$5.8M to Improve FOB Speicher, Iraq
Wintara, Inc. in Fort Washington, MD received a $5.8 million firm-fixed price contract for replacement facilities for Forward Operating Base, Speicher near Tikrit, Iraq. Work is expected to be complete by Jan 31/09. 98 bids were solicited on Feb 4/08, and 12 bids were received by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Programs Center in Winchester, VA (W912ER-08-C-0025).
Capt. Speicher’s F/A-18 Hornet fighter was shot down over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm on Jan 17/91, and was listed as killed. There has been considerable controversy regarding his fate, however, and in January 2001, the Secretary of the Navy took the extremely rare step of changing his status to “missing in action.” In 2002, it was changed again, this time to “missing-captured.” Many also believe that his aircraft was not shot down by a surface-to-air missile, as claimed at the time, but by an Iraqi fighter that passed American planes who were not allowed to engage it. See also the March 27/01 CIA report.
After Operation Iraqi Freedom, evidence was found that included a flight suit believed to be his, an escape and evade sign located on the desert floor, and what appear to be the initials “MSS” scrawled on a wall of a cell in the Hakmiyah prison in Baghdad. Speicher’s name was also found on a document in Iraq, dated January 2003, that had the names of prisoners being held in the country. Despite these efforts and clues, however, Speicher’s whereabouts and the exact details of his fate remained unknown until a July 2009 tip from an 11 year old Bedouin boy led to his burial place about 2 km from the crash site.