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Alaska-Based Business Strikes Up Sizable Deals in Region

A survey of defense contracts flowing into the San Diego economy shows one of the biggest deals struck so far this year didn’t go to a usual recipient such as General Atomics, General Dynamics Nassco or Northrop Grumman.

It went to Alutiiq, an American Indian company based in Anchorage, Alaska, with a strong foothold in government services.

In June, Alutiiq 3SG won a five-year, $87 million deal to provide information technology services to the Naval Air Systems Command. One-third of that work will take place at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado. The rest goes to other Navy towns.

The contract means $28 million for San Diego, making it the 15th largest defense contract received this year.

Technically, the Alutiiq win is a small-business contract.

Alutiiq is a subsidiary of Afognak, an Alaska native corporation. The last label is an important distinction, because federal law gives the corporation small-business standing and special privileges. Alaska native corporations, for example, can take no-bid contracts.

The company’s ownership is also unique. “Our owners are the indigenous people of Afognak Island who can trace their Alaska native ancestry to the native village of Afognak,” said corporation executive Jana Turvey.

USAspending.gov, a federal Web site, shows Afognak was the 81st largest recipient of federal contracts during 2008, when it pulled in $787 million worth of work.

Alutiiq, its parent and related companies employ 6,300 people.


Entered Market In 2002

The corporation has been in the local market since 2002. Its two largest contracts in San Diego employ 349 people, said Turvey, the contractor’s vice president of corporate affairs. They are a hospital maintenance deal at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and a Navy inter-service supply support operations program.

On top of that, Alutiiq has information technology contracts and some classified work, Turvey said. The company also provides construction, construction management and logistics support services in the local market.

Last week, Alutiiq was advertising for several positions in the region. Perhaps the most intriguing request was for a logistics specialist who could work with the people who maintain small boats used by Navy SEALs.

Several contracts have an information technology focus, said Turvey.

Despite its wins, Alutiiq has a fairly low profile in San Diego.

“There are a lot of defense contractors that you never hear about. Alutiiq is probably symbolic of that,” said Kevin Carroll, executive director of TechAmerica.

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