Tag Archives: 11th Airborne Division

Contract tea leaves

Last Friday had a bunch of interesting contract announcements including $450M from the Army to General Atomics for a kind of undetailed drone award (Predator, Gray Eagle, or something better?), while the Navy dropped over $70 million split between Ingalls, Lockheed, Martin-Marietta, Bollinger, Austal, Gibbs, and Hadal to keep working on drone boats. Interesting, the latter of these is specifically for “using spiral winding technology to lower the cost of high-quality carbon fiber composite unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) hulls.”

This comes after at least four large unmanned surface vessels were used in the latest RIMPAC exercises this summer and the Royal Navy just welcomed a similar vessel– XV Patrick Blackett— into their fleet.

USV Sea Hunter at RIMPAC 2022

The announcements, should you be curious:

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, was awarded a $456,246,389 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for engineering and technical services required to accomplish research, development, integration, test, sustainment and operation for unmanned aircraft systems. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 27, 2027. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-22-D-0025).

Huntington Ingalls Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, is awarded a $13,071,106 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6319 for continued studies of a large unmanned surface vessel. This contract modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract modification to $ 15,071,106. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $149,998 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded an $11,320,904 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6320 for continued studies of a large unmanned surface vessel. This contract modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract modification to $15,070,904. Work will be performed in Moorestown New Jersey, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $149,941 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wisconsin, is awarded a $10,212,620 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6317 for continued studies of a large unmanned surface vessel. Work will be performed in Marinette, Wisconsin, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $149,841 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Bollinger Shipyards Lockport LLC, Lockport, Louisiana, is awarded a $9,428,770 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6316 for continued studies of a large unmanned surface vessel. This contract modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract modification to $13,958,770. Work will be performed in Lockport, Louisiana, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $149,933 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Austal USA LLC, Mobile, Alabama, is awarded a $9,115,310 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6315 for continued studies of a large unmanned surface vessel. This contract modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract modification to $13,285,309. Work will be performed in Mobile, Alabama, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September, 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $149,878 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Gibbs & Cox Inc., Arlington, Virginia, is awarded an $8,981,231 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6318 for continued studies of a large unmanned surface vessel. This contract modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract modification to $15,071,231. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September 2024. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $149,899 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Hadal Inc.,* Oakland, California, is awarded an $8,222,536 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Low Cost Spiral Wound Hull that supports multiple payloads. This contract provides for using spiral winding technology to lower the cost of high-quality carbon fiber composite unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) hulls. The contractor shall develop UUV hull designs and components suitable for spiral winding. In the base effort, the contractor shall develop and prototype the first generation spiral wound hulls, associated internal housings and payload deployment systems to assess the technology maturity. The contract also contains three unexercised options, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $23,604,065. Work will be performed in Oakland, California, and is expected to be completed by July 28, 2026. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $8,222,536 are obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under N00014-22-S-B001 long range broad agency announcement (BAA) for Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology dated Oct. 1, 2021. Since proposals are received throughout the year under the long range BAA, the number of proposals received in response to the solicitation is unknown. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014-22-C-2023).

Outfitting the Angels

Also, with the 11th “Arctic Angels” Airborne Division being stood up in Alaska, there is lots of cold weather kit being ordered, which would seem to point to the U.S. Army getting serious about fighting in polar regions. This included $10M for CTAPS suits and another $9M for canteens that won’t freeze. Of note, the completion date on both is in next year rather than the more traditional five years. Take what you will from that:

SourceAmerica, Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a $10,622,966 firm-fixed-price contract for Cold Temperature and Arctic Protection System extreme cold weather suits. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Vienna, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of April 28, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $10,622,966 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-22-C-0038).

SourceAmerica, Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a $9,099,930 firm-fixed-price contract for cold weather canteens. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Vienna, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $9,099,930 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-22-C-0036).

‘Down from Heaven Came Eleven’

The first combat jump made by paratroopers of the WWII-era 11th Airborne Division was on 29 November 1944 when a mixed group of some 241 men dropped on Manarawat in Leyte, making a series of a half-dozen other jumps in early December.

On 3 February 1945, some 1,830 men of the 11th, primarily from the division’s 511thd Parachute Infantry Regiment (511th PIR), would jump outside of Manila at Tagaytay in Operation Shoestring– where a young paratrooper by the name of Rod Serling would be wounded.

“First Lift” The first of three lifts make the first combat jump in 11th Airborne Division history at Tagaytay Ridge, Luzon, P.I. Mt Batulao to the left (Photo: 11th Airborne Assoc)

A week later came a combat drop at Los Banos where 130 men of B Co., 511th PIR would rescue 2,147 POWs.

June saw Task Force Gypsy, some 1,030 men of the 511th, land on Aparri in Luzon as a blocking force to keep the Japanese from falling back further inland– the last major American combat drop of WWII.

Fast forward to the Korean War and 1,800 men of the division’s 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (“Rakkasans,” now part of the 101st Abn Div) famously made combat jumps near Sunchon–north of Pyongyang– in October 1950 to block retreating Nork units, a feat they would repeat in Operation Tomahawk six months later outside of Musan along the 38th parallel.

Post-Korea, the unit was stationed in West Germany and included a number of former Eastern European residents in U.S service– such as Larry Thorne– and was inactivated in Augsburg on 1 July 1958, being reorganized and reflagged as the 24th Infantry Division.

Their last formal peacetime jump was in the summer of 1957.

Well, that is until this week.

Sticks of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne)– a unit that historically made four combat jumps during World War II: two into North Africa, one into Italy, and one into France— is now in the reformed 11th Airborne (“Arctic Airborne”) and made jumps in Alaska this week while wearing their new patches.

Welcome Back, 11th Abn Div

Early last month, U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth announced that U.S. Army Alaska– generally consisting of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) “Spartan” and 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Arctic Wolves” of the 25th Infantry “Tropic Lightning” Division– will be redesignated as the 11th Airborne Division (“Arctic Angels”), constituting the nation’s third airborne division and second paratrooper (not “airmobile”) division.

Of course, it will still just be two brigade-sized, with the 4/25 IBCT(A) reflagging to 2nd Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, and 1/25 SBCT becoming 1st Brigade, 11th Airborne. The latter is expected to lose its Strykers and become light infantry, if not airmobile at some point. It should be noted that the only current “airborne” capable units of U.S. Army Alaska are two battalions of the 4th IBCT (A): 1/501st and 1/509th Airborne Infantry.

The 11th Airborne Division originally operated between 25 February 1943 and 20 June 1958 (then again briefly in the 1960s as an airmobile experiment that became the 1st Air Cav), first activated during World War II in the Pacific Theater for the liberation of the Philippines and the occupation of Japan.

General Kruger Discussing Plans For A Paratroop Drop With Officers Of The 11Th Airborne Division, 511Th Parachute Infantry Regiment. 4:30Am, 23 June 1945 At Lipa Airstrip, Luzon, In The Philippine Islands. (U.S. Air Force Number A60741AC)

They earned two MoHs, 13 Distinguished Unit Citations, 9 DSCs, 432 Silver Stars, and 1,515 Bronze Stars in combat through New Guinea, and Luzon, distinguishing themselves in the Raid at Los Baños. In all, the “Angels” of the 11th suffered 2,431 battle casualties between Nov 1944 and Aug. 1945.

One of its members was a young Rod Serling.

During the Cold War, the 11th Airborne visited Alaska several times in semi-annual Snowbird exercises, solidifying the relationship and lineage.

11th Airborne Paratrooper preparing to board an L4 Piper Cub for snow jump 1950s, via the 11th ABN Assoc

The activation ceremony for the 11th Airborne Division will be live on Facebook on USARAK’s page, at 0955 AKDT,  Monday, June 6th. 

11th Airborne Division “Arctic Angels” Activation & 1/25 Reflagging:

https://fb.me/e/3oCovmk9T

4/25 Reflagging to 2/11;

https://fb.me/e/1xTh5r7Zc