On Dec. 10, the Little Rock District, Corps of Engineers honored Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officer Billy Williams and Sgt. Ben Sisk with Life Saver Awards for their heroic actions while saving the lives of three pontoon boat passengers at Ozark Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River during the spring flood event.
At 10 p.m. on April 8, the officers responded to a distress call from a vessel that lost power, floated downstream, became pinned against one of the tainter gates and began to capsize. The officers tried to pull the boat to safety but were unsuccessful.
Officer Sisk requested the open gates be closed, giving him and Williams about a two minute window to reach the boaters. Facing the danger that water would soon be rushing over the dam, Sisk and Williams fastened on to the boat and pulled it and its occupants to safety.
About 110 contractors representing 84 companies attended a recent industry forum hosted by the Little Rock District to network and learn more about the $1.8 billion in contracting opportunities available in the district for fiscal year 2016.
This two day, semi-annual event draws contractors from all over the country as well as government entities such as the Corps’ Memphis District, Little Rock Air Force Base, General Services Administration and the Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center.
The industry forum informs contractors about the Corps’ authorities that are used to accomplish the contracting mission.
“As an example, the authority of the Corps of Engineers is different than that of the Small Business Administration,” said Col. Courtney W. Paul, commander, Little Rock District. “They can do things we can’t do and we can do things they can’t do, by law.”
On the first day of the industry forum the government talked to the contractors about possible projects available for FY16, about the program portfolios and the district commander provided contracting guidance.
The second day of the forum lets businesses, both large and small, talk to representatives from government offices in attendance giving them the opportunity to present capability briefings. Overall, there were 101 capability briefings presented during the forum.
The highlight for the contractors in attendance was the announcement about the upcoming three year, $900 million Air Force medical facility renovation multiple task order contract funded by the Air Force Medical Support Agency.
The Air Force Medical Support Agency is looking very closely at maximizing its dollars to see how many medical and dental clinics can be renovated.
If the results of this forum turns out like the previous ones, the district and specifically the contracting office will be extremely happy.
“What we hope to accomplish is to have a group of competitive contractors that can provide best value acquisitions or provide best value contracts on our behalf,” said Sandra Easter, chief of contracting, Little Rock District.
If the enthusiasm shown at this forum is any indication of what is to come next, the Little Rock District should be very happy.