Georgia, Robins partner for prosperity to base, state

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
An opportunity to provide the Air Force easier access to the innovative technologies being developed by research universities and companies in Georgia was made possible through the first joint venture between an air logistics center and its state government.

Robins Air Force Base has joined with the state of Georgia to provide Georgia businesses the opportunity to win Air Force contracts through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue joined Maj. Gen. Tom Owen, the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center commander, in making the announcement earlier this spring.

"The agreement may prove to be one of the greatest partnerships our center has ever embarked upon," said General Owen. "Technical challenges are plentiful for an industrial complex like Robins. With CRADA, I'm confident solutions will become commonplace. I believe CRADA will help us leverage the best from government, industry and academia to achieve maximum value for our worldwide mission."

Under the partnership, the primary contacts are the Georgia Aerospace Innovation Center and the ALC's Engineering Directorate. The Aerospace Innovation Center will lead a group of private companies that will collaborate with University System of Georgia researchers to provide solutions to technological challenges.

"This is an opportunity to try to tap into some of the cutting edge technology across the state," said Greg Sutton, a mechanical engineer at Robins.

The design of the alliance allows smaller companies to be given information about what technological issues the center is facing and what solutions are needed, Mr. Sutton said.

"We are proud that Aerospace Innovation Center will play a leading role in rallying Georgia's deep resources in aerospace and aviation technology to support Warner Robins and our military forces," said Nick Fuhrman, Aerospace Innovation Center director. "This is a great opportunity to showcase our technology sector's ability to provide fast, off-the-shelf solutions for the Air Force."

The alliance will result in benefits for the state such as an increase in available jobs, revenue and companies and will provide enhanced technology to the WR-ALC and other Air Force air logistics centers at Hill AFB, Utah, and Tinker AFB, Okla.

It encourages businesses that traditionally don't compete for defense contracts to offer developments and strategies to the center, Mr. Sutton said. He added that the alliance will also allow technologies developed for commercial applications to be applied to defense needs, which will reduce the cost of the product for all because there are more uses for it.

The technologies that emerge through the alliance could be used by various groups on base and applied to various missions such as support for various aircraft, weapons systems, missiles, remotely piloted vehicles, support equipment, electronic warfare, avionics' systems and all Air Force helicopters.

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