October 14, 2014
The contracting officers met with commercial airline Air Seychelles representatives to discuss and validate a contract for the High Altitude LIDAR Operations-Experiment mission that begins in Oct. The HALOE will conduct high-altitude contouring over the island of Seychelles.
“HALOE is being deployed to Seychelles to support CJTF-HOA in creation of contour maps of [East Africa] to improve mission planning and support partner nations in AMISOM,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lars Lone, CJTF-HOA DET liaison officer to Seychelles. “HALOE will additionally support Seychelles in contour mapping several major islands to improve airport facilities and aid in planning for future airport construction.”
The contract between the U.S. government and Air Seychelles that was discussed will provide all ground services for the HALOE aircrew and aircraft. The airline company will provide services such as lavatory, water, cabin cleaning, regular aircraft maintenance, push back and towing services, to name a few.
“The HALO-E mission will be in direct support of CJTF-HOA,” Lone said. “This contract will ensure the aircrew will be prepared and have all their needs met prior to their arrival, allowing for a smooth start of the mission, as well as carry them through the entire operation.”
Seychelles provides a strategic location for U.S. personnel to operate out of and acts as a stopping point for the many different missions that fly through here. More than 1100 U.S. Military and DOD personnel have visited Seychelles in the last six months to complete refueling, crew rest and resupply.
The U.S. military leases the only commercial hangar in Seychelles providing strategic air lift capability in the Indian Ocean. Seychelles also has a deep water harbor allowing for refueling and resupply in the Indian Ocean.
“[By being here we] are maintaining our open relationships with our joint and intergovernmental military entities as well as maintaining our ties and relationships in East Africa,” said Lone.
Many of the multinational organizations that operate out of Djibouti also operate out of Seychelles, such as European Conference on Antennas and Propagation NESTOR and the regional anti-piracy prosecution and intelligence coordination centre.
Additionally, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Department of Homeland Security and Navy Research Lab have active missions to Seychelles providing support to counter piracy missions as well as weather forecasting.
While on station, the contracting team also conducted the first resupply purchase in nearly six months for the U.S. personnel and assets located on the island. They purchased power tools, fuel and paid for forklift repairs. The forklifts are critical to many of their missions and are used to offload cargo from C-17s and C-130s that come through the island.
“The purpose of this mission was to ensure the facility here can continue to do its job and stay up and running for any mission that comes this way,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Joshua Burgess, CJTF-HOA Contingency Contracting officer. “As a CCO our job is to pick up and go places to provide support when needed downrange.”