DLA Aviation awards U-2 support contract for Pacer Dragon Program

By Cathy Hopkins DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Preparing to pilot the Air Force’s U-2 Dragon Lady is much like suiting up to go into space. The Dragon Lady is a single-seat, single-engine, high-altitude aircraft that provides high-altitude/ near space reconnaissance and all-weather surveillance and reconnaissance, day or night, and delivers critical imagery and signals intelligence.

In January, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation awarded a Pacer Dragon Program support contract for $85 million that ensures uninterrupted engine support to those who fly the U-2. The contract provides engine module maintenance, repair and remanufacturing support for the F118-GE-101A engine used by the aircraft. In addition to engine components support, the contract includes technical manuals/data updates, service representative and engine test support and the opportunity for engineering support.

Introduced into service in 1955, the Dragon Lady, one of the oldest aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory, is still flying today gathering information to execute missions near and far, including reconnaissance in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

DLA Aviation was first approached by the Air Force in July 2017 when the U-2 program manager and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s logistics propulsion chief at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex identified an urgent support requirement for the F118-GE-101A engine.

In less than seven months, DLA Aviation’s Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate awarded the contract to General Electric-Aviation as a firm-fixed price requirements (with price redetermination) contract with a five-year base, one three-year and one two-year option periods for a total contract duration of ten years.

“Our ability to streamline the procurement process is a critical component in being able to successfully meet our customer’s requirements,” said Daniele Kurze, chief, Strategic Contracting Division, Strategic Acquisition Programs Directorate, DLA Aviation. “We are able to provide this value-added strategic function through already established broad-based justification and approvals and Captain of Industries - Supplier Capability Contracts with overarching terms and conditions.” DLA Aviation awarded its initial GE COI-SCC umbrella contract in 2015 specific to GE’s F-Series engines under which the Pacer Phantom (F110 engine shop repair/unit repair) was also awarded as a subsumable contract in 2016.

Paul Bristow, chief, Strategic Program Management Division, said “The Pacer Dragon award not only shows our commitment to the Air Force and warfighter, but it is also a tribute to DLA’s strategic supplier alliance relationship with General Electric. DLA, the Air Force, and GE continue to successfully execute outcome-based efforts for major weapon systems sustainment.”

Kurze agrees the internal teaming with visits back and forth among DLA, the Air Force and GE is critical to the procurement process and allowed for uninterrupted support for the U-2, once again highlighting the agency’s number one priority: warfighter first. Using contracting vehicles like the GE COI-SCC and subsumable contracts is one method that reinforces our ability to ensure readiness and lethality across the end-to-end supply chain by reducing risk, improving efficiency and optimizing retail and industrial support.

Each individual requirement is awarded as a subsumable contract, like the Pacer Dragon and Pacer Phantom contracts, to this basic umbrella contract and outlines the specific statement of work and applicable performance requirements. 

In January 2018, DLA awarded a new GE COI-SCC basic contract for a base period of 15 years under which the GE COI-SCC umbrella contract serves as the basic framework and terms of individual support requirements for performance and/or outcome-based supply chain management and logistics support of GE manufactured engines.

“We are pleased to be growing our successful Captains of Industry partnership in support of our Air Force customer,” said Cristina Seda-Hoelle, GE Aviation’s general manager for Military Customer Service. “The new contract complements the great work being done in our GE Winfield, Kansas facility.”

The new GE COI-SCC encompasses the universe of GE military engines and potential performance and/or outcome-based requirements that may develop within DLA and the military services to optimize performance. Aside from the previously mentioned efficiencies in meeting the customer’s requirement, DLA’s development and use of these COI-SCC contracts leverages:

• the government’s buying power,
• reduces redundancy through a decrease in the number of contracts awarded and administered,
• enables one infrastructure managed by the supplier, creating an agreement that balances performance, risk and costs, and
• leads to an increase in availability and reliability of parts supported, and a material supplied cost reduction.

“It’s critical to AFLCMC to be agile in order to provide our warfighters the support they deserve,” said Tim Shannon, Pacer Phantom Program lead within AFLCMC. “The COI contracts developed by DLA’s program management and contracting team are very agile and extremely flexible. Pacer Dragon was executed by DLA Aviation in the manner we have become accustom to; timely, professional and economical.”

Through the GE COI-SCC, DLA Aviation currently supports the B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit, and F-16 Falcon weapon systems. With the award of Pacer Dragon, DLA Aviation adds the U-2 Dragon Lady to the portfolio. Strategic support for the A-10 Thunderbolt, KC-135 Stratotanker, and T-38 Talon weapon systems are expected to be awarded within the next year.

See related video:  The U-2 Takes On Northern Edge 17