Our first stop was to pick up visitor badges and we then met briefly with Monica Craft in the JSC M Small Business Office. While there we also met briefly with Laura Pepper, Manager, Procurement Policy and Systems Office.
Our next stop was to meet with Ms. Debra Johnson, the JSC Director of Procurement, and Mr. Jeff Cullen, the JSC Deputy Director of Procurement. This was followed by an introduction to Mr. Mike Coates, the JSC Director. Mike is a retired Navy fighter pilot and former Astronaut who flew three Shuttle missions. He spent a lot of his early years living in Oklahoma where his father was stationed in the military. Mile’s wife Diane is from Oklahoma City. OK. This gave Mike and Karen a lot of common ground to explore. If my memory is correct, Mike has also visited Anadarko, OK.
The next introductions and meetings were held with MEI Technologies (MEI), a mentor to AI for the past four years. Sam Boyd, President of MEI, had some nice things to say about the relationship between our two companies, as well as the prospects of us continuing to work together on future programs.
After lunch, we met Art Knell, an AI employee and one of our Test Safety Officers on the Safety and Fire Services subcontract with MEI. Art took us on a tour of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). While we were in the facility, we witnessed a new astronaut being suited up and making his first entry into the pool for training. A part of the AI responsibilities includes safety related assignments at the NBL. Art was able to explain the importance of the astronaut training conducted in this facility, and he also proved to be a capable photographer. The picture has the “Rose” in the middle framed by two “thorns”. I guess I should only speak for myself as far as the “thorn” comment is concerned because Karen might object to this description of her son, Robert White, who is the good looking guy on her left.
We then visited the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility (SVMF) and Karen got a close look at all of the mockups that are used for astronaut training in a 1G environment. The AI Test Safety Officers are also involved in the work that takes place in the SVMF.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent visiting with AI employees who work on our Human Resources and Procurement Office (HRPO) contract. Marie Lopez, the AI Supervisor on the HRPO work, made introductions and each of the people attending the meeting described the work that they are doing for NASA. The NASA COTR on our contract also joined us to say hello.
It was a really full day but one that I think Karen will remember and hopefully find useful in understanding the work that we are privileged to perform at the NASA Johnson Space Center. When she returns for the next visit we hope to have more contracts and more employees representing Anadarko Industries and the Wichita Tribe.
We all look forward to visits from other members of the Wichita Tribe.
You can read more about Karen and the tribe on Anadarko’s website at https://anadarko-industries.com/AboutAI/Leadership/tabid/63/Default.aspx.
Posted on Monday, September 1, 2008