Vicksburg contract office has role in cleanup of nation’s munitions

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Vicksburg branch of a Virginia-based defense contractor will have a role in the research and analysis for a $750,000 contract to develop a system for the U.S. Air Force to find and help remove unexploded bombs.

A technical staff of five will work out of a building across from Central Fire Station on Walnut Street to develop an electronic tagging system for the Mark 82 family of unguided aerial bombs, said Joel Angle, a research analyst employed at the local office of Mav6 LLC.

The contract is for 15 months until the system is delivered to the Air Force.

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Tags on each bomb will act as identifiers during disposal missions so the commonly dropped munitions can be disposed of quickly and safely.

A release from the company upon the contract’s award cited a 2002 report from the Environmental Protection Agency that said current or former military land inside the United States known to contain unexploded munitions is about the size of Florida and could cost more than $14 billion to clean up.

Mav6 formed in May 2007 as ARES Systems Group until a name change earlier this year. In 2009, the company was awarded a $34 million, prime contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop modeling and simulation technologies to protect U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Its Walnut Street office space is owned by former Vicksburg mayor Laurence Leyens, who has no official position within the company. In 2008, Leyens touted the firm’s then-pending arrival in Vicksburg as a potential economic boon for the local economy.