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170 Air Force, contractor jobs affected by project’s failure

Nov. 13, 2012 - 05:04PM   |  
By SEAN REILLY   |   Comments
The Air Force is scrapping the Expeditionary Combat Support System after spending $1 billion developing the logistics management system, officials announced.
The Air Force is scrapping the Expeditionary Combat Support System after spending $1 billion developing the logistics management system, officials announced. (Air Force)

The Air Force’s cancellation last week of a failed $1 billion logistics system will require the “realignment” of 55 military and civilian employees and cost up to 115 contract workers their jobs.

The affected jobs are at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio where the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) program management office is located, according to the Air Force.

After spending about $1 billion since 2005, the service announced cancellation of the ECSS last week after it was no longer a “viable option” for meeting the 2017 auditability target mandated by the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act.

The ECSS was supposed to save billions of dollars by streamlining supply chain management and furnishing an integrated approach for buying, moving and managing equipment. But Air Force officials terminated the lead contractor, Virginia-based Computer Sciences Corp., in March. The next month, Air Force Controller Jamie Morin told a Senate subcommittee that he was “personally appalled” by how little the military had gotten in return for its investment.

The 115 employees whose jobs are at risk work for various other contractors, said Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick in an email. Affected vendors include BTAS Inc., Jacobs Technology, Deloitte Consulting, MITRE Corp., Copper River Information Technology, Sawdey Solutions Services, Credence Management Solutions, Oracle America, Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corp., and Ryan Consulting Group.

Starting in February, Air Force officials began preparing back-up plans in case the ECSS program fell through, Gulick said. Those plans will rely on upgrades to existing systems, he said, adding that the Air Force is “currently developing a new approach to satisfy the remaining logistics transformation requirements.”

Although the Air Force is still working out the exact delivery schedule, some improvements could be fielded this fiscal year, he added.

Despite the cancellation, the Air Force still expects to meet a 2017 deadline to have fully auditable books, Gulick said.

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