Lou Kratz, Chairman of NDIA Logistics Management Division and a Vice President of Logistics and Sustainment at Lockheed Martin, introduced the event with an assertive view of American overwhelming force and power projection, facing an immediate insidious threat (i.e. terrorists and insurgents) with a peer competitor (the official euphemism for China) rising over the long run. The rest of the morning unfolded with more reserved speakers who tried, but not always succeeded, in convincing industry attendants that there’s light at the end of the tunnel in a context of not just declining, but more importantly messed up budgets.
Why are trucks a big deal? Because they are the unglamorous but very necessary backbone of any mobile military force. The US Marines certainly fit the description of a mobile force, and Oshkosh Defense supplies their MTVR medium trucks. In 2006, the Marines took the next step, and chose a winner to replace a worn-down Oshkosh LVS heavy truck fleet that has served since 1985.
Like their predecessors, these new “Logistic Vehicle System Replacement” (LVSR) heavy trucks will usually find themselves transporting heavy equipment, or basic supplies such as ammunition, fuel, and water. The LVSR winner was also an Oshkosh design.
The Czech Republic’s armed forces aren’t large enough to make large foreign commitments, but the country is a frequent participant in NATO missions abroad, and needs airlift capacity for use during domestic emergencies. It currently depends on Soviet-era AN-26 “Curl” aircraft, which are wearing out quickly, and will need to be replaced soon.
“Czech L-159s: Cheap to Good Home” explored one possibility, which involved a trade of the Czechs’ fine light trainer and attack aircraft, in exchange for EADS-CASA C-295M light transports to replace the AN-26s. That turned out to be the Czechs’ preferred option, and a contract for 3 planes was signed in 2009. The EU couldn’t be content to leave well enough alone, of course, and they began legal action around the deal. That went nowhere, but their efforts may not be the only legal action. Technical problems, and allegations of overpricing, have triggered an investigation within the Czech Republic. Even as the C-295Ms themselves remain undeployable.
Australia’s 2009 Defence White paper promised a number of programs, including an effort to rationalize the DoD’s storage and distribution network. The White Paper’s target involved consolidating 24 wholesale sites into 7, supported by 7 specialist logistics units, with slimmer overall inventory.
In late 2012, Australia’s government moved to implement an A$ 752 million Defence Logistics Transformation Program (DLTP), consolidating 201 warehouses in 24 locations into 7 primary sites and 9 specialty sites. It’s a major change to an unheralded but fundamental element of military readiness. Secure storage, maintenance facilities, and other infrastructure will be built at:
Latest updates: Up to $228M in contracts, FY 2012-2015.
Low-velocity parachutes are so named because they’re used for cargo airdrops made below about 1,200 feet, with the cargo aircraft flying at low speed as parachute-rigged containers roll out the rear ramp. US Army Soldier Systems Natick developed them in 2006, aiming to offer a lower-cost low altitude system that did not require specialized parachute manufacturers. US Army PM FSS engineer Bruce Bonaceto’s designs hit those targets, and low velocity parachutes have been doing the same on the front lines. They’re generally used to deliver basic supplies such as gas, ammunition and food to troops in rough terrain and isolated locations, without having to use a more expensive high-altitude GPS-guided parachute system like JPADS, or a more expensive standard parachute like the G-12.
As one might imagine, demand is high in Afghanistan, and some of the small business contract recipients are an interesting set of stories in and of themselves…
Military meds are big business. In March 2010 the US DLA’s Defense Supply Center Philadelphia awarded a pair of 5-year contracts worth up to $807.1 million to Cardinal Health in Dublin, OH, for drug distribution to US military medical facilities.
For these contracts, the European region encompasses all US military medical treatment facilities (MTFs) located on the Continent of Europe, including Turkey plus the surrounding seas and oceans as well as Oman and Bahrain. The Pacific region encompasses all MTFs located in the Pacific including Guam, Diego Garcia and the surrounding seas and oceans. Another 5-year contract with wider reach involves deliveries to American ships.
On July 25/06 Al-Anbar commander and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer submitted an MNF-W priority 1 request. It pointed to the hazards inherent in American supply lines, and noted that many of the supply convoys on Iraq’s roads (up to 70%, by some reports) were carrying fuel. Much of that fuel wasn’t even for vehicles, but for diesel generators used to generate power at US bases. That is still true, and Afghanistan has even more daunting logistics. By some estimates, shipping each gallon of fuel to Afghanistan requires 7 gallons of fuel for transport.
In September 2011, AAR Airlift Group, Inc. in Palm Bay, FL received a maximum $78.9 million contract to continue contracted ship-based helicopter services, including vertical replenishment services, in support of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and US Military Sealift Command. MSC ships are crewed by civilian mariners, and their accompanying helicopters are contractor operated.
AAR Airlift Group, Inc., will provide helicopters, personnel, and operational and technical support services in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the Arabian/ Persian Gulf. Base contract funds are subject to availability of FY 2012 funding, and will expire at the end of that fiscal year, on Sept 30/12. The $15.5 million firm-fixed-price base contract also has 3 more 12-month options periods, and one 11-month option period, which could bring the total to the maximum noted above, and extend the contract to August 2016. This contract was competitively procured via solicitations posted to multiple government websites, with more than 50 companies solicited, and 4 offers received by US Military Sealift Command in Washington, DC (N00033-11-C-1003).
Under the World Wide Express-5 program, the United States Transportation Command (US TRANSCOM) Directorate of Acquisition at Scott Air Force Base, IL has issued 3 multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, fixed-price contracts worth a total maximum of $853.3 million. This will cover international express delivery of packages and letters weighing 300 pounds or less. This is not the same thing as the Defense Logistics Agency’s Small Surface Package Program, or the billions of dollars in annual international airlift contracts issued by the Pentagon over the last few years – but some of the companies do overlap.
The initial contract award value to each winner is $2,500, and winners will compete for delivery orders over the contract. This arrangement is a one-year base contract for FY 2012, with 4 more 1-year options that could take the contract to Sept 30/16. Unlike the $400 million FY 2008-2011 contract, which had 9 offers and 9 eligible firms, World Wide Express-5 had just 5 bidding firms, and only 3 awards were announced, to:
Federal Express, Washington, D.C. (HTC711-12-D-C001)
United Parcel Service in Louisville, KY (HTC711-12-D-C003)
Polar Air Cargo in Purchase, NY (HTC711-12-D-C002). They’re a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide, and partnered with DHL. Atlas was not included in the 2007 contract, but Atlas and Polar have received some international airlift contracts in the past. They recently entered the military passenger charter market with their 1st 747-400 charter flight, in May 2011.
Latest updates: $313 million to KBR for LOGCAP work in Iraq; 2009 contracts backfilled.
Fluor builds LOGCAP housing in southern Afghanistan
The US Army’s sole provider LOGCAP 3 contract, which provided food, housing and fuel for U.S. troops worldwide, generated lots of controversy because government audits of the sole supplier’s (Halliburton-KBR) work were unable to fully account for millions of dollars or justify all charges to the Pentagon’s satisfaction.
To address perceived problems of LOGCAP 3, the Army awarded the follow-on contract, LOGCAP 4, to 3 companies – KBR, DynCorp and Fluor – who compete for task orders.
The LOGCAP 4 contracts are indefinite-quantity/ indefinite-delivery contracts with 1 base year and 9 option years. Each contract has a maximum value of $5 billion per year. This allows the Army to award a total annual maximum value of $15 billion and a lifetime maximum value of $150 billion.