Category Archives: Little Rock District

Arkansas Regional Industry Days brings numerous businesses and agencies together

By: Jay Woods
Little Rock District

Some of the numerous contractors in attendance network during a break at the Arkansas Regional Industry Days.
Some of the numerous contractors in attendance network during a break at the Arkansas Regional Industry Days.

 

The Arkansas Regional Industry Days brought out 123 businesses and 177 business representatives to North Little Rock High School to learn about $1.7 billion in contracting opportunities available within the region during fiscal year 2016 and 2017.

“It is fantastic to be able to see how much this industry day has really grown in the last few years,” said Denver S. Heath, Regional Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting. “I believe it is a model for other regions to follow.”

Col. Courtney Paul and Mr. Denver Heath hold a discussion during the Arkansas Regional Industry Days.
Col. Courtney Paul and Mr. Denver Heath hold a discussion during the Arkansas Regional Industry Days.

The two day, semi-annual event draws contractors from all over the country.  This year 14 government entities including the Corps’ Tulsa District, Memphis District, Engineer Research and Development Center and the Little Rock Air Force Base attended the two day event.

The industry forum has a two-fold mission.  It allows contractors the opportunity to see the work load that the agencies are presenting and it allows the contractor to learn how to conduct business with the government.  Secondly, for the government it is about understanding which contractors are available so the government can execute their mission and increase competition.

On the first day of the industry forum each agency gave an overview of their business lines.  Attendees were then able to compare each agency’s project list against their core competencies to ensure they made networking plans with the appropriate government representatives.

The second day of the forum included vendor capability briefings, district and agency open houses, focus groups on specific topics and training.  The information presented by attendees and garnered by the government representatives will be used by each federal agency and the Corps to better understand capabilities and resources for future contracting opportunities.

Training presented by the Small Business Administration on their agency programs and General Services Administration on their contract schedules wrapped up the second and final day of the forum.

Each government agency in attendance hoped this forum produced a group of competitive contractors that they can use in the future.

“By attending the Industry Day Forum, we hope to increase our vendor base and increase competition on our projects that will ultimately result in better pricing for our government,” said Maj. Jamey Hartsel, commander, 19th Contracting Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base.


Flight training continues as Corps replaces LRAFB runway

By Jay Townsend
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Little Rock District

A C130 flies over runway construction crews at Little Rock Air Force Base. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District is overseeing the repair/replacement of the more than 50-year-old runway.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District and Little Rock Air Force Base are working on a multi-year project to repair and replace one of the Air Force’s busiest runways without interrupting training. The original runway was built in the 1950’s, for bomber-type aircraft.

The Little Rock Air Force Base has the world’s largest fleet of C-130 aircraft. Its only runway is often busy, because its home to the 314th Airlift Wing. The 314th trains C-130 crews from the U.S. and 47 other nations.

Little Rock Air Force Base C-130's taxi the flight line during an exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Christine A Clark)
Little Rock Air Force Base C-130’s taxi the flight line during an exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman First Class Christine A Clark)

The $107.9 million dollar project is funded through the Air Force’s operation and maintenance budget, and managed by the Little Rock District.

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A concrete plant, also known as a batch plant, has been brought onsite to combine the various ingredients to form pavement. The plant is mixing up a specific type of pavement called Portland cement concrete pavement, or rigid pavement as it is sometimes called. This refers to the rigid concrete layer of the pavement structure that is in direct contact with the traffic.

The mixture and type of pavement are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and are used to ensure the Air Force gets a quality product that will last several decades.

Pavement

Once the plant is finished mixing the pavement it’s immediately transported to the flight line construction site. From there it’s placed at the exact depth for the runway or landing zone.

The new runway is set to replace the 12,000-by-200 feet wide runway with a 12,000-by-150 feet wide runway to include lighting and communications upgrades and incidental work.

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The runway’s complete overhaul comes after years of small patchwork types fixes. Just as roads crack and chip away from everyday wear and tear, so do runways.

The shortest runway length allowed for a C-130 to take off and land in training is 3,000-feet. To avoid training delays the corps has phased the demolition and construction allowing training to continue with half the runway in operation.