by Hal C.
In 1995, the Air Force’s San Antonio Air Logistics Center (SA-ALC) depot at Kelly Air Force Base was ordered to close. SA-ALC was responsible for C-5 depot maintenance and was the government’s largest engine overhaul provider. The government’s plan was to put both workloads up for a public-private competition. Other government depots and industry could bid on performing these workloads at any location. In 1997, the C-5 was awarded to the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia. The unsuccessful bidders were Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
In 1997, after 28 years, I left Pratt & Whitney and was hired by Lockheed Martin to capture SA-ALC’s engine overhaul workload worth $10 billion over 15 years. SA-ALC’s engine types powered the F-16, F-15, C-5, C-130 and P-3. The competition included an engine OEM team and the USAF’s Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC). At first, our corporation was reluctant to bid, especially with the engine OEM team bidding against us. After getting the “green light”, we organized an expert Lockheed Martin proposal team, including key subcontractors. We also teamed with the USAF’s OC-ALC. If we won, we’d ship half of SA-ALC’s workload to Oklahoma and the other half would stay in San Antonio with Lockheed Martin. In February 1999, the OC-ALC/Lockheed Martin team won the largest competitive maintenance contract ever awarded by the United States Air Force. “Kelly Aviation Center” (KAC) has since been a very successful Lockheed Martin company performing both military and commercial engine overhaul.
KAC is the legacy of my 42-year aerospace career (click here to watch the video).