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URS Federal puts up fight for lost $450M Army contract

For nearly 20 years, URS Federal and its parent AECOM have provided a wide range of helicopter flight training support to the Army, but when the contract came up for recompete, CAE USA captured the work.

Now, URS Federal has filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office questioning the award. Doss Aviation, a defense contractor that specializes in aviation training, also has filed a protest.

With options, the contract is worth $450 million over nine years for classroom training, simulator training and live flying instructor support. The work will take place at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and is specific to helicopters.

In its announcement of the win last week, CAE said about 300 people will move over to the company. It’s subcontractors are Navigator Development Group and Cardinal Point.

Of course, with the protests, CAE’s work goes on hold until the dispute is resolved. URS will continue to supply the training support under an existing contract.

The win is a significant one for CAE. In March 2016, it won a $186 million contract for fixed wing training support, also at Fort Rucker. This fall the company completed construction of a new training center at Dothan Regional Airport in Alabama. The facility includes classrooms, flight simulators, and an integrated learning environment.

CAE has made it a strategic focus to pursue long-term training contracts, the company said.

In addition to the U.S. military, CAE is working with the Canadian Royal Air Force, NATO and commercial airlines.

URS and its parent AECOM have provided rotary wing training at Fort Rucker since 1989. It has trained more than 20,000 students from the Army, Air Force, NATO and 30 other U.S. allies, according to its website.

Obviously, for USR, this is work that is worth fighting for.

A decision from GAO is expected in mid-April. In addition to its first filing on Jan. 9, URS filed a supplemental protest on Jan. 12.

Doss Aviation filed its protest on Jan. 3. Doss does nothing but aviation training, aircraft maintenance and aviation logistics. The company was founded in 1970 by Wally Doss. They are based in Colorado Springs, Colo. Since 2011, they have been owned by the private equity firm J.F. Lehman and Co.

In addition to the military, Doss counts NASA, the FBI, the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Aviation Administration among its customers. It has about 500 employees, according to Lehman.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 18, 2017 at 8:43 AM

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