Sprint wins Air Force contracts in Southwest Asia

Sprint Corp. has been awarded a six-month contract by the Defense Department to manage day-to-day tactical communications systems for Air Force bases in Southwest Asia, the company announced Sept. 18.

The new award dovetails with a similar contract announced in July, and the two have a combined value of nearly $10.5 million. Taken together, Sprint will be supporting at least three Air Force bases in two countries in the region.

Sprint officials described the awards as a demonstration of the ways in which private industry can assist the military in making the best use of critical uniformed personnel.

"With the pressing needs of the U.S. military worldwide right now, contracting out services such as network management simply makes sense," said Tony D'Agata, vice president and general manager for Sprint's government systems division. "It allows the Air Force to achieve cost savings and affords them the opportunity to deploy personnel to support more pressing military operations or even send them home after months of international service."

D'Agata said that Sprint was the first U.S. contractor to fully replace and commercialize tactical voice and data communications in an operations theater, after the military conflict in Bosnia. Sprint's experience in that area helped win these latest contracts with the Defense Department, he said.

Based in Overland Park, Kan., Sprint is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the country. It reported 2002 revenue of $26.6 billion, and employed approximately 70,000 people worldwide.

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