The Government of Iraq has requested technical assistance services from the US military to ensure provision of adequate facilities and infrastructure in support of the recruitment, garrison, training, and operational facilities and infrastructure for the Iraqi Security Forces. This proposed sale would enable Iraq to support the recruitment, training, bed-down, and operational effectiveness of its military, supporting its mission to improve security and stability throughout Iraq. In many cases, the facilities under construction will include civilian infrastructure and dual-use facilities as well. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $350 million.
On May 18/07, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of Iraq’s request [PDF format]. Construction help seems like an odd request, but a mature procurement system that offers good project management skills, has a tested regulatory and oversight system to back it up that’s based on appropriate laws, and is relatively free from corruption takes time to build. Indeed, one can argue that this has been absent from significant periods in American history.
The contractors have not been chosen yet, but the executing agency has…
Saab Bofors Dynamics AB in Karlskoga, Sweden received a $7.1 million firm fixed priced requirements contract for the production, testing, and delivery of M136 (AT4) portable anti-armor rockets, which weigh 15 pounds each (see also Army inspection guide | effectiveness guidelines). The base year orders a maximum quantity of 3,500 production units, and associated technical data. This contract includes options, however, which would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $40.3 million if exercised.
Work will be performed in Karlskoga, Sweden, and is expected to be complete by May 2008. This contract was a sole source procurement by the Marine Corps Systems Command, Program Manager for Ammunition, Quantico, VA (M67854-07-D-1005). Now, aren’t we glad we decided not to complicate the relationship by selling to Venezuela on the side?
Joseph J. Henderson & Son, Inc. in Gurnee, IL received a $16.1 million firm-fixed price contract to design and build a Federal health care facility parking and infrastructure project at the North Chicago Veteran Affairs Medical Center. The work includes construction of a 4-story parking garage, a gatehouse and entry gates, utility relocations, a new site entry intersection on Green Bay Road with a traffic light, a south parking area, a retention pond and other related site work.
Work will be performed in North Chicago, IL and is expected to be complete by June 2008. This contract was competitively negotiated via the Naval Facilities Engineering Command e-solicitation website, with 3 proposals received by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Midwest in Great Lakes, IL (N40083-07-C-0006).
The Australian government has committed A$ 142.2 million (currently about $104 million) for the redevelopment of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce, located next to the town of Bullsbrook, near Perth on Australia’s south-western coast. RAAF Pearce is primarily a training base, and currently hosts 79 Squadron’s Hawk LIFT Mk127s and 2nd Flight Training Squadron’s Pilatus PC-9/A trainers. It is sometimes used as a jumping-off point for other aircraft engaged in overseas deployments and support flights.
This is the first redevelopment planned for RAAF Base Pearce, and it will include a combination of new construction and refurbishment works for engineering services, a fuel farm, aircraft hangars and maintenance facilities, training and operational facilities, a combined mess, and office and living-in accommodation. The project is expected to generate significant employment and business opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises, and construction worked is expected to commence around late 2007 – early 2008 if Parliament approves the expenditure. The upgrades are expected to be complete in mid-2011. Australian DoD release.
Underneath procurement decisions, however, lie the more fundamental issues of doctrine and threat assessments. The one cannot be understood without the other, and so it’s worth paying attention to the revised airpower doctrine Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd unveiled during the recent Chief of Air Force Conference in Melbourne, Australia. See release | “AAP 1000 – Fundamentals of Australian Aerospace Power, 4th edition” documents. On the same day, Liberal Party defence minister Dr. Brendan Nelson’s offered a speech to that same conference re: “Australia’s Future Air Power.”
Back on March 26, 2007, DID noted that an assessment of potential threats, including capability projections for expected armaments in the region given current trends, were a critical component of the most-referenced independent analysis by by Air Power Australia [6.9MB, PDF format], and heavily shaped their differing recommendations. We asked our Australian readers to help finding documents that offered this element for the current Australian Liberal Party/DoD position, and received some assistance in April 2006. A recent speech by the Chief Of The Defence Force, which accompanies the new DoD document “Joint Operations for the 21st Century,” adds more background – but may not fully agree with some earlier statements. Relevant transcript/documents can be found at…
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, MS won a cost-plus-award-fee contract for follow-yard services for the USS Arleigh Burke Class AEGIS destroyer program. It covers technical and engineering support services, including AEGIS destroyer design upgrades, planning and technical support, crew orientation, and crew systems proficiency training. The $20.7 million contract consists of a base year and 4 option years, with a total potential contract value of $75 million if all options are exercised. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, MS and is expected to be complete by September 2011. The contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC (N00024-07-C-2302).
Northrop Grumman is one of the two major builders of the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class (General Dynamic Bath Iron Works is the other); NGSS has delivered 24 ships of class, and has 4 more under construction. NGC’s Pascagoula facility will christen Truxtun [DDG 103] on June 2/07, while the Kidd [DDG 100] will become USS Kidd at its commissioning on June 9/07 in Galveston, TX. Northrop Grumman release.
As a military becomes more professional, and the level of skill required to be a soldier rises, the issue of retention becomes extremely important to a military’s force structure and effectiveness. In the midst of a war, retaining soldiers who have experienced the lessons of combat becomes even more critical. Hence the significant bonuses offered to US soldiers who re-enlist. The US Army has done extremely well on the re-enlistment front, but the financial commitment involved is substantial – and so are the stakes. Could the Army do better?
As an operations manager for Procter and Gamble, Jack Stultz was responsible for recruitment, training, and retention. Now that the veteran of operations in Iraq, Panama, and Afghanistan is on a 4-year leave of absence as US Army Reserve Chief, Lt. Gen. Stultz is bringing some new thinking from his corporate job to the issue of troop retention. Stultz notes the importance of more predictability and reasonable deployment expectations per rotation, but he also adds concepts like taking a life-cycle approach. “At Proctor and Gamble, when you talked to an employee you were trying to retain, you looked at where they were in their life. And the same thing really does apply when you think about retaining a soldier.” His efforts could lead to better-tailored retention packages and changes to the way the Army Reserve operates on several fronts, from health-care benefits (currently a major future expense issue), to a different structure for retention bonuses, to changes in the retirement system. The DefenseLINK article “Army Reserve Chief Applies Business Lessons to Military Force” offers more details.
Seaport-Enhanced (Seaport-e) is a $5.3 billion multiple-award umbrella contract that lets the US Navy use an integrated approach to contracting for support services. Most requests involve engineering, financial, and program management support. Receiving an award makes a firm eligible to big on jobs under a pre-set contract vehicle, and the SeaPort-e portal provides a standardized means of soliciting bids and awarding task orders.
Singapore’s Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean recently officiated at a parade to inaugurate the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Command. UAV Command has been constituted as an integrated entity, with personnel from the Army, Navy & Air Force as well as from the Joint Staff. The new command will provide tactical support for operations, and they are also tasked with developing the armed forces’ capabilities and skills in unmanned systems operations.
DID has a FOCUS Article covering the strike and special operations SSGN “Tactical Trident” submarines. Four ultra-stealthy Ohio-class SSBNs are having their ballistic missiles removed and replaced with up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles – as well as accomodation for 66-102 special forces troops, SEAL delivery vehicle (SDV) “mini-subs,” and a mission control center. In future, they may also carry UUV robotic vehicles, even as the soldiers on board launch UAVs.
These modifications provide the USA with an impressive and impressively flexible set of conventional firepower, in a survivable and virtually undetectable platform that can remain on station for very long periods.
Our DID Focus article for the SSGN program discusses the origins of these conversions, the key players, the timeline, and some of the technologies involved. DID also offers comprehensive coverage of the announced contracts and key milestones to date under this $1.4 billion refurbishment and conversion program, and even includes a section with a number of ancillary contracts and programs. Recent additions include sea trial information, more detailed dates, and additional pictures of the subs during and after conversion. Read “SSGN “Tactical Trident” Subs: Special Forces and Super Strike.”