It’s a surprisingly simple concept. Why ship walls, concrete, or even concrete barriers, when you can ship collapsible forms that can quickly be filled with sand or dirt by any untrained person? Why use sandbags with their inherent gaps and manual fills when the collapsible forms provide full cover, and can be filled in a fraction of the time using engineering vehicles? Uses abound, from gabions and flood control, to stopping bullets and even rockets. When you’re done, just empty the forms, fold them flat again, and ship them out. Systems of this type have been used by the military since the 1991 war in Kuwait. Someone in the US military obviously understood their extreme usefulness to current “seize and hold” operations, because…
Hesco Bastion Ltd. of Leeds, UK (there is also a Hesco Bastion USA in Hammond, La.) received a $717 million fixed price with economic price adjustment, bridge contract for Hesco Bastion Concertainer Defense Walls. Concertainer(R) is a prefabricated, multi-cellular system, made of Galfan coated steel Weldmesh and lined with non-woven polypropylene geotextile. It is delivered flat-packed on standard timber skids or pallets. Units can be extended and joined, then filled.
The Hesco forms will be used the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps., and the contract is for an odd period: 90 days, with two 90-day options. The date of performance completion is Dec 17/08. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA (SPM500-04-D-0239).
Iraqi Prime Minsiter Maliki called Sunday’s shooting is the 7th “troubling incident” involving Blackwater. On the other hand, the Shia police force’s attempt to block a reinforcement convoy, and known police infiltration by terrorists loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr, does make one wonder. Meanwhile, there are wider repercussions. The U.S. embassy in Iraq has temporarily banned diplomatic convoy movements outside the international zone until this situation is resolved. In addition, the U.S. and Iraqi governments are setting up a joint commission to examine the role of private security companies operating in Iraq.
The USA’s Mine Protected Ambush Resistant (MRAP) vehicle program has received a DX rating from the Pentagon – a rating normally restricted for items like nuclear missile submarines. That rating gives MRAP vehicles supplier priority over almost every other Pentagon weapons program, and the Defense Department has been rushing to ensure that items earlier in the supply chain like tires, steel, radios, et. al. are ordered well in advance to avoid slowing production. Military-grade and high-alloy steel are inputs of especial concern, since they’re produced in large but nonetheless limited quantities.
Work will be performed in Waukesha, Wis., and is expected to be complete by April 22, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on Aug. 22, 2007 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, MI (W56HZV-07-C-0621).
Sept 14/07: The GM/ GDLS Defense Group L.L.C. Joint Venture in Sterling Heights, Mich. Received a $37.9 million delivery order for 33 Stryker M1133 Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) Vehicles, as part of a $5.68 billion firm-fixed-price contract for the Stryker family of vehicles. The 8×8 wheeled M1133 provides mobile protection for up to 6 patients and a medical team.
The DoD release says that work will be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich. (60%), and London, Ontario, Canada (40%), but General Dynamics’ release adds Anniston, Ala. And Lima, Ohio as work sites. Work is expected to be complete by Jan. 31, 2010. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on April 6, 2006, and 17 bids were received by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Warren, Mich. (DAAE07-00-D-M051).