US Army looking for air services contractors


The US Army has issued a pre-solicitation notice seeking the services of a private military contractor capable of operating fixed-wing and rotary airlift services to be based in Niamey, Niger to transport personnel from special operations units of Africa Command (Africom) during military operations which are set to begin shortly in North and West Africa.

In terms of a notice published on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) register on April 25, the Fleet Logistics Centre Norfolk is seeking an airlift services contractor capable of conducting personnel recovery (PR), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and search and rescue (SAR) operations from African theatres of operation using Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.
“The contractor shall provide all personnel, aircraft, equipment and supervision necessary to conduct PR/CASEVAC/SAR operations utilising STOL fixed wing and rotary wing air lift for transport, insertions, and extractions. Additionally, the contractor shall provide EMT-B medical care as a PR resource spanning from a fixed location in Niamey out to 500 nautical miles. The
contractor will also be required to cover various other forward operating locations.
“Mission operations will require pilots to land and take off from unlit airfields, provide medevac extractions with routine medical care, airlifting cargo including personnel with weapons and ammunition, air drop service of supplies and rapid base relocation in case the Niamey base is no longer suitable for operations.
“This 500 mile radius shall be the contractors Area of Responsibility (AOR) under the pursuant contract. All PR/CASEVAC/SAR contractors must possess a Secret Clearance. The period of performance for this anticipated contract is a six month base year with two 12 month option periods.”

The notice said the prescribed services will be provided to only to personnel cleared by the AFRICOM commander as well as US soldiers. Among other requirements, the fixed-wing aircraft needed must be able to take off from unimproved or improvised landing strips carrying up to four patients and two paramedics while the pilots must be qualified to fly using night vision equipment.

The Pentagon said aircraft required for these operations must have instrument flight capable with traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS), very high frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF) radios, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation equipment and weather-detection capable radar.

The aircraft must also have a minimum of five user accounts for accessing flight tracking, near real-time worldwide tracking using the GPS or Iridium systems, distress call (May Day) capability, remote management of all GPS devices and a capability to track its own location, velocity, heading, and altitude.

A two-way text messaging system ability and a rotary wing hoist which can operate from land or water with a capacity to handle two people or one stoke of litter at a time are also listed as key requirements.

The aircraft should also be fitted with equipment which allows it to be accessible the US government system through an online Web portal, such as MS Internet Explorer, using only a standard web browser with no additional user software required to be loaded on the user’s computer.

Key mechanical competencies of the aircraft should include the ability to start engines without use of external ground power units and it must have an oxygen supply system for crew and passengers when cruising at more than 10 000 feet.

The airlift service contract is meant to support the deployment of small teams of soldiers from the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team which the Pentagon says will conduct 108 operations in at least 34 African countries.

Africom Combat Team commander, Colonel Jeff Broadwater, said
smaller units will be deployed to carry out missions which may be as short as a week or as long as a month. He said missions will only be conducted at the request of the host nation and co-ordinated with Africom and the State Department.