JSTARS VR contract becomes available to the Air Force

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • Robins Public Affairs

A contract awarded at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, last year has grown into another agreement worth millions.

“The $430,000 contract was awarded last year during Robins Inaugural Pitch Day,” said Lt. Col. Jay Vizcarra, 461st Air Control Wing SPARK innovation chief. “The contract delivered a virtual reality training capability for E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft with the 461st and 116th Air Control Wing, led the way to this $59 million VR Enterprise contract that expands this immersive training capability to the Air Force.

The signed contract had a mass follow-on contract option that could provide additional VR support.

“In May, we were contacted by Air Education and Training Command,” said Elizabeth Midkiff, Robins Air Force Sustainment Operational Service Contracting chief. “They had partnered with JSTARS as a customer and we created a big follow on production contract and this is what we awarded last week. This follow on contract is open to the entire Air Force.”

The original contract was awarded through an “other transaction prototype.”

“From a contracting perspective OT’s are relatively new, especially here at Robins and we have only done a couple,” said Elizabeth Midkiff. “The whole point of an OT is to get non-traditional defense contractors into the government system. Mass Virtual was considered a non-traditional defense contract before we awarded them agreement last year.”

Through this contract, any unit in the Air Force may purchase a VR maintenance simulator.

“This contract will stay with Robins Air Force Base Sustainment Operational Service Contracting Specialist Erica Lipford,” said Midkiff. “Anyone in the Air Force who wants to order VR systems can contact her and they can place orders against this contract for five years.”

The contract will increase the capability of Team Robins.

“Locally, this contract will not only expand JSTARS maintenance VR training, but benefit Detachment 6,” said Vizcarra. “It will expand the detachments maintenance training for C-130, C-5, C-17, and F-15s here at Robins.”

The mass follow-on contract awarded highlights innovation at Robins.

“It showcases how we can do something in the acquisition realm quickly outside the box with maximum flexibility and innovation,” said Midkiff.

The mass follow on contract is a first for Team Robins.

“It’s very exciting and I am very proud of what we accomplished, said Midkiff. “To see this type of follow on production happen to an OT, it something that has never happened at Robins and very few have been awarded in the Air Force. To be part of that is really ground breaking and it’s something that is going to benefit so many and it’s amazing.”