Military Affairs to Oversee Alaska Aerospace
The state-owned company that operates the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) is getting a new place in the state bureaucracy in order to facilitate deals with military clients.
Effective July 1, 2011, the Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) will be overseen by the Alaska Department of Military and Veteran Affairs instead of by the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
Gov. Sean Parnell issued the change in an executive order Friday.
"The focus of AAC has expanded and is no longer primarily commercial business development, but rather development of a unique niche market driven by government and military customers," Parnell said in a letter authorizing the change.
A document accompanying the order concludes that moving AAC will have no fiscal effect on
Dale Nash, CEO of AAC, said the association with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will be good for the company's image with clients.
"It's just easier to look like your customers want you to look," Nash said. "When you're dealing with your customers they know we're not Vandenberg (Air Force Base), but they like us to look and act like Vandenberg. They know we're not NASA, but they like us to look and act like NASA."
The change does not mean that AAC is giving up on commercial, non-military launches, he said. But whether conducting a launch for the military, NASA or a university, AAC usually works with a small community of aerospace companies like Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences, ATK,
Throughout the corporation's 13-year history of launches, all 15 launches have had a military component. The facility's most consistent client is the Missile Defense Agency, which conducted eight launches at KLC. The company's most recent launch carried a payload of military, NASA and university payloads.
AAC is now considering an expansion of KLC to attract larger, medium-lift rockets. Also under way is a move to secure a new contract at Fort Greeley with the Missile Defense Agency.
The corporation is considering the launch complex expansion to accommodate Falcon 9 and Taurus II medium-lift rockets built by aerospace firms SpaceX and Orbital Sciences.