain comment from a DynCorp official were unsuccessful on Monday afternoon.

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