Reports surfaced in late March 2008 that a company with several hundred million dollars worth of contracts, acting as the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces, has been delivering substandard ammunition and violating military export regulations. It operated out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, FL, and employed a 22 year old licensed masseur as its Vice President. Naturally, a number of readers recommended it as DID’s lead April Fool’s Day story. Unfortunately, the story is not a joke.
In March 2007, “$298M to AEY for Ammo in Afghanistan” covered one of the firm’s key contracts. As of March 25/08, however, AEY, Inc. is barred from future contracts with any agency of the US government, and is under investigation by the Department of Defense’s inspector general and by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Complaints include the quality and origins of ammunition it provided, and allegations of corruption.
Now an investigation by Government Executive Magazine may help shed light on how the firm was able to win the contracts it received. Apparently, it helps to be a “small, disadvantaged business”…
The UK Armed Forces face a wide variety of aerial threats, with variables that include speed, stealth, and flight profiles. Attack helicopters can have a speed of zero, for instance, while some anti-ship missiles can exceed Mach 3. Air-to-air practice targets for RAF aircraft have a very different profile than wave-skimming anti-ship missiles. Consider, too, the difference in regulations and safety procedures: an aerial target’s rocket-assisted takeoff may require environmental waivers on land, but ship launches turn it into a safety issue.
The approach to date has been for individual services to buy individual target drones, but the results weren’t entirely satisfactory. Could the UK’s emerging approach of long-term public-private partnership for government service delivery be used to provide an overlapping set of targets that would meet the needs of all 3 services? It was a risk; both the solution’s definition and its mode of delivery were new, and hence relatively untested. At the same time, it was an attractive idea.
The process began in September 2001. In December 2006, QinetiQ signed a contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to supply a Combined Aerial Target Service (CATS) over 20 years, under a contract worth up to GBP 308 Million (currently about $600 million) . They will provide a service that meets all of the UK MOD’s aerial target requirements worldwide, including ground-based air defence training, aerial target services for the Royal Navy, and an air-to-air service for the RAF. That contract is now beginning to move into its operational phase…
Hensel Phelps Construction Co. in Orlando, FL won a $91.3 million firm-fixed price contract for the design and construction of a building complex to support United States Southern Command and their collaborative partners. SOUTHCOM handles US security relationships, contingency planning, and military activities (including humanitarian assistance delivered by the military) in Central and South America. They also ensure the defense of the Panama Canal and canal area. Given the dynamics of the region, narco-terrorism is one of the command’s foci.
Work will be performed at U.S. Southcom Headquarters in Miami-Doral, FL, and is expected to be complete by April 16/09. Web bids were solicited on Aug 8/07 and 3 bids were received by the US Army Corps of Engineers in Mobile, AL (W91278-08-C-0021).
Now Softsol Technologies Inc. has received a firm-fixed-price contract for $11 million to transform the business application software using Transactional Object-Oriented Language, to Microsoft’s .NET programming framework. At this time, all funds have been obligated (HQ0013-08-C-0002). For more information please call (703) 604-6566. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Defense Contracting, DBO-CON, in Arlington VA.