$69 million keeps guards at Army gates in Germany
By MATT MILLHAM | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 20, 2014
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The Army has awarded a $69 million contract to keep Pond Security manning the gates and patrolling its posts in Germany through at least the end of November.
The Army announced the award Tuesday, a little more than a week before Pond’s current contract was set to expire and less than a week after U.S. Army Europe said it was training soldiers to take over the job.
According to a Pond official, the contract includes two option periods that could keep the company on the job through the end of January. The total value of the contract is $69,679,398.02.
The deal — a short-term “bridge” contract — gives the Army some breathing room as it continues to choose a vendor for what has been an elusive, long-term security contract.
Pond and Triple Canopy — both founded and run by U.S. military veterans — protested the Army’s award in January of a five-year, $322 million contract for security at all of its posts in Germany to local firm Sicherheit Nord. Such protests are not uncommon, especially with high-dollar contracts, according to the 409th Contracting Support Brigade, which has overseen the procurement process for the guard contract.
The Army agreed to take “corrective action” rather than fight the protest through litigation.
That corrective action allows companies that originally bid on the contract to revise their proposals, and could go on for months. No announcement has been made on when the process might be completed.
Pond, which has lost roughly 6 percent of its workforce in recent months amid concerns about its long-term prospects, issued a statement Tuesday thanking military communities for their patience and understanding and its personnel for sticking with the company “despite the uncertainty posed by recent circumstances.”
Pond had begun to divest itself of infrastructure and materiel after losing out to Sicherheit Nord, but is now “in the process of re-activating or acquiring new facilities as needed, updating service contracts, making new agreements with local firing ranges, as well as replenishing some of our supply of equipment and vehicles,” Chad Geier, the company’s chief of staff, said in a statement.