Thursday, July 06, 2017

Why would the USAF outsource recovery of a downed drone instead of asking the USMC to do it?

The U.S. Air Force is seeking heavy-lift helicopter help to recover a pricey, sophisticated reconnaissance drone that crashed in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains June 21.

USAF solicited bids for a helicopter to recover debris more than a week after the RQ-4 Global Hawk, priced at more than $227 million, crashed near Mount Whitney, California, on a return flight to Beale AFB in that state after repairs at Edwards AFB north of Los Angeles.

The June 30 solicitation said the service wants a helicopter capable of lifting dispersed wreckage (weighing up to 12,000 pounds) from elevations between 9,000 and 12,000 feet and delivering it to a shipping site about four miles away. The solicitation said the “optimal” aircraft is a Sikorsky or Erickson S-64, but noted other aircraft with the required capabilities include the Sikorsky S-61 and S-65 (or CH-53).

A site visit is planned for July 6.
Story here. 

Erikson is out of business, no one else I can think of operates a true heavy lift helicopter in the civilian sector so this solicitation mystifies me.

Why not simply ask the USMC to send some bubbas up from Camp Pendleton and get it done without all this mess?

Is this how the US govt does things now?  Even stuff that should be in house is instead contracted out?


The Pentagon needs an audit.

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