GECO Inc., a growing embedded hardware and software supplier for the aerospace and defense industry, has reaffirmed its commitment to the U.S. Air Force’s KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft program.
In a ceremony held in late April at GECO’s facility in Mesa, Arizona, more than 100 aerospace industry, government and local community leaders gathered to celebrate the GECO/Boeing/Air Force partnership on the KC-46A program. GECO and a team of support companies develop a range of hardware and network solutions that will enhance the tanker’s mission effectiveness through improved situational awareness.
During the event, Boeing and Air Force representatives emphasized the importance of the KC-46A and lauded the GECO team for the collaboration and innovation that is contributing to the program’s ability to continue the development process.
“GECO is proud to be a key supplier to The Boeing Company for the KC-46A,” said George Graves, vice president of GECO Inc. “And we felt it was critical that we reaffirm our commitment to the program, to our customer, and to our loyal Arizona supplier team that is helping to make it all happen.”
Boeing provided a large KC-46A banner that was signed by the attendees of the event. The banner will hang in one of the GECO production areas as a reminder of the importance teamwork plays in their efforts on the KC-46A program. The Boeing Company is producing the KC-46A to replace the U.S. Air Force's aging tanker fleet.
The Air Force in 2011 contracted Boeing to build four Engineering and Manufacturing Development aircraft, and plans to replace 179 of its tankers in the coming years. Graves added, “With the help of our outstanding supplier team—including approximately 30 Arizona companies—we are making an important difference for Boeing and the U.S. Air Force to build the critical equipment for the KC-46A.”
Presentations, including a video of the program’s first test flight on Dec. 28 , reminded attendees how important the KC-46 Tanker is to the nation, and how much the Air Force and Boeing are depending on the GECO team. In addition to Air Force and Boeing representatives, many local officials attended, including Mesa Mayor John Gilles and Mesa Councilmember David Luna. Also attending was Paul Chaisson, engineering and cooperative education department chair at Mountain View High School in Mesa, where GECO has worked closely with educators to give students hands-on training through intern opportunities. Nine interns from Mountain View now work at GECO full time.
“We've supported some of the world's most strategically important defense systems with complete hardware, software, and engineering solutions,” said Graves. “Today, we’re focusing on our team’s success with the KC-46A Pegasus tanker aircraft program.”