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Old Posted Sep 12, 2007, 5:25 AM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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SA: Port of San Antonio Lands 1.1 Billion Dollar Boeing Contract

Boeing lands a big one

Web Posted: 09/11/2007 08:55 PM CDT

Sean M. Wood
Express-News Business Writer

Boeing Support Systems San Antonio will hire 200 additional workers locally after the facility won a 10-year, $1.1 billion renewal of a maintenance contract for the KC-135 Stratotanker.

About 300 people in San Antonio work on the program that keeps the Air Force's main refueling jet in the air. Boeing Support Systems also has 80 people in Oklahoma and 75 people in Missouri who are part of the project team.

"For me, it's peace of mind," said David Ybarra, an aircraft electrician who works on the KC-135. "It's job security for the next 10 years."

Boeing will perform scheduled maintenance on the planes, which is needed every five years. Scheduled services include inspections, repairs, modifications and repainting. Unscheduled maintenance — about half the work — will also be performed whenever needed.

"This is a 50-year-old aircraft," said KC-135 program manager Larry Barger. "So we're looking for structural cracks. We do standard replacement of parts. We do repairs and skin replacement. Then we put it together, run system checks, and we have an Air Force crew that does functional test flights."
On the Web

* Boeing
* Richard Aboulafia
* Global Insight
* U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez
* U.S. Sen. John Cornyn

Barger said the planes take about 180 to 190 days to turn around, and the team will work on as many as 25 planes a year. San Antonio gets about one-third of the planes scheduled for maintenance, while the rest go to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The first plane of the new contract is scheduled to arrive late this month.

The contract extension shouldn't come as a surprise, said Richard Aboulafia, aviation analyst with the Teal Group in Fairfax, Va.

"If you're the contractor and you've got a track record of working on the plane, you've got a strong advantage as the incumbent," Aboulafia said.

But workers have waited nearly three years to learn whether they would get to continue working on the refueling jet. Boeing was competing against two other companies: a Lockheed Martin unit in Georgia and Pemco Aviation Group Inc. in Alabama.

"This is a big relief," said Steve Sabolick, an aircraft mechanic at Boeing. "It gives us 10 years, and we can continue on for a little bit and then I can retire in San Antonio. That was the goal when I came here."

Sabolick retired from the Air Force in Tucson, Ariz., and moved to San Antonio to work for the pioneering local aviation firm Dee Howard Co. When Dee Howard went out of business, he came over to Boeing.

"I'm sure it's reassuring for them to hear they did get the contract," said John Scholle, an economist with Global Insight in Washington, D.C.

Boeing has had the maintenance contract on the KC-135 since 1998, and the San Antonio facility has completed work on 164 planes. It has completed every job on time, said recently appointed site manager Kevin Devine.

News of the contract comes on the heels of the July announcement that the San Antonio facility would get to work on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

"I'm proud that the Air Force has continued to recognize Boeing's efforts on this project by awarding such a great opportunity," said U.S. Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, in a statement. "I commend Boeing on their hard work throughout this process, and I'm pleased that they'll continue to have a strong presence in San Antonio."

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a statement: "Boeing has a proven track record of performance and reliability in support of our KC-135 fleet, so it was no surprise to hear that it had won the competition."

The first KC-135 Stratotanker was built in 1956 and the last was built in 1964. Barger said the Air Force plans to get another 40 years out of the planes.
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2007, 5:40 AM
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GoldenBoot GoldenBoot is offline
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Actually, the U.S. Air Force awarded the $1.1B contract to Boeing (not the Port of SA itself). The money is a contract renewal to continue providing depot maintenance for the military's fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers in Texas, Oklahoma & Missouri.

The author of the Express-News article was incorrect in assuming the Port of SA "won a 10-year, $1.1 billion renewal of a maintenance contract for the KC-135 Stratotanker." That being said, Boeing SA IS the company's largest maintenance and modification center - which is pretty darn cool!

Please refer to the article below

Boeing selected for new $1.1B tanker contract, plans to hire 200 in S.A.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The U.S. Air Force awarded The Boeing Co. a 10-year, $1.1 billion contract renewal to continue providing depot maintenance for the military's fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers.

Boeing will perform the work on the more than 200 KC-135 aircraft at sites in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

In Texas, the work will be performed at Boeing's site at Port San Antonio, where local employees have worked on planes since 1998. The company has 300 employees assigned to the KC-135 program locally.

The Air Force manages its KC-135 aircraft maintenance program out of Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. Boeing currently has 80 employees in Oklahoma and another 75 in Missouri supporting the program.

Through this latest contract extension, Boeing expects to hire an additional 200 workers in San Antonio to work on the aircraft. Boeing's operation in San Antonio is the company's largest maintenance and modification center.

Sabreliner Corp. in Perryville, Mo., and North American Aviation Services in San Antonio will continue to perform flight-control repairs on the KC-135 as subcontractors.

The Air Force relies on its contractors to do inspections, repairs, maintenance, modifications, re-painting and to provide supply chain services for these important planes.

The Air Force uses its fleet of tanker aircraft to refuel planes in mid-flight.

"The availability of the KC-135 as a tanker asset is vital to today's warfighters," Boeing Support Systems President Pat Finneran says.

He attributes the Air Force's decision to award the new 10-year, $1.1 billion pact to Boeing to the company's track record and proven results.

"Using lean manufacturing and employee involvement initiatives, we have reduced the number of days the aircraft are out of service for maintenance by 19 percent, cutting costs by 15 percent per aircraft," Finneran says.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, whose district encompasses the Boeing facility at Port San Antonio, commended Boeing and its employees for their hard work.

"This investment in our city will be a great addition to our already robust local economy, and I'm grateful that both Boeing and the Air Force will continue to reap the benefits of the flourishing business environment and talented workforce that exists in San Antonio," Gonzalez says.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, agreed.

"Boeing has a proven track record of performance and reliability in support of our KC-135 fleet, so it was no surprise to hear that it had won the competition," he says.

The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) in Chicago is the parent company of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, one of the world's largest space and defense businesses.
AUSTIN (City): 964,254 +22.00% - '10-'18 | AUSTIN MSA (5 counties): 2,168,316 +26.34% - '10-'18
SAN ANTONIO (City): 1,532,233 +15.43% - '10-'18 | SAN ANTONIO MSA (8 counties): 2,518,036 +17.53% - '10-'18
AUS-SAT "CSA" (13 counties): 4,686,352 +21.45% - '10-'18 | *SRC: US Census*
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2007, 2:57 PM
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JAM JAM is offline
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Cool news. I'll bet a lot of SA is relieved.

Anyone know what Boeing SA role will be on the 787? I'm guessing by the nature of the facility it is component assembly of some sort but have not seen the specifics? I'm curious if there is design work going on.
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2007, 6:35 PM
shane453 shane453 is offline
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The same story, but from an Oklahoman perspective.

Contract offers growth for Boeing

By Ja’Rena Lunsford
Business Writer

After two years of waiting, the Boeing Co. was awarded a $1.1 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force that will involve work in Oklahoma City.

The 10-year contract will continue Boeing's maintenance work on the KC-135 aircraft, strengthening the company's presence in Oklahoma.

"This means we will be able to continue to grow our company in Oklahoma City,” said Ben T. Robinson, KC-135 program director.

Boeing began working on securing the contract two years ago and expected to learn the results a year and a half ago. Robinson said although word on the contract did not come as soon as Boeing expected, executives are pleased the company was chosen. "We deeply appreciate the confidence the U.S. Air Force has shown in the Boeing Co.,” he said.

Boeing is no stranger to the KC-135. Along with building the aerial refueling aircraft more than 50 years ago, Boeing has been under contract to provide depot maintenance on the Air Force's fleet of more than 200 KC-135s since 1998.

"Always on time, the Boeing KC-135 (programmed depot maintenance) program has a solid track record with proven results,” Pat Finneran said in a statement. Finneran is president of Boeing Support Systems.

Boeing's program depot maintenance program management office is in Oklahoma City, near Tinker Air Force Base. The company has 80 employees in Oklahoma, 75 in Missouri and 300 in San Antonio, Texas.

Robinson said although the contract does not necessarily mean Boeing will add employees in Oklahoma City, the deal does result in job security for current employees.

"It certainly means we won't be losing any people,” Robinson said.

The contract also is a sign that the Air Force won't be losing the aging KC-135 anytime soon, Robinson said. Boeing plans on modifying the plane. Although the KC-X is expected to eventually phase out the KC-135, Robinson said the latter still has many years of flight left.

"There's no reason it can't be around another 30 to 35 years,” he said. Robinson said he expects Boeing to be along side the KC-135 during those years as well.

"Boeing built this airplane and we have a tremendous amount of pride in it,” he said. "We will never step away from it. We will be there until the day they retire this aircraft.”
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