Maytag Kicks Off Redstone Arsenal Project

Maytag Kicks Off Redstone Arsenal Project

Maytag Aircraft Corporation has broken ground on a major project they are very excited about at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. The contract was awarded in the summer of 2017, to build a Contractor-Owned/Contractor-Operated (COCO), bulk storage location and a retail location (essentially, a gas station).

The sizeable bulk storage is responsible for delivering aircraft fuel to the airfield. According to David Nelson, President & Chief Operating Officer of Maytag Aircraft Corporation, the coco nature of the contract is unusual for this type of construction. Typically for construction inside a military installation such as this, the contract would be Government-Owned/Contractor-Operated, or a GOCO.

“The process has been an evolution,” Nelson explained.  There was a kickoff meeting in Redstone in October 2017, he said, where the Maytag team introduced the company, presented the general design and concept of operations, and took questions from about fifty interested parties at Redstone.

After the kickoff, Nelson said they went through a whole series of surveying and geotechnical analysis. Maytag presented designs for review that were eventually 100% approved in March 2018. After that, he said, was the dealing with land lease issues, financing issues, and the screening of the subcontractors who will perform the construction work.

“We got to the end of June, and everything came to a crescendo, and now we are ready to start,” Nelson said.  The groundbreaking ceremony was  scheduled for July 26 at Redstone Arsenal, and Nelson expects the project to be completed by April 2019. 

Following the completion of the construction, Maytag will begin typical operations and maintenance (O&M) efforts, which involves not only the bulk storage facility and retail facility they construct, but also the aircraft refueling. Nelson said they’ll have several refueling trucks, with tank capacities between five and seven thousand gallons responsible for delivering fuel to the airfield customers at Redstone Arsenal.

“I think this is a big deal for them, because I don't think they've had adequate fuel storage capability heretofore,” Nelson said. The bulk fuel storage will include two 35,000-gallon tanks for aircraft fuel and one 12,000-gallon diesel tank.

“The bulk storage area for airfield is a pretty dramatic change from what they have,” he said. “I think, logistically, it’s better, because its adjacent to the airfield.  They've had aircraft refueling there for quite some time, but the logistics will be improved by the location,” Nelson said.

Nelson suspects this type of COCO, while fairly new, may be an ongoing trend in the future.  “This construction combined with O&M is a contracting vehicle the government can use to fund [projects], and it’s another way for them to get it done,” Nelson explained.

“Where it's advantageous for the government, is that all of the maintenance risk is on the contractor,” he said.

The other most recent development with Maytag (Nelson explained there’s been a lot of development, but most of it has been retention of existing contracts) is a relatively small contract, a GOCO fuel storage facility at Lajes Field in the Azores, Portugal, a group of islands off the coast of Portugal.

According to Nelson, Lajes field has the second largest fuel storage capacity for all of the US military. Historically, it was a strategic NATO location, particularly for antisubmarine warfare, an oft-used refueling stop for planes trying to make it over the Atlantic.

Maytag will be operating the fuels bulk storage location, receiving fuel and transferring it to enormous tanks: 50 million gallons of capacity for fuel. To put it in perspective, another major fueling base is in Qatar, where the max capacity is approximately 5 million gallons. The nine-year contract (four-year base with a five-year option) is a first for Maytag.

“We’re now a registered branch in Portugal: we have Portuguese employees, it’s kind of cool, and it’s a neat location,” Nelson said.

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