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Coast Guard close to contract award for C-130 work

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From staff reports

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The U.S. Coast Guard is close to announcing the award of a new contract for maintenance and overhaul work on its C-130 aircraft at Base Elizabeth City, a Coast Guard official says.

Capt. Randy Hartnett said in a statement last week that the Aviation Logistics Center, the base command in charge of overhauling and maintaining Coast Guard aircraft, is in its “final stages” of evaluating the HC-130H/​J Progressive Structural Inspection Services contract.

While it’s still not known when award of the new PSIS contract will be announced, Hartnett said, it is expected to be “within the next several weeks.”

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., said the congressman’s office has been advised by Coast Guard officials that the current contract expires Dec. 19 and that the new contract is expected to be awarded by the end of this month.

Among those awaiting word about the contract award is Leonardo DRS, the Arlington, Virginia-based defense contractor that’s been performing maintenance and overhaul work on the C-130s at Base Elizabeth City since 2010. Leonardo DRS has sought renewal of its contract with the Coast Guard, but is one of at least three firms known to be bidding for the work. Leonardo DRS is currently completing work on existing orders at the ALC, the Jones office spokeswoman said.

Mike Mount, senior director of public affairs for Leonardo DRS, said in an email last week his firm has not heard anything yet about its request to renew the C-130 contract.

For that reason, Leonardo DRS notified the N.C. Department of Commerce late last month it was “in the process of implementing contingency plans” starting this week to downsize its operations in Elizabeth City, a process that includes “anticipated phased layoffs.” Approximately 90 jobs, including 39 sheet metal mechanic positions and 11 Tech III maintenance positions, could be affected by the downsizing plan, a company official told state officials.

Without a new contract, Leonardo DRS was required to notify the state of potential layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a federal law that mandates companies with 100 or more employees to give 60 days advance notice of any plant closings and layoffs.

Even if DRS does not retain the C-130 contract, it’s possible most of its workers would find positions with the new contractor. That’s what has happened in the past when contractors at the base have changed.

Hartnett noted that the Coast Guard will still need skilled workers once the new contract is awarded.

“ALC will continue to need dedicated and skilled artisans for the successful operation of the HC-130 PSI program and we look forward to their continued contributions in supporting our nation’s critical maritime mission,” he said.

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