President Bush announced on February 25, 2002 that "We happen to believe that fuel cells are the way of the future; that fuel cells offer incredible opportunity." He noted that there are a lot of obstacles to making fuel cells economically viable and that is the reason that the government would be promoting more research and development. This leadership from the President provides the best incentive for the Air Force to press ahead with the Common Core Power Production (C2P2) work of both the Expeditionary Force Battlelab at Mountain Home Air Force Base and Greg Stanley's organization at Warner Robins. The effort to move to hydrogen fuel is a reality that the GSE community should recognize.
Brent Inman, who heads the Warner Robins Munitions Handling Equipment Section, is following the procurement of a new Universal Munitions Trailer, which is being designed to replace both of the two types of trailers now in service. The Air Armament Center (AAC) at Eglin AFB is managing this Air Force buy. It has been of particular interest to some of the GSE OEM's because it called for a maximum of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS). While there are some major differences between a trailer designed to carry the inventory of Air Force weapons, which includes nuclear munitions - and one designed to carry containers or baggage — the GSE community has been given a chance to respond. Award of the contract, which will probably result in a follow-on acquisition by the Navy, is due in September.
Inman, who will inherit the Munitions Trailer when the Logistics Center takes it over from the AAC, will be working it into his Service Life Assessment Program (SLAP). This program is designed to make better use of the Air Force assets by balancing maintenance, refurbishment, and upgrading costs against acquisition of new equipment. With careful assessment of service life, Inman believes that the military can do a better job of forecasting and budgeting for new equipment. Obviously, SLAP has application beyond munitions handling. The GSE community should take note.
A meeting will be held at the GSE International Expo at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1 - 3. Cygnus Expositions is pleased to be able to provide the facilities for the meeting of the Panel and the breakout IPTs. Expo has always been designed to facilitate the free flow of ideas and information between equipment users and providers. The 2001 EXPO had record attendance by the military customers and it is expected that this will be true again in 2002.
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