AFICC creates innovative contract vehicle for BRAC program

  • Published
  • By Estela Fuentez and Courtney Strzelczyk
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center has a new contract vehicle to help the Base Realignment and Closure program achieve site cleanup and closure at some of the Air Force's most challenging sites.

The Air Force awarded six BRAC Environmental Construction Optimization Services indefinite deliver indefinite quantity contracts in September valued at more than $418 million. The contracts consolidate the BRAC program’s 16 performance-based remediation awards into six regional efforts – Northern California, Northeast, Midwest, Central South, Southwest and Galena, Alaska.

“The award was a culmination of two years of collaboration between the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s BRAC team and the  Air Force Installation Contracting Center’s 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron to design an acquisition strategy that fit BRAC's unique needs,” said Alicia Kooda, 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron contracting officer.

In 2018, with the current performance-based remediation contracts set to expire, the 772nd ESS team began consulting with BRAC program managers to build their ideal contract. After two years of consultation, market research and strategy, the 772nd ESS delivered a contracting solution catered to the BRAC program’s needs. 

“Flexibility was key,” said Dr. Stephen TerMaath, BRAC program management division chief. “The (performance-based) vehicle was effective in the program’s youth when site cleanup work was in the beginning stages, but now the projects with lingering site cleanup work tend to have more challenges and we needed a contract vehicle that’s equipped to meet those challenges.”

The flexibility of contracts is in the ability to use the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to negotiate a new task order without a break in service. Many of BRAC’s cleanup challenges center around emerging contaminants, such as Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid and Perfluorooctanoic Acid. Prior to these contracts, projects such as constructing a new groundwater treatment system to address PFOS/PFOA in drinking water weren’t covered in the contract scope and couldn’t be addressed until a new contract was in place.

“With these new contracts, the BRAC program will save valuable time and resources by negotiating a new task order for new requirements,” TerMaath said. The initial task orders cover the long-term management, remedial action operation, and operation and maintenance requirements of those projects. 

The former Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio is one of the first projects to begin restoration efforts under the new contract.

"With nearly 90 percent of the cleanup work complete, the new contract will play a critical role in achieving site closure and facilitating successful redevelopment, working hand-in-hand with the local Port Authority of San Antonio," said Paul Carroll, BRAC program manager.

“Kelly is in the final stretch,” he said. “What’s going to take us over the finish line is the flexibility to adapt to and overcome any obstacles that could prevent site closure. The ability to tap into an existing contract and issue a task order tailored to our needs is a powerful tool.”

In addition to supporting full-spectrum environmental restoration and construction services and expediting site closure, the contracts also incentivize performance and yield significant cost savings.

“Funding used to take place upfront, but (these contracts) allow the program to fund requirements over time, versus buying the entire contract scope up front, and obligate funds only after the contractor demonstrates adequate progress toward program objectives,” Kooda said.

Competing the work saved the Air Force more than $85 million compared to independent government estimates of historical sole-source and limited competition acquisitions. Kooda said they achieved even greater cost savings by bundling the work of the initial task order with the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity — a savings of $16.5 million. They achieved an additional $16.7 million in savings on the rates paid under future task orders on the by including labor rates in the total evaluated price.

The contracts are also 100-percent small business set-aside, a factor that greatly contributed to AFIMSC being selected for the Small Environmental Business Action Coalition 2020 award for excellence in supporting small environmental businesses.

As legacy contracts expire, new contracts will take over restoration efforts and begin what BRAC leadership is optimistic as the final chapter of cleanup.

“Protecting the public from potentially hazardous contaminants is our number one priority,” TerMaath said. “Thanks to the AFICC team, we have a valuable tool to remediate sites effectively and acquire the expertise and technology we need to quickly adapt to changing needs.”