ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- While the LOGCAP V contract award to several companies remains under protest in the Court of Federal Claims, plans are underway for a third transition planning summit with key stakeholders from the requiring activities, industry, U.S. Army Contracting Command, and the U.S. Army Sustainment Command to finalize the transition schedule and plan for commencement of operations under the new LOGCAP V contract.

If the court rules in favor of the U.S. government, transition should begin in early 2020, an Army official said.

LOGCAP -- Logistics Civil Augmentation Program -- is a program administered by
the Army to provide logistical capabilities by using a contractor workforce. It is used primarily for base support operations and sustainment services worldwide in both contingency and non-contingency locations.

LOGCAP V will provide a dedicated regional sustainment capability with a 72-hour response time, allowing scalability and flexibility that can change with the Army's operational tempo. It augments theater sustainment, engineering, and base operations support forces with a capability that can rapidly respond to multiple global contingency and non-contingency missions across the entire continuum of military operations.

Based on current requirements, the U.S. Army will obligate from $3 billion to $3.5 billion annually under LOGCAP V. Spending is capped at $82 billion over 10 years which allows growth if and when needed.

In late October 2018, a group of about 90 technical professionals from the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, contract representatives from the Army Contacting Command - Rock Island, and the ASC's Army Field Support Brigades, met in Moline, Illinois, to familiarize attendees on the LOGCAP V performance work statement.

"LOGCAP V is to some degree different than LOGCAP IV," said Garry Carter, supervisory quality assurance specialist, Acquisition Integration and Management Center, LOGCAP Program Management Office, ASC.

LOGCAP IV began in 2007 to provide support in Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Afghanistan. It has since been expanded into the U.S. and has been used in response to natural disasters.

The focus of the first conference was the concept of transition and the intricate details associated with it, Carter said.

Based on his transition processes experience in Afghanistan where he was involved with 60 bases, Carter provided information on how those locations were successfully transitioned.

"We provided those processes to the representatives that came in so they could take those back and use them locally and then shape them for whatever their needs were," he said. "We figured they were 85 to 90 percent correct."

Contract transition between the outgoing and incoming performance contractor is the equivalent to a military Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority or "RIP/TOA." Transition, he said, involves personnel knowing how to seamlessly transfer base services without any impact on operations and personnel. In addition to the transfer of services, government property and facilities will transition.

"That was a real eye opener to them on how much planning had to go into preparations and the execution," Carter said.

One of the requirements of the conference was that Army Field Sustainment Brigade LOGCAP professionals had to out-brief Carter and his colleagues on what transition plan they would brief to their leadership.

"It kind of was train the trainer," he said. "We trained them up, prepared them. They did the notional transition process, timeline, and then they briefed that back to us."

Carter said the intent of the conference was achieved.

"The devil in the detail is labor, materiel, equipment, sub-contracts, their understanding the services and then understanding how the services will transfer from one contract performance work statement to a brand new one," he said.

In June, a second conference was held to continue support for transitioning, and the concept of "change management" was discussed based on a new policy stated in a memorandum from then-Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, ASC's former commanding general.

"That policy helps individuals understand what we call 'getting left of requirements,' " Carter said.

In this case, that means for normal operations getting 60 days ahead of the requirements -- developing requirements, understanding how to get them validated in forward operations, sending them to ACC-RI to negotiate those requirements and getting them on contract as stewards of the government, Carter explained.

And, it involves an agreed upon understanding of possible new requirements and prices.

Under the new plan, various scenario requirements will be negotiated and validated between the contracted organization and the U.S. government.

"Planning ahead will save money in the long term," he said.

The bottom line is to "get change negotiated before we modify the contract" although in an emergency, requirements can be placed on contract in a matter of hours, Carter said.

The second conference, largely driven by change management, also discussed real-world transition planning based on experiences of the past learned from contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Representatives were also instructed on ensuring quality control and their role in supporting program management reviews, Carter said, which allows for holding the contractor to a better, known standard.

"It's a two-way dialogue and out of it comes operational execution plans that we now synced with all the key stakeholders," he said.

A third transition summit -- a post-award summit -- will take place after a final court decision is rendered. Attendees will consist of ASC and ACC-RI personnel, representatives from LOGCAP IV and V contractors, and representatives from the requiring activities, at the forward operations locations.

Post-award briefings, coordination, and final transition plans will be completed before the summit ends, Carter said.

LOCGAP IV, however, will continue until it is no longer needed.

"LOGCAP IV task orders under certain contractual procedures and actions can be extended," Carter said.

The task orders will end, but can be extended as long as the protests, and any corrective action, are pending.

Carter explained the requiring activity has the final decision authority of when a transition takes place. For example, ensuring continuity of ongoing tactical operations, especially in contingency locations like Afghanistan and Iraq, takes priority over transition operations. Transition must take place at a time when there is a planned lull in the operational tempo.

"The good thing about LOGCAP is we can surge up and scale up, and scale back down constantly as we react to whatever the customers' requirements are," he said.

Carter said that ASC's AIM and LOGCAP personnel worked "hand-in-hand" with ACC-RI to help shape the LOGCAP V requirements and get them on contract in coordination with the AFSB commanders.

"We work seamlessly with the Army and other services because of the way we operate as a program. We are compliant with their regulations, whether we're talking about food service, providing fuel, whatever," he said.

"The collaboration of all the key parties … is very well laid out and orchestrated in order to execute this. This is probably the Army's largest logistical contract," Carter said. "It affects every Soldier in a contingency operation around the world every day."