Contractor Logistics Support – It’s in Our Blood

February 7, 2023

Contractor logistics support (CLS) for military and other government agencies has been at the heart of the history and mission – serving God, country and family with no excuses – of King Aerospace for three decades.

Founded by Chairman Jerry King in 1992, our company earned its first military contract with a program to staff and maintain E-9A aircraft – a version of the commercial Dash 8 modified to gather information for missile testing.

“Jerry drafted his first winning proposal for the U.S. Air Force out of Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida,” says Steve Sawyer, a retired U.S. Navy master chief and general manager of King Aerospace’s facility in Ardmore, Oklahoma. “And we’ve been supporting special mission aircraft ever since.”

At Tyndall, King Aerospace not only supplied parts, maintenance technicians, mission equipment operators and engineers to the Air Force but also demonstrated a commitment to delivering value to the military as a contractor and subcontractor.

One of King’s first tasks with the E-9A program was to acquire $2 million in spare parts, and Jerry King found the best prices and came in $500,000 under budget. Impressed, the government asked for $500,000 more in parts and King delivered 25% more parts than requested for that amount.

“Giving more for the money is what King Aerospace is all about,” President Jarid King says. “I grew up in the business watching my Dad follow that principle, and it’s in our company’s blood. We consider performing contractor logistics support for the Army and others an honor that’s part of fulfilling our patriotic duty.”

The scope of the work

Parts or people, maintenance or modifications, King Aerospace’s CLS commitment has included those and more – whatever and whenever – to answer the call of duty.

King Aerospace has, over the years, provided support for every branch of the U.S. military – Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy/Marine Corps – and the Departments of Energy, Defense and Homeland Security as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration. Our tenure on these programs is well above the average for CLS providers. Because we’re a long-term partner, we often help new military and government personnel transition to the programs as they rotate in and out.

Military special mission aircraft have long been a focus.

Because of national security and the stationing of team members in locations where safety is a concern, sometimes we can’t readily talk specifics about the programs and special mission aircraft we work on. Whether engineering support; scheduled or unscheduled maintenance; heavy airframe and engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); or sending parts or people anywhere in the world, we conduct the mission the same way:  Efficiently, effectively and – following one of our cornerstone principles – with no excuses.

Agile, responsive, driven to serve

Satisfying the exacting standards of the military and a CLS contract isn’t easy, but we have the procedures, processes and people to meet them. And as a family-owned company, we can answer the call quickly and nimbly when given a challenge. Our team includes many veterans, dedicated to service greater than self and guided by a commitment to mutual respect, honesty and trust, problem-solving, team orientation and quality in everything.

President Jarid King, left, VP of Government Services Greg Mitchell, Program Manager Dean Nelson (recently retired) and General Manager Steve Sawyer. Many on our team are veterans with military aviation experience.

King Aerospace has long maintained, modified, painted and supported the commercial-derivative aircraft the military and government agencies use to execute their missions. That includes variants of Boeing 737s, 757s and 747s used to transport civilian and military leaders and serve as command posts in the sky. Our work on corporate and VVIP aircraft, including the Boeing Business Jet, aligns well with contractor logistics support for the government. The company works on both military and commercial aircraft at the Ardmore, Oklahoma, facility, and recently opened a sizable second location in Bentonville, Arkansas, where two massive hangars accommodate wide-body special mission aircraft.

The government programs we serve focus on special mission, often ISR, aircraft, and King Aerospace has often been selected to fix programs with gaps and needs, sometimes with very short time frames. Because the mission must continue, and aircraft must fly.

Recognition of service

At King Aerospace, we serve and execute critical missions because it’s the right thing to do for our nation. That said, it’s nice to earn some significant kudos, whether from Boeing as a Supplier of the Year or from a government agency for one of our CLS aviation programs.

For two years running, the Department of Energy team in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been recognized for outstanding service. The DOE team there provides aircraft services for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Secure Transportation (OST), supporting its fleet of Boeing 737-400 passenger/cargo aircraft that move national security cargo and support DOE emergency capabilities.

For two years in a row, the Department of Energy has recognized our work on their aircraft based in Albuquerque, N.M.

Awarded by an independent board, the honor is based on criteria that include safety, efficiency, maintenance, effectiveness and training in all aspects of a flight program. The Albuquerque team, consisting of the OST Aviation Operations Division and King Aerospace, also was honored as the best small aviation unit within the entire U.S. government agencies.

“For us, providing CLS aircraft services to the DOE and the military is about serving our country and the men and women who wear the uniform. We are carrying out our mission with a passion fueled by service greater than self,” President Jarid King says.

Gerald Torres recently stepped up from site manager in El Paso, Texas, to leader of the entire SEMA program.