[The History of BFEC ], 13677 byte(s).

As BFEC entered the 80's, the company population was 4,889, up from 4,100 employees in 1970. In addition to its employee population, BFEC's corporate reputation continued to grow. Employees at the NASA ARC were cited for "significant contributions that accounted for the success of the Pioneer Venus and Pioneer Saturn projects." Meanwhile the BFEC crew on the Naval Vessel Moana Wave were recognized for their superb professionalism and performance during the operations evaluation of towed sonar arrays.

In mid-1980, BFEC lost the SOCAP program in Saudi Arabia. The award of the five-year Air Traffic Control (ATC) program more than made up for the loss. This $462 million program was the first BFEC contract directly with Saudi Arabia and required personnel and technical services in support of the Presidency of Civil Aviation (PCA) for the operation and maintenance of the Saudi Arabian ATC system at 31 locations. This included control tower operations as well as control of aircraft in flight. Support was also furnished in the areas of engineering, training, automated data processing, depot maintenance, logistics, technical publications and procurement. From 1980 through 1988, BFEC provided this support and maintained an equipment readiness that led all ATC systems in the world.

In the fall of 1980, a new 10,000 square-foot building was erected at NESEA to compliment the two older buildings erected earlier. This was unique in that Bendix property was being erected on government land.

In 1984, BFEC focused on the consolidation and recompetition for shuttle-related services at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. BFEC joined the Rockwell team that bid on the project designated as the Space Transportation Systems Operations Contract (STSOC). This contract was unique in that with options and follow-on, it could result in a 15-year program. The Rockwell team won the contract in September 1985 with a January 1986 start. Under the STSOC, the Rockwell team was responsible for the performance of six functions: project management, maintenance and operations, sustaining engineering, flight preparation requirements and analysis, flight preparation production and direct mission operations testing and support. The work involved major facilities such as the Mission Control Center (MCC), Shuttle Mission Simulator (SMS), Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, (SAIL), Software Production Facility (SPF), Central Computing Facility (CCF) and the Mockup and Integration Laboratory (MAIL). To perform the requirements of the contract, BFEC had established a dedicated operational segment at Houston, which had all of the resources required to support BFEC operations. The loss of the SNEP contract was felt in 1985 as HBH commenced a phasedown of all operations. The contract closeout was completed in 1989.

The year of 1986 was challenging for BFEC. The loss of STS-51L Challenger and its crew on January 28, cast a dark shadow throughout BFEC operations. The tremendous loss of the seven lives on board the shuttle cannot be calculated. We will not forget them or their dedication to our space program.

This year also saw the consolidation and recompetition of the BFEC NASA GSFC Code 500 contracts, now called Network Mission Operations Support (NMOS), and the recompetition of the DSN contract. These two programs, representing 40 percent of the BFEC sales, were awarded in 1987 and would continue for 10 years with options.

In 1986, BFEC was selected by the U.S. Marine Corps in Albany, GA., to continue to provide maintenance inspections and technical services for the Marine Corps' Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS) program. The initial MPS program was awarded to BFEC in 1984 for maintenance of equipment on four commercial cargo ships. The new contract expanded these services to thirteen ships and a depot support facility located at Jacksonville, Florida. BFEC was responsible for ensuring that all shipboard embarked equipment and supplies remained in a high state of readiness as well as depot-level equipment maintenance and logistics support services.

The year 1986 also marked 30 years of BFEC providing services to the NRL. BFEC's entrance into the space age started with MINITRACK. When it was phased over to NASA, BFEC continued support. Later, the satellite tracking facility was transferred back to NRL, and BFEC continued support.

In early 1987, BFEC was selected by the JPL for negotiations leading to an award of a contract for operations and maintenance of the DSN. The DSN provides tracking and data acquisition support for planetary spaceflight missions and for support of NASA's manned and unmanned space programs.

In early 1987, BFEC was awarded a three-year contract to provide telecommunications services to the Naval Systems Engineering Center located at Portsmouth, Va. BFEC established a significant operating facility in the Chesapeake Bay area, which grew to over 200 employees. BFEC had expanded its support to other Naval Systems Engineering Centers at Charleston, SC, San Diego, CA, and Honolulu, Hawaii.

In June 1987, BFEC was selected as the NMOS contractor, providing support to the Mission Operations and Data Systems Directorate including mission support analysis, planning and analysis, systems testing and verification, sustaining engineering, maintenance, documentation, and training and quality assurance. For the Mission Operations Division, BFEC operates and maintains the GSFC Payload Operations Control Centers including the Space Telescope Operations Control Center, the International Ultraviolet Explorer Control Center, the Multisatellite Operations Control Center, and the Meteorological Operations Control Center. BFEC operated and maintained the Shuttle Payload Interface Facility, Shuttle Payload Center, Operations Support Center, Command Management Facility and Simulator Operations Center. For the Network Division BFEC operated and maintained the Network Control Center at GSFC, the TDRS Ground Terminal at White Sands, NM, and the ground stations at Bermuda and Merritt Island, Florida.

For the NASA Communications Division, BFEC operated and maintained the Message Switching Facility, Tech Control and Teletype Facility, Closed Circuit Television/Data Communications Facilities and the GSFC Telephone Facility and Voice Facility.

BFEC operated and maintained the Flight Dynamics Facility and System Technology Laboratory for the Flight Dynamics Division.

For the Information Processing Division, BFEC operated and maintained the nine division facilities which include: the Telemetry Processing Facility; the Space Lab Data Processing Facility; the Image Processing Facility; the Dynamics Explorer Facility; Space Telescope Data Capture Facility; Packet Data Processing Facility; Tape Staging and Storage Facility; Magnetic Tape Certification Facility; and the Data Evaluation Laboratory.

Also during 1987, BFEC retained the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLB) program through 1991. This was an exceptional year for BFEC and Murray Weingarten's state of the company address to the BFEC Management Club sounded like a broken record: "BFEC has never been healthier" had been the opening statement for the last ten years. Record sales, bookings and backlog were achieved. As Murray finished his talk, he concluded that "1988 and beyond will be exciting years."

BFEC was honored in 1988 by winning the U.S. Senate Productivity Award for Maryland. In addition, BFEC was selected as a finalist for the NASA Quality and Productivity Award and won the GSFC Excellence Award for Quality and Productivity. BFEC was also selected to continue the contract for NASA's Crustal Dynamics Satellite Laser Ranging (CDSLR) support for an additional five years. All the good news of 1988 was dampened, however, by the loss of the Air Navigation Support Services (formerly ATC) contract to Saudi Arabia. The loss reduced the BFEC presence in Saudi Arabia to the Avionics Intermediate Shop (AIS) contract supporting the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15 Peace Sun Program.

As 1988 neared its close, BFEC was awarded a U.S. Army contract to provide support services for the Multipurpose Range Complex (MPRC) at Fort Carson, Colorado. In his annual review, Weingarten said that "1988 was a difficult year, but a good year. I said last year that BFEC had never been healthier and that remains true today." The successful October 1988 launch of STS-26 marked the start of the renewed shuttle program, which was only the beginning. BFEC continued to grow and to "fine tune its ways of doing business.

The 80's were years of growth for BFEC in terms of sales, profits, and corporate experience. In 1989, H. Joseph Engle was made chairman of the board and president of BFEC, replacing the retired Murray Weingarten.

As the 90's were fast upon BFEC, new challenges including budget cuts, and program losses faced the company. This period also saw new starts such as BFEC's selection to provide facility management services for the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). This program represents the largest contract awarded to BFEC for data center operations and would run through August 1994. The U.S. Army selected BFEC to manage and provide operations and maintenance services for the Aerial Gunnery Range Complex (AGRC) at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. These, along with other BFEC programs, helped reduce some of the impact of a largely negative business environment.

BFEC continued to excel in quality and productivity and was selected for the 1989 GSFC Excellence Award for Quality and Productivity. Dr. John W. Townsend cited BFEC for "nearly flawless operational, technical, business and management performance in support of GSFC diversified functions." The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) awarded BFEC the DLA national award for contractor excellence, citing BFEC for its outstanding Minority Business Program that expands the DoD industrial base.

In 1977, NASA launched two Voyager Spacecraft to take measurements and photographs of Jupiter (1979), Saturn (1980, 1981), Uranus (1986), and Neptune (1989). BFEC provided support for this highly successful program. Significant data on these planets, their moons, rings and magnetospheres were obtained. BFEC's outstanding performance was recognized by the JPL with the highest award fee ever given to BFEC on the DSN program.

While Voyager was completing its mission, the BFEC Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) team was busy preparing for launch. This team had provided support to the COBE since its inception and represented a high level of participation in hardware and software development for the control of the spacecraft.

BFEC entered the 90's with a course set for expansion and excitement. The first major contract award of the 90's was the selection of the Rockwell/BFEC team to perform the Operations Support Contract (OSC) at the Johnson Space Center. The OSC would provide support for the Space Station training and mission operations. This ten-year contract solidified BFEC's existing contract and enabled further expansion of capabilities in the space operations arena.

COBE was launched and performance was nearly perfect. BFEC neared the completion of the Earth Observation System-Data Information System (EOS-DIS) and Customer Data Operating System (CDOS) studies with TRW for the NASA GSFC.

What of other BFEC operations? They continued to do their job around the world.

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In 1992 BFEC ceased to exist in name and assumed the identity of another aerospace company.

In the years following 1992 NASA experienced large budget cuts and a restructuring of the space program which resulted in a large reduction in force (RIF) of both NASA and contractor personnel. Many long term BFEC employees left during this time via voluntary and involuntary RIF and retirement.


- A field engineering department is established under Bendix Radio.

On July 31, 1961, the name Bendix Radio Commercial Services Corporation was changed to the Bendix Field Engineering Corporation (BFEC).

On January 1, 1962, Bendix Field Engineering Corporation started operations as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bendix Corporation.

1982: Bendix Corporation merges with Allied Corporation and the division becomes an operating unit of Allied Automotive, an independent supplier to the worldwide automotive industry under the brand names of Bendix®, Fram® and Autolite®.

1986: The Bendix Heavy Vehicle Systems Group of Allied merges with Bendix Limited European truck air brake operation establishing Bendix Heavy Vehicle Systems Group-Europe.
Allied Corporation acquires Signal operations establishing AlliedSignal Inc. as the division's parent company.

1992 - BFEC becomes AlliedSignal Technical Services Corporation ATSC

AlliedSignal merges with Honeywell and this becomes Honeywell International (HON).

- ATSC (BFEC) becomes Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc. HTSI. Part of Honeywell International.

Gary Schulz
May 2000
Revised 27 November 2004