AIR 6.0 delivers $12.6 billion contract ahead of schedule
Logistics and Industrial Operations (AIR 6.0) customers contracting aviation platform-level contract logistics support (CLS) will now find it easier to select industry partners thanks to a 10-year, $12.6 billion multiple award contract (MAC) awarded Jan. 31.
Announced two months ahead of its original projected date, Contracted Maintenance, Modification, Aircrew, and Related Service (CMMARS) is a multiple award contract (MAC) serving as the primary vehicle for maintenance and modification of military and commercial aviation platforms including fixed-wing, rotary-wing, unmanned aerial vehicles and lighter than air vehicles as well as their related systems and weapon systems. The contract, awarded to 20 industry partners, is the largest to date for AIR 6.0. Its execution period is 11 years which encompasses two five-year ordering periods, including both base and option periods.
“CMMARS provides flexible, ready and rapidly deployable capabilities for aviation systems worldwide, facilitating Fleet readiness during their acquisition and sustainment life cycles in its first few months,” Naval Air Systems Command Assistant Commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations Tom Rudowsky said. “Previously, each individual program office was responsible for contracting aircraft maintenance services for their communities. That burden will be significantly reduced under CMMARS. It will support 500 aircraft in its first few months. That number grows to 1,000 by the end of the first year and nearing 2,000 aircraft by the fifth year of the contract.”
“Awardees are pre-screened as capable contractors to provide CMMARS services and are selected by traditional competition methods,” Director for Agile Sustainment and Fast Acquisition Solutions to Enable Readiness (FASTER) Chris Giggey said. “Knowing that the contractors have been vetted, meet established standards and understand the intricacies of supporting fleet operations allows the government to select contractors using simplified criteria and procedures. This supports quicker decision making.”
Rudowsky credits FASTER, a team created to establish a single strategic sourcing contract vehicle, with getting quick results and strengthening industry partnerships. “The team proactively engages prospective bidders to ensure they understand the government’s requirements. This results in submissions that are highly responsive to the request for proposals.”
Naval Undergraduate Flight Training System (PMA-273) will be CMMARS’ biggest user. Capt. Todd St. Laurent, PMA-273 Program Manager, expects it to enhance his team’s ability to provide service to its biggest customer—the Chief of Naval Air Training. “CMMARS will help streamline the way PMA-273 competes CLS contracts by offering a speedy means of competition and expert staffing to support current and future training aircraft,” he said. “It will also keep performance-ready CLS contractors available to support our customer’s mission.”
Beyond the contract, CMMARS will provide Center of Excellence support for CLS. “This is game changing in terms of sharing work and ensuring best practices are retained,” he explained.
Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207) also will use CMMARS extensively. “Our UC-35 Team is the first fixed wing and operational support aircraft team to utilize the CMMARS approach to securing CLS services.” PMA-207 Program Manager Capt. Steve Nassau said. “We look forward to reaping the benefits from this innovative approach to securing critically needed maintenance and logistics support services.”
Ongoing support from FASTER team members throughout the contract period will be key in accelerating support to the fleet, said Giggey. Throughout the award period, contract experts will advise on source selection approaches, help users develop contract requirements and support task orders awards.
CMMARS also gives naval aviation greater flexibility. “All services are tailorable depending on the needs of the customer. Naval Aviation can also revise and re-compete requirements to ensure quality products and services are sustained,” Giggey said.
More than 10 organizations will use CMMARS, including Naval Test Wing Atlantic, Naval Test Wing Pacific, Naval Air Warfare Development Center, all NAVAIR Program Executive Offices (PEO), along with the U.S. Air Force. The UC-35 Cessna Citation (used for executive transportation), the T-34 Mentor, the T-44 Pegasus and the T-6B Texan II (aircraft to train student pilots) are scheduled as the first platforms to be maintained under CMMARS.
FASTER is currently developing another strategic sourcing strategy for maintenance with a narrower scope of work. Dubbed KRACEn, which stands for Kits, Recovery, Augmentation, Component and Engines, it will be similar to the CMMARS MAC but cover aircraft subsystems, components and sub-elements of aircraft, providing customers with additional capacity, expertise and flexibility.
Collaboration and the engagement of all stakeholders made CMMARS possible and are shaping KRACEn into another powerful contracting tool, Rudowsky said. “It’s all about understanding the requirements, communicating expectations and driving toward a common purpose—bringing speed to the Fleet.”