A change in the management contract for Cherry Point’s Tactical Training Range will not mean a mass layoff of workers.
Northrop Grumman Technical Services, which has provided operations support for the range for most of the last 20 years, recently lost a contract bid to URS Corporation, a San Francisco-based company, which is taking over after July 22.
A May 5 notice from the N.C. Department of Commerce had indicated that 92 employees would lose their jobs as a result, but Northrop officials said that would not be the case.
Wes Jarmulowicz, director of Combined Tactical Training Ranges for Northrop, said federal law required notification to the commerce department but said the employees would had the option to remain employed with the new contractor, that being URS.
“There is some management positions that will be affected but the workforce, under new federal guidelines, will receive first right of refusal under the new contractor and probably 99 percent of the employees will remain employed as they are today,” Jarmulowicz said.
The 92 employees work in support of Bombing Target 9 and Bombing Target 11 located at and near Piney Island in Carteret County at the juncture of the Neuse River and the Pamlico Sound. BT-9 and BT-11 are owned by the Navy and are part of Cherry Point. The site is used for electronic warfare and training of both Navy and Marine Corps pilots and crews.
The training requires a wide range of civilian support personnel, Jarmulowicz said.
“They run electronic threat simulators,” he said. “They provide engineering. They provide communications. They provide logistic support, administrative support, range clearance, in other words, something like grass cutting, facilities management, so they pretty much do everything soup-to-nuts on the Navy range to ensure that the pilots and the aircrews that get exposed to these threat emitters, or that want to utilize the ranges for either air-to-air or air-to-ground operations have that capability.”
The change in contractors won’t impact range operations, said David Apt, vice president of communications for Northrop Grumman Technical Services.
“We held that contract for 20 years and we’re proud of the work that we did at the CTTR and for the Navy,” Apt said. “Now we are focused on a seamless transition of the contract over to URS.”
Northrop Grumman Technical Services has other contracts for range operations on both coasts, employing about 500 people.
According to a release from URS concerning the contract award, the five-year task order has a maximum value of $343 million.
“URS is proud to support U.S. Naval and Marine Corps aviators. With the addition of CTTR to our range portfolio, URS is a leading open-air training service provider for the Department of Defense,” said Randall A. Wotring, president of federal services for URS.