FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks contractors are hungry to learn more about how to do business with the military, if a recently-organized information session in Fairbanks is any guide. 

A rare meeting with military contractor officials from both the Army and Air Force on Wednesday morning in Fairbanks reached its audience capacity soon after it was announced last week. Space is almost filled for a satellite live-stream of the event set up in Anchorage, said Pierre Thompson, contract specialist with the Procurement Technical Assistance Program in Fairbanks, which is organizing the event.  

“This blew up in my face. I put it out on Monday and it was pretty much filled on Tuesday,” he said. 

The meeting comes as Eielson continues $500 million in construction projects in preparation for the arrival of the first of the F-35 fighter jets in 2020. Meanwhile, Fort Wainwright has several upcoming environmental remediation projects, Fort Greely is installing additional missile defense interceptors and Clear Air Force Station is installing a new long-range radar system.   

“It’s going to be all-encompassing, so if you are an electrician, or if you cater, or if you do anything that would be involved with doing a lot of construction, then these contracts will be something that you will be interested in,” said Jacqueline Summers, a program specialist in Anchorage, also with the Procurement Technical Assistant Program.  

“Everybody wants to make sure that small businesses are being included,” she said.  

The meeting will include staff from the 354th Contracting Squadron at Eielson, and the 715th Contracting Team at Fort Wainwright.

“Usually those contracting officers are really hard to get a face-to-face meeting with, so the fact that they’re coming out and actively recruiting is kind of a sign that there’s a lot going on,” Summers said.

Staff from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Associated General Contractors of America will also be at the meeting, which will include a presentation and a question and answer session. 

For more information about the meeting, call Thompson at 456-7822, or go to ptacalaska.org.

The program hopes to host an additional meetings about military contacting in the spring, Thompson said. 

Contact Outdoors Editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors