Contract awarded for maintenance of USFS HC-130H air tankers

Tanker 118, 1721
Air Tanker 118. This is the first former U.S. Coast Guard HC-130H to be delivered to McClellan Airport. It still needs painting, and to have a conventional retardant tank installed. The Air Force and Coast Guard text and logos have been removed. This is a USFS photo, the date and location are unknown, but it was not taken at McClellan. HERE is an article with a photo of the aircraft that was taken October 24, 2014.

On June 5, 2015 the U.S. Forest Service awarded a $1,193,429 contract for the maintenance of the HC-130H aircraft it will be using for air tankers. DRS Technical Services, Inc., out of Herndon, Virginia, must provide a total of 17 mechanics and avionics/electrical technicians in the Primary, Secondary, and Back Shop crews. The contract will initially be for a nine month period (originally planned to be June 1 through January), with options to extend for an additional two full years. Services will be provided five days a week during the non-fire season, and seven days a week during the fire season.

DRS Technical Services, Inc., appears to be a division of DRS Technologies, a Finmeccanica company. They have multiple contracts with the Department of  Defense, with most being far larger than the USFS contract.

A $6 million contract for air crews to fly the aircraft was awarded April 27, 2015 to CASS Professional Services Corp, headquartered in Temecula, California. The jobs will be initially filled for a nine month period with options to extend the term of the contract for an additional two years.

The Air Force still has not awarded the contract for the retardant delivery system, AKA the conventional internal gravity-based retardant tank. They have been fiddling with the contract solicitation since July 29, 2014 — it changed 14 times. The final due date for bids was May 15, 2015.