In the wake of last month’s shooting at the Navy Yard that left 12 dead, government contractors have opened their offices to provide work spaces for displaced employees.
The Navy confirmed that it has government employees working in contractor spaces. It declined to provide a specific count because “the situation is very fluid.”
However, a Computer Sciences Corp. spokeswoman confirmed that the Falls Church-based company is providing space for about 100 government personnel at its Maritime Plaza facility, located steps from the Navy Yard.
Arlington-based naval contractor Gibbs & Cox is hosting about a dozen employees in its Navy Yard office, said Richard Biben, the company’s chief executive.
“When you have a crisis situation, you do what you have to do,” Biben said. “We moved people around to make space.”
The Navy said the set-ups “will be short-term arrangements only,” adding that Naval Sea Systems Command will move all of its employees to the former Coast Guard headquarters at Buzzard Point in the coming weeks.
When retired Army general David F. Melcher joined the Army in the mid-1970s, he said the service was at a low point, struggling with budget constraints that left it with outdated equipment and inadequate training.
By the time the three-star general left the Army in 2008, the service was benefiting from a peak in spending.
Melcher, now chief executive at McLean-based Exelis , has seen the cycles of military spending and said at an Atlantic Council event last week that he forecasts a difficult period ahead for the defense industry.
Virtually every contractor is looking to cut costs and considering ways to reorganize or acquire to be better positioned, he said. Exelis itself was spun off from parent company ITT in 2011.
Melcher predicted that mergers and acquisitions — now on hold because of uncertainty — will pick up eventually. Within the industry, he said services businesses are likely to consolidate first.
“There are some really tough conditions coming,” he said.
Dulles-based Orbital Sciences said last week that its Cygnus cargo spacecraft successfully reached the International Space Station as part of its demonstration mission.
The spacecraft had been launched, on an Antares rocket, on Sept. 18, before arriving at the station, where the crew received a load of supplies, including food, clothing and equipment for experiments.
Orbital has a deal with NASA to launch unmanned space modules that deliver supplies to the station, take away their trash and then burn up as they reenter the atmosphere.
The company said this time around the Cygnus module carried about 1,500 pounds of cargo, a fraction of the nearly 6,000 pounds it will be able to eventually carry.
The Government Accountability Office sustained a protest filed by Greensboro, N.C.-based Triad International Maintenance Corp. Aviation Services against a Coast Guard award to Herndon-based DRS Technical Ser vices for progressive structural inspections of aircraft.
Triad — or TIMCO — proposed a price of nearly $154 million, lower than the $182.7 million proposed by DRS, but DRS received better ratings.
The GAO agreed that the agency did not give proper credit to TIMCO’s past performance and made mistakes in its evaluation of the proposed price. The report recommended the Coast Guard reevaluate the proposals and reimburse TIMCO the cost of filing the protest.