FAST Finds Room For All Sizes

FAST Finds Room For All Sizes<@VM>Techtoons

Steve LeSueur

Steve LeSueur, Editor

In this issue, Washington Technology Staff Writer Nick Wakeman examines the Air Force's seven-year, $7 billion Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment Tool program. What's unique about FAST is that the Air Force, with a push from Congress, is trying to make sure the little guys get a seat at the table when the service awards contracts to six vendors in November.

Air Force officials say they plan to award prime contracts to four large companies and two small businesses.

Under the FAST program, the six winning contractors will compete for task orders to provide the Air Force with engineering and other support services for aging aircraft and weapons systems, such as the B-52 bomber and the KC-10 tanker. The service wants at least 15 percent of the money spent under FAST to go to the two small-business primes. In addition, the large contractors must direct 23 percent of their work to small-business subcontractors.

Among the larger companies actively chasing FAST or considering roles as subcontractors are CACI International Inc., DynCorp, Litton-TASC Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp. Another company, Modern Technologies Corp., is eyeing one of the slots for small-business primes.

Most of the jockeying for position among the contractors has been relatively quiet thus far, but the competition and scurrying for teams is expected to heighten when the Air Force releases a draft request for proposals this month. As one analyst noted, in a contract this large, "There is going to be a little bit of something in there for everyone."

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