By BECKY GILLETTE
Vertex Aerospace LLC based in Madison, an international company which has 1,500 employees in Mississippi alone, is reaching new heights. The company that provides aftermarket aerospace services for government and private sector clients recently saw the renewal of a U.S. Air Force $97.5 million contract to manage and sustain the base supply of its T-1A Trainer Fleet aircraft.
Vertex has provided contractor logistics support for more than 170 T-1As since the U.S. Air Force procured the Jayhawk aircraft in 1992.
Vertex Aerospace Logistics Director of Programs John B. Hall says the company is honored to have managed the logistics and maintenance services of the student pilot trainers for about 27 years.
“Vertex is proud to continue its history of supporting the T-1A aircraft,” Hall said. “We remain committed to providing solid, dependable contract performance in support of the critical mission of training the next generation of USAF pilots.”
The company has also recently expanded in the Middle East. Vertex Aerospace, under its Vertex Global Aerospace business line, opened an office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 5.
And Vertex Aerospace has been selected as a qualifying offerer and awarded a contract under #N61340-19-D-0010 for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Contracted Maintenance, Modification, Aircrew and Related Services (CMMARS) program. The company said this award will allow Vertex to compete for approximately $12.6 billion of future Department of Defense aviation logistics opportunities over the next five years.
Vertex’s Aerospace Defense Services business line Senior Vice President and General Manager Richard Caputo says Vertex is ready for the challenge and excited to explore new opportunities within the DOD.
“This award provides Vertex Aerospace the opportunity to display our full arsenal of capabilities, which includes aircraft maintenance, logistics, and integration sustainment services,” said Caputo. “We have served the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps for over 20 years and are honored to continue providing high-quality, mission-critical services in support of our warfighters.”
Vertex Aerospace has been in Mississippi for more than 40 years and in Madison since 1989.
“We were previously a subsidiary of L-3 Technologies, but after we were sold in June last year, we decided to retain our new headquarters here in Madison, said Vertex Aerospace CEO and President John Ed Boyington. “Working in our industry requires deep technical expertise and knowledge, and in this particular area near universities and the capitol, we have access to a large talent pool. Mississippi also has a very reasonable cost of living, which has attributed to our high rate of long-time employees.”
The initial programs the company worked on were commercial, mainly the Beechcraft’s King Air aircraft. Now, they primarily work with government agencies, here and abroad. The commercial aircraft they maintain are derivatives that have been modified for government T-1 and C-12 aircraft and are maintained to FAA standards.
The company is looking to expand the commercial piece of Vertex in the international market space.
“That’s why we chose the United Arab Emirates for our initial footprint for international growth – it’s an optimal location for business in the region,” Boyington said. “
Regarding the CMMARS program, Boyington said they are seeing all the military services go to multi-award, indefinite delivery type contracts.
“These give defense companies, like Vertex, the ability to compete for contracts within a certain category of industry partners to streamline and expedite the acquisition process,” Boyington said. “The CMMARS program will last approximately five years and potential contracts will amount to $12 billion over that time period.”
Awardees of the CMMARS contract will provide contractor logistics and maintenance services for DOD rotary and fixed wing aircraft, unmanned aircraft vehicles, and various weapon systems in support of continuous, worldwide operations for the Navy and other DOD and U.S. government agencies.
“The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command’s Multi-National Aviation Special Project Office program (MASPO), the U.S. Air Force’s Aircraft Maintenance Enterprise Solution (ACES), and the Department of the Navy’s SeaPort Next Generation (SeaPort NxG) program are just some of the other contract vehicles we are positioning ourselves to bid on,” Boyington said.
Vertex’s Mission is to provide services to their customers 24/7, around the world. “We do it right the first time – because lives depend on it,” Boyington said. “Vertex has a reputation for performance excellence in two of the major focus areas for the U.S. military – providing aircraft readiness and pilot production. From a defense standpoint, readiness is the most critical thing, and our military’s readiness levels have atrophied over the years. Aviation is a very dangerous profession. It’s unforgiving of mistakes. That’s why our mission is so important – we have to do it right the first time.”
Vertex has more than 4,300 employees at 65 U.S. and 35 international locations. The company’s work force includes about 1,900 veterans. The company has about 420 employees at its headquarters in Madison, about 508 employees at Columbus Air Force Base, and about 348 at Naval Air Station Meridian.
Vertex Aerospace was originally founded in Mississippi in 1975 as Beech Aerospace Services, Inc. Vertex Aerospace LLC was acquired by New York-based private equity firm American Industrial Partners June 30, 2018, in a $550 million deal. Madison was named as its new headquarters. Vertex was purchased from L3 Technologies, along with Crestview Aerospace LLC, Flight International LLC, and TCS Aerospace LLC.
Boyington said the acquisition provides significant growth potential throughout their organization’s 100 worldwide locations.
“That being said, we are now a Mississippi-based corporation and we plan to leverage local businesses’ support whenever possible,” Boyington said.
Information about the company and job announcements can be found on the company website at www.vtxaero.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
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