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East Anglian firms urged to compete for share of £75m of USAF contracts

PUBLISHED: 15:56 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 01 May 2018

The 48th fighter wing at RAF Lakenheath. Local businesses are being encouraged to bid for £75m worth of contracts being advertised by the 48th contracting squadron at the USAF airbase. Picture: Gregg Brown

The 48th fighter wing at RAF Lakenheath. Local businesses are being encouraged to bid for £75m worth of contracts being advertised by the 48th contracting squadron at the USAF airbase. Picture: Gregg Brown

A share of £75m worth of contracts at two Suffolk airbases is up for grabs for local companies.

The engagements are being recruited for by the 48th contracting squadron at RAF Lakenheath, which manages a £145m portfolio of routine contracts.

While most of the contracts – ranging from short to long term – are for work at RAF Lakenheath and fellow USAF base RAF Mildenhall, there are also opportunities for services including grounds maintenance, cleaning and refuse collection at 12 other RAF locations around the UK.

Leader of Forest Heath District Council James Waters encouraged local businesses to try their luck in the bidding process.

“There is a great opportunity here for our local businesses to grasp some major new contracts right on their doorstep,” he said.

“Whether you are a trades person, caterer, cleaning firm, equipment supplier, whether you work in grounds maintenance, laundry services, service facilities or some other line of work, don’t let this chance go begging.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said the organisation had a “long-term working relationship” with the 48th contracting squadron and that a number of its members were currently delivering contracts at RAF Lakenheath.

“Given that improving procurement opportunities is one of Suffolk Chamber’s manifesto aims, we would urge as many local businesses as possible to contact the airbase to find out more information both about the process and the specific opportunities available,” he said.

While the contracting squadron is specifically managing contracts for routine work the USAF says more opportunities will be available around the on-going expansion at RAF Lakenheath, to prepare for the arrival of more F35 fighter jets by 2020.

The US government has said it is looking to invest more than $1bn in the expansion and wants local tradespeople to be a part of.

Lt Col Adam Coyne, Commander, 48th Contracting Squadron said: “We have a strong relationship with both the council and the chamber of commerce and we are very much looking forward to working with more of our local businesses over the months and years ahead.”

To find out more about the contracts available email 48cons.pkp.vendors@us.af.mil.


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