By Earl Bittner, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Pubic Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded an $8.5 million contract Sept. 27 to Whitesell-Green, Inc., a small business based in Pensacola, Florida for construction of a Triton Mission Control Facility at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville.
"The new facility will be located adjacent to the existing and recently-completed Triton facility at the northwest corner of Saratoga Avenue and Jason Street aboard NAS Jacksonville," said NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Sean P. Haley. "The new building will include primary and redundant Mission Control System (MCS) modules, a server room, mission planning and brief/debrief rooms, and a secure equipment vault."
Per Northrop Grumman, the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system (UAS) provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) over vast ocean and coastal regions. The Triton is based on the Global Hawk UAS and its autonomous operations are supported by land-based command and control mission planners and sensor operators. Triton is equipped with a unique and robust mission sensor suite that provides 360-degree coverage on all sensors, providing unprecedented maritime domain awareness for the U.S. Navy.
The U.S. Navy announced October 2013 that Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19 would be based at NAS Jacksonville to operate and maintain the Triton. VUP-19 provides the organizational framework for mission control, mission planning and data analysis from NAS Jacksonville.
The new 12,200 square foot building will be connected to the existing Triton Mission Control facility through a new enclosure around the existing exterior stair of that facility and a new corridor.
The new facility will consist of a low-rise shielded steel frame, reinforced concrete masonry with standing seam metal roof and concrete foundation, strip footing and deep-wall masonry foundation slab on grade.
Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Florida and is expected to be complete by July 2017.
Small business (which includes 8(a) firms) play a vital role in the American economy -- employing half of our country's workforce, creating nearly two out of every three new American jobs, and often being the source of the next great American innovation. NAVFAC Southeast strives to meet its goals building on its success by providing contract opportunities to these businesses.
"Our technical leads and acquisition team members seek opportunities for optimal small business participation early in the planning process," said Mark Brock, NAVFAC Southeast small business deputy. "Our sound business processes along with capabilities based strategies that consider program risks, cost, schedule and technical requirements help us meet the expectations of supported commanders while supporting public policy objectives."
Each year NAVFAC establishes target goals for Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Historically Underutilized Business Zone Small Business, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, and Women-Owned Small Business categories. The maximum practicable utilization of small business concerns is a matter of national interest with both social and economic benefits.