Jake Frazier, President of Precision Talent Solutions, publishes a quarterly update that he graciously permits me to pass on to you.
These are selected highlights:
After last year’s Afghanistan rapid extraction and the continued challenges with COVID, we expected the world to return to normalcy in 2022. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took away this year’s chance at returning to the pre-COVID status quo and has created lasting shifts in the government contracting landscape and the Western world’s foreign policy. These changes will breed new opportunities and challenges for companies seeking to support stabilization and development efforts around the globe.
The war’s outcome will also shape future projects and market trends within the contracting space.
Over five million refugees have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, triggering a crisis across Europe.The influx of resources and attention devoted to Ukraine will likely derail or reshape the “pivot to Asia” as the US and its partners refocus again on Europe.
LOGCAP V has swelled with increased activity across Europe as Army units reposition. GSA’s VEMOS, APS, DLITE, USAID, and other programs and agencies have surged to support increased requirements. The mid-and long-term implications of the new reality in Europe are difficult to predict.
For the immediate need, contracting will likely focus on supporting lethal and humanitarian aid, while the future need will likely center around reconstruction efforts and substantially increased US and NATO footprint in Eastern Europe.
US CENTCOM Commander, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, stated the roughly 2,500 US troops would likely remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future in an advise and assist capacity. The US presence remains through an expressed invitation by the Iraqi government. There is a desire to form a security and cooperation agreement in the long term. Meanwhile,there have been ballistic missile and drone strikes targeting US forces based in Iraq and Syria. These attacks coincide with live exchanges between Iranian proxies and Israeli troops.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Amentum completed its acquisition of PAE on February 15th 2022. With the official merger approved and finalized by stockholders, the two companies must now decide how best to integrate PAE. Ongoing discussions will determine which departments shall be carried over and which will be let go due to overlap.It is notable that John Heller, former CEO of PAE, has taken the helm of Amentum along with several senior PAE appointments to the senior leadership team.
In other M&A news, Vectrus announced its merger with Vertex on March 7th 2022. The deal reached will value Vertex at $2.1 billion and the combined entity at $3.4 billion. It appears the leadership from Vectrus will lead this larger company with Chuck Prow remaining as CEO.
DANGER ZONE JOBS NOTE:
According to a proxy filing posted April 27th by Vectrus, Mary Howell has been named chair of V2X, the new company created by the merger of Vectrus and Vertex. The new entity will become “V2X” and will be headquartered in Northern Virginia at closing or shortly thereafter. The closing is expected sometime in the third quarter of this year.
MAJOR PROGRAM UPDATES
Three years since the initial award of LOGCAP V on April 19th 2019, the final transition for task orders is almost complete with Vectrus taking over Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands for the INDOPACOM theater. Meanwhile, KBR has surged with activity in EUCOM initially in response to the Afghan refugees and now with supporting a much larger Army footprint in Eastern Europe.
The compete phase from AFCAP IV to V is complete with over 50 Task Orders competed and awarded under the new generation of the contract. While most of the incumbents retained their programs under likely different economics, there have been a few notable changes with PAE-Pereni PAE winning Qatar engineering task order and IAP/RMS winning DFAC at Al Udied.
The acquisition cycle times for the OCONUS Prime Vendor programs continue to be delayed due to extended source selection and subsequent protests. Last year, DLA awarded new MRO contracts in the Pacific region for Japan (Noble) and Korea (PAE), but those awards remain in the Court of Federal Claims. SPV Europe protest was thrown out by GAO, SPV Okinawa negotiations are open, SPV Japan/Singapore/Philippines is current in RFP, SPV Djibouti/UAE continues to be contested, and SPV Korea is in source selection.
The DoS’s Medical Support Services Iraq which supports the US Embassy in Iraq was recently awarded to SOS International (SOSi) after being held for years by Acuity’s Comprehensive Health Services (CHS). This has already gone into protest and would seem to have some grounds given bids were submitted in 2016. Much has changed in Iraq since those days.