An ABC affiliate TV station in Montana conducted an interview with Ron Hooper, the CEO of Neptune Aviation, after the company failed to win one of the contracts for next-generation air tankers announced by the U.S. Forest Service May 6. The reporter made it sound like the company was definitely going to file a protest about the contract, but Dan Snyder, Neptune’s Chief Operating Officer, told us yesterday that they would make a decision about a possible protest after receiving a debriefing from the USFS contracting officer.
The Missoulian also has an interesting article about the award of the next-gen contracts.
A fun fact: Mr. Hooper as recently as November, 2010 worked for the U.S. Forest Service as the Director of Acquisition Management for the agency. His name is also mentioned in a summary of the 1987 U.S. Forest Service “airtanker scandal”. When qualified as a contracting officer, he reportedly made a determination after the transfer of the 28 aircraft to private companies that the transfer was void and they should be returned to the government. At the time Mr. Hooper was the staff assistant to the Forest Service Deputy Chief for Business Operations.