Rocket Lab confirmed that the second of two back-to-back national security launches for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has been scheduled for August 2 UTC.
The NROL-199 (“Antipodean Adventure”) mission is scheduled to lift-off from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 during a launch window opening on August 2, 05:00 UTC. This Electron mission follows on from an earlier successful launch for the NRO on July 12, 2022, which deployed the NROL-162 national security payload to orbit.
The NROL-199 mission will launch a national security payload designed, built, and operated by the NRO in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence as part of a broad range of cooperative satellite activities with Australia. The satellites will support the NRO to provide critical information to government agencies and decision makers monitoring international issues
The mission was originally scheduled for lift-off on July 22, but the launch was rescheduled to allow the NRO additional time to implement required payload software updates. This schedule shift demonstrated Rocket Lab’s responsive space capabilities, which provide customers with a high degree of flexibility over their mission, including orbit and launch timing. By operating a private launch complex, Rocket Lab doesn’t have to wait in a launch queue behind other operators and could instead quickly reschedule the launch to suit the NRO’s preferred timeline.
Contract Opportunities to Watch: NASA
Conti Federal Services, a leading U.S. government construction and engineering firm specializing in complex critical infrastructure, disaster response and recovery, and environmental remediation projects, has been awarded a Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) to provide critical support to defense operations in Greece.
Awarded by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Europe district, this Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) MATOC will provide construction services for new facilities, along with property repair and maintenance. Seven firms were awarded the $49M shared contract with task orders range from $50,000 to $15,000,000.
“We are honored to be an awardee of the Greece MATOC and look forward to continuing to support the continued growth of the US Department of Defense infrastructure programs in the region,” said Michael Prudente, Conti Federal Project Executive
With a proven track record of overseas success, Conti Federal has delivered a wide scope of successful projects for USACE Europe over the past 10+ years. Most recently, this included a critical runway and taxiway renovation in southern Israel that was completed two months ahead of schedule as a result of utilizing Conti Federal’s proprietary Warrior Lean® construction management system.
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Viasat has affirmed its commitment to supporting UK military personnel, reservists, veterans and their families by signing the UK Armed Forces Covenant. The Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment made by organisations of all types to provide support for members of the armed forces community through employment, education, financial assistance or access to critical services.
The commitment further deepens Viasat’s longstanding relationship with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). In 2021, the Company opened a new state-of-the-art facility featuring a Network Operations Centre (NOC) and Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) in Aldershot, Hampshire. The centres will support sovereign operations and capabilities for the UK government and MoD, as well as defend against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks from a growing number of adversaries. The facility is part of a larger investment in the UK prosperity and sovereignty agenda, which includes a planned £300m investment to support the launch and operation of the ViaSat-3 global satellite constellation over Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The MoD also recognised Viasat with a Bronze Award under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The Defence ERS encourages employers to pledge support for defence and inspire other organizations to do the same. It recognises organisations’ commitments to the armed forces community and alignment of company values with the Armed Forces Covenant.
Viasat’s Vice Chairman Rick Baldridge attended the in-person signing of the Covenant at the company’s Aldershot offices.
“We are very proud to sign the Armed Forces Covenant which is in keeping with the core culture of our company,” said Baldridge. “With hundreds of veterans and military family members working in our offices around the world, the armed forces community is an indispensable part of our workforce. We are looking forward to supporting UK service members and their families with new employment opportunities and other support programs.”
Leo Docherty, Member of Parliament (MP) for Aldershot, joined in applauding Viasat’s signing of the Covenant and broader commitments in the UK.
“I’m delighted that Viasat UK is showing its support for our service personnel by raising the flag and signing the Armed Forces Covenant. As someone with a military background, I am delighted to see Viasat UK extend its commitment to our Armed Forces, veterans and Reserves – and their families – right across the UK,” said Mr. Docherty. “Offering meaningful employment options and support for those who are transitioning from the military to civilian life means their talents are maximised in their positive contribution to the business community.”
Viasat has a long history of supporting military veterans. The Armed Forces Covenant and Bronze Award are further examples of this continued commitment to veterans and military families everywhere through employment opportunities, career development and transition workshops. Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor gave Viasat a 2021 HIRE Vets Medallion Award, which recognises investment in recruiting and retaining veterans, as well as offering veteran-specific skills development and leadership programs. Viasat was also named a top employer of veterans by Military Times’ 2021 Best for Vets: Employers List.
Mr. Docherty continued, “The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation to ensure the fair treatment of those who are serving, as well as veterans and their families. I’m delighted to see even more organisations – including Viasat UK, headquartered in my constituency of Aldershot – sign up to this pledge.”
The signing of the Armed Forces Covenant follows Viasat and Inmarsat’s recently announced agreement with the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the proposed combination of the two companies. This agreement includes binding commitments to expand numbers of highly-skilled jobs in key areas and research & development investment that will support the UK’s National Space Strategy.