Posts Tagged State Department

Aviation: FBO News–DoS Set To Fire Up A $10 Billion Drug Interdiction Air Services Contract

The total dollar value of services could reach $10B over the life of the resulting contracts. The Department requests industry feedback into the most effective way to provide these services. An abbreviated list of requirements is presented below.?Operate and Maintain DoS Aircraft Worldwide. DoS currently has 412 aircraft in its inventory. 120 are operational globally for drug interdiction and transport of personnel. 292 aircraft are in flyable or non-flyable storage.
Current locations of performance are in Central Florida, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Guatemala, and Iraq. However, it is anticipated that performance may extend into other worldwide locations and the contractor(s) must be able to quickly extend operations to new locations on short notice, for limited duration. Recent examples of such include Sudan, Honduras, Malta, Libya, and Egypt.

A hat tip to Danger Room for picking up on this one. This is a big contract and it includes all sorts of services and missions that would have to be fulfilled. And like Wired mention, this looks more like a private air force than just a air services contract. lol

So how would this apply to the security folks? Well this quote under the ‘requirements’ section is what perked me up. This would be a task that could potentially be subcontracted or maybe done in house. But either way, it is a security contractor specific task.

Provide defensive security for air fields and housing when required. This may be coordinated through USG security elements, Host Nation elements, or subcontracted, depending on the site and situation.

We will see how it goes. Between this contract and CNTPO, drug interdiction aviation services is quite the money maker, and companies like Dyncorp are well positioned to dominate this sector. –Matt


Solicitation Number: SAQMMA13R0044
Agency: Department of State
Office: Office of Acquisitions
Location: INL Support
Nov 30, 2012
Solicitation Number: SAQMMA13R0044
Notice Type: Sources Sought
The Department of State is sponsoring an Industry Best Practice and Vendor Identification Conference to identify potential business sources with the resources, capabilities, and experience to successfully deliver requisite services to sustain the Department’s Aviation Fleet. The Department staff will present an Air Wing Command Briefing, present functional core and supporting contract requirements with a focus on small business set-asides, provide an open forum to ask questions, and a chance to have a one-on-one session with the Government. Industry should be prepared to discuss innovative solutions, available technology, and capabilities. This conference will be held on January 9 and 10, 2013 in Melbourne, Florida. The location will be provided as an amendment to the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. ?Following the overview presentations and the open discussion forum on January 9, 2013, the Government will host one-on-one sessions with interested companies, along with their anticipated subcontractor teams, provided prior coordination with the Government is established. The one-on-one sessions give companies a chance to ask specific questions regarding the program that they did not want to share during the presentation. These sessions will be limited to 30 minutes and may begin the afternoon of January 9, 2013 and between 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on January 10, 2013 (January 11 will be an overflow day if needed). Session times will be assigned and companies will be notified of their time slot via email.

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Bounties: State Department Sponsors International Game Of Tag With Cash Prize

A big hat tip to Danger Room for putting this one out there. Awhile back I posted a Building Snowmobiles concept dealing with RIM or recursive incentive mechanism. This is what MIT came up with in a DARPA contest to find ten red balloons scattered throughout the US, using social media and a bounty system.  MIT blew away the competition for this contest, and I suspect they will participate in this game and do well. But you never know?

So why is this important? In the new rules of war that I have talked about in the past, finding the enemy is key if we want to destroy them or capture them. Especially if today’s enemies hide amongst a population.

If we can leverage the power of these people networks that are already established on places like Twitter and Facebook, and incentivize and reward these networks for finding and reporting wanted fugitives or terrorists, then that is a significant capability. With everyone carrying a computer called a smart phone in their pocket, we have nodes walking around all over the place that could potentially help. The key is tapping into these networks, and then those networks use their computers/cellphones/smart phones etc. to communicate/seek/find/report to win the game.

On a side note, notice how all of this stuff really lends itself to a rapid OODA decision making cycle? Games like this get people engaged and incentivize them to really tap into these tools and networks to build their personal OODA machine–to win the game.

I have also argued that our current systems of bounties or incentives suck, and it is smart to really explore the realms of offense industry here if we want to get good at ‘finding’ folks.

On the other hand, organizations with ill intent might also use these methods to find folks. So to me, it is imperative to figure out what works and capitalize on it first so as to stay one step ahead of competitors/criminals/enemies.

So we will see who wins this game, and what the results will be. Also, if you would like to participate, go to the website and check out the rules. This is a world wide game and there is a nice little prize. Check it out. –Matt


State Dept. Sponsors International Game of Tag with Cash Prize
Gamers challenged to locate five “jewel thieves” in U.S. and Europe
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2012 Tag Challenge calls on technology enthusiasts from several nations to set their sleuthing skills loose on a mock gang of jewel thieves in an  international search contest to take place Saturday, March 31.
The social gaming contest will have participants  use  technological and social resources to  locate and photograph five “suspects”  in  five different cities—Washington, D.C., New York City, London, Stockholm,  and Bratislava—based only on a picture and a short description  of each one.
The  first  person  to  upload  pictures  of  all  five  suspects  to  the  Tag  Challenge  website  will  earn  international bragging rights—and  a  cash  prize  of  $5,000.

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Publications: State Department’s QDDR And Private Security Contractors

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) is a sweeping assessment of how the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) can become more efficient, accountable, and effective in a world in which rising powers, growing instability, and technological transformation create new threats, but also new opportunities. At its core the QDDR provides a blueprint for elevating American “civilian power” to better advance our national interests and to be a better partner to the U.S. military. Leading through civilian power means directing and coordinating the resources of all America’s civilian agencies to prevent and resolve conflicts; help countries lift themselves out of poverty into prosperous, stable, and democratic states; and build global coalitions to address global problems.

I just went through the QDDR and tried to find all the parts that talked about security contractors. They talk about contractors in general, and from what I gather there really isn’t anything new or radical about DoS’s position. They still want to use more federal civilians to do this work or to supervise contractors, and they want to increase and improve upon contractor oversight. And I think they are doing that. Hell, they have plenty of reports and lessons learned to go off of.

What is important to point out though is that State is wanting to do more forward looking and strategic planning, just so budgeting could reflect that. That is good, because companies can then plan accordingly for that kind of strategic planning. It adds more stability to the process, and it allows companies to better prepare for what State or USAID really need.

Along those lines, I posted a brief introduction to State’s new bureau below. It is called the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations or CSO. This is the group that will:

-Get ahead of change. While the scale and types of future crises cannot be predicted, the complex nature and cascading effects of 21st century challenges require a more forward-looking State Department. CSO will support the State Department’s ability to anticipate major security challenges by providing timely, operational solutions.

-Drive an integrated response. CSO will build integrated approaches to conflict prevention and stabilization by linking analysis, planning, resources, operational solutions, and active learning and training. The bureau will call on its civilian responders to deploy in a timely manner to areas of instability in order to bring the right mix of expertise to each unique situation.

-Leverage partnerships. CSO will work with a range of non-governmental and international partners to prevent conflict, address sources of violence, build on existing resiliencies, and promote burden-sharing. In particular, CSO will encourage greater involvement of local civil society – including women, youth, and the media – to prevent and respond to conflict.

State has also recognized that we are experiencing a very fast moving and complex world environment right now. The Arab Spring, the global economy, wars, and revolutions in the various countries of the middle east and world are opening new opportunities for the US government. It takes a flexible ‘smart power’ approach to take advantage of that. Contractors are a big part of that flexible smart power approach.

We are also crucial to filling vacuums of capability and security. Iraq is a prime example. Because of politics in Iraq and in the US, US troops are no longer welcome. But in order to insure our investment of blood and treasure in Iraq doesn’t go to waste, and for our strategic interest in the region to continue to be met, it is vital to maintain a presence and apply that smart power there. DoS used to rely on a combination of the military and their security contractors to provide the security necessary to perform their diplomatic missions outpost security. Now security contractors, with Diplomatic Security personnel managing that effort, will have to accomplish the task. And the insurgency in Iraq is still active, and Iran is still supplying weapons to opposition groups. In other words, the troops might be gone, but the danger of attacks are still there.

As to interesting points about private security contractors, I thought this one was interesting:

-Video recording systems and tracking systems installed in vehicles.

I just think it is very interesting that Erik Prince was pushing for video cameras in the vehicles, way before the Nisour Square incident, and State fought that. Now of course, video cameras in vehicles is policy. Which is great, because now there will be an official video record that can be presented in regards to the performance, good or bad, of a security contractor and their team. The video does not lie, and it will eliminate the ‘he said, she said’ game. Plus it will help in a court of law, much like how they are used in law enforcement.

And in a world where security contractors can easily be thrown under the bus based on politics or whatever, a tape of an incident could make all the difference in proving a security contractors actions were sound and based on a solid threat. Or to prove that ‘yes, the motorcade was fired upon first, and here is the video to prove it’. A tape can also help to get rid of poor contractors, or can add a better picture of the incident for an after action review. Although we will see how it is used, good or bad, and only time will tell.

Which brings me to my next point. I know how important these guys are, everyone in this industry knows how important security contractors are, and State/USAID knows just how important we are. Too bad the public doesn’t know this, because no one in State or USAID promotes how important we are to the press or public? A great example was the silence from DoS about the whole Kabul Embassy attack?  Contractors definitely saved the day there, but the public hasn’t a clue about that performance or effort.

I guess Secretary Clinton’s new policy on armed guards on boats is a start, but I definitely would like to see these agencies give more of an effort to recognize the good efforts and sacrifice of the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend them? Or at least acknowledge just how important we really are to their mission and strategic goals? – Matt


From the QDDR on Private Security Contractors
Enhance and improve private security contractor oversight and accountability.
State uses private security contractors to help meet the extraordinary security requirements in critical threat and non-permissive environments.  Through operational changes already implemented and an examination conducted as part of the QDDR, State is ensuring proper management, oversight, and operational control of the private security contractors we deploy overseas.  We institutionalized many of these changes through the new Worldwide Protective Services contract awarded in September 2010, which incorporates lessons learned to ensure that private security contractors perform their requirements in a professional, responsible, culturally sensitive, and cost effective manner.  Specific steps we have taken include:
Ensuring professionalism and responsibility through improved direct oversight of security contractor personnel:
-Direct hire Diplomatic Security personnel directly supervise protective motorcades;
-Diplomatic Security personnel reside at off-site residential camps in Afghanistan;
-Revised mission firearms policies strengthen rules on the use of force and new less-than-lethal equipment fielded to minimize the need for deadly force; and
-Video recording systems and tracking systems installed in vehicles.
Improving the image of the security footprint through enhanced cultural sensitivity:
-Mandatory cultural awareness training for all security contractors prior to deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan;
-Revised standards of conduct, including a ban on alcohol; and
-Interpreters included in protective security details.
Achieving greater efficiencies through new contract terms:
-One set of terms and conditions, enhancing the ability to provide appropriate and consistent oversight;
-Reduced acquisition timelines;
-Larger number of qualified base contract holders, thereby increasing competition and controlling costs;
-Timely options in the event a company fails to perform;
-More efficient program management compared to multiple, stand-alone contracts; and
-Computerized tracking of contractor personnel to aid in reviewing personnel rosters used to support labor invoices.
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Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations
The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) advances U.S. national security by driving integrated, civilian-led efforts to prevent, respond to, and stabilize crises in priority states, setting conditions for long-term peace.

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Logistics: KBR Awarded $500 Million LOGCAP For DoS BLS In Iraq

Ms. Sparky first posted about this and now it is official. I remember first posting about BLS last year, and there was some speculation on how this was to be done. The mission in Iraq for DoS will require a ton of security, and it will require a fair amount of logistical support. –Matt

KBR Awarded Major Task Order Under Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) IV Contract in Iraq
August 2, 2011
KBR today announced it was awarded a task order by the U.S. Army Contracting Command under its current Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) IV contract to execute the LOGCAP IV Post 2011 Base Life Support (BLS) requirements for the U.S. Department of State’s mission in Iraq. The task order is valued at over $500 million with a Period of Performance of one base year plus one option year. This award is KBR’s third task order under the LOGCAP IV contract.
KBR will provide support to U.S. Embassy staff in Baghdad and services at other diplomatic posts throughout Iraq. Services will include facilities and utilities management, fire fighting, food service, laundry, shuttle bus services, retail fuel, postal service and air field operations.

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Industry Talk: State Department Dismisses EODT From The Kabul Embassy Contract


This actually came out on the forums a couple days back.  Supposedly everyone that was slated for this contract is now being redirected to other places, like Iraq. Although that is just rumor from the forums. Perhaps if anyone from EODT would like to comment or correct the record on this, feel free to say so in the comments section or send me an email.

AGNA is also hanging on to this sucker for a bit longer. I am sure the guys working for them right now have been going through a roller coaster of emotions as to how long the contract will last and who will they work for next? These transition periods can be very aggravating to say the least. –Matt

State Department axes guard firm for Kabul embassy

March 17, 2011

The State Department has fired the contractor it hired to guard the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, leaving protection of the key diplomatic outpost in the hands of another company the department has been trying to replace for more than a year.

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Industry Talk: Aid Workers’ Security Situation Spurs Talks On Afghan Contractor Ban

        What happened to Linda Norgrove was tragic in two ways. First is if she was doing a critical job that put her in harms way, then she should have been given competent security folks who are professionals and capable. And second, the tragedy of her getting kidnapped and the government having to either rescue her or pay a ransom has become a PR nightmare for all involved.

     Of course in this case they felt it necessary to rescue her and that mission was not successful. So what is worse? Using private security or letting your people get kidnapped due to a lack of security? (it reminds me of the piracy debate) Which goes back to what this article is talking about.

     Afghanistan is a far more dangerous place these days and requires ‘true’ security professionals to safely transport crucial civilian specialists from point A to point B. With a shortage of dependable and professional local national security types, as well as a lack of available military escorts, private security contracted through experienced and capable companies are the final and best option in my view.

     Tim Lynch wrote a great post the other day that talked about Linda and the banning of security companies in Afghanistan. It is a good read and be sure to follow his posts as this situation develops.

     We will see how the State Department is able to navigate this one, because if they plan on continuing their missions out there they will need authorization by the Afghan government to continue using their security contractors on the roads. –Matt


Aid workers’ security situation spurs talks on Afghan contractor ban

October 12, 2010

By Elise Labott

Concerned a ban on security contractors in Afghanistan will curtail the efforts of development workers, the State Department is feverishly negotiating with the Afghan government about a set of conditions that will allow private security details to operate in the country, senior U.S. officials told CNN.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said the United States is concerned about a four-month deadline Afghanistan’s president imposed last month to phase out the country’s 52 private security companies by year’s end. If implemented, the move would leave critical aid personnel unprotected and unable to continue their work, a key pillar of the U.S. strategy as it seeks to stabilize Afghanistan.

The U.S. is in intense negotiations with the Afghan interior ministry for a “clarification letter” that would spell out a consistent and uniform set of guidelines by which contractors would be allowed to remain in the country and under what conditions they can operate. The guidelines should be finished within the next week, they said.

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