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Air Force Defends Light Air Support Contract Award: The Air Force on Monday defended its decision to award the Light Air Support contract to the team of Sierra Nevada and Embraer and not to Beechcraft. "We are confident that this best-value decision is well supported and that the offerors' proposals were fully and fairly evaluated consistent with the evaluation criteria in the solicitation," service spokesperson Ed Gulick told the Daily Report on March 11. Beechcraft on March 8 lodged a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the Air Force's Feb. 27 selection of the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 light-attack airplane to be the LAS platform instead of Beechcraft's AT-6. Beechcraft is challenging the Air Force's assertion that the A-29 represents the best value. GAO must decide on the merits of Beechcraft's complaint by June 17, according to the office's website. Gulick noted that the Air Force assembled "a new evaluation team, internal and external advisors, and a new source-selection authority" for this competition, which came after the service terminated the previous source selection of the A-29 due to a Beechcraft protest and the Air Force discovering deficiencies in its source-selection documentation.