Hawthorne Army Depot Award enables mission readiness

By Elizabeth UrbaniakNovember 4, 2021

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

In June, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island (ACC-RI) accomplished a significant competitive contract award for the operation and maintenance of Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD), which supports Joint Munitions Command’s (JMC’s) Single Manager of Conventional Ammunition (SMCA) mission.

The HWAD is a Government-Owned Contractor-Operated facility and is the largest of eight joint ammunition storage depots in JMC, and JMC’s largest single demilitarization facility in both capacity and capability. The HWAD receives, issues and stores conventional munitions, demilitarizes and disposes of unserviceable, obsolete and surplus munitions; and maintains serviceability through inspection and renovation to ensure munitions readiness. Angela Calhoun, contracting officer, Munitions and Industrial Base Directorate, says that HWAD also serves as a training facility for Soldiers.

“The contract supports the operation and maintenance of Hawthorne Army Depot, which supports JMC’s mission as the SMCA manager for the munitions stored at Hawthorne,” said Calhoun. “As well as Joint Program Executive Office Armament and Ammunition (JPEO AA) mission for Program Manager (PM) Demil to demilitarize obsolete and excess munitions that are in the stockpile stored at Hawthorne and at other locations that could be shipped to Hawthorne for demilitarization.”

Calhoun said in addition, there is a small portion of the contract that supports the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) mission for their mercury storage as well as Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Keyport, which also has a detachment located at Hawthorne.

In 2017, the government established an Integrated Process Team (IPT) to develop the HWAD acquisition strategy. In order to garner strong competition and industry support, the IPT team, comprised of ACC-RI, JMC, PM Demil and JMC Hawthorne-local staff, conducted three industry days at the depot, each attended by approximately 60 industry representatives.

Beau Bixler, contract specialist, said that there was a lot of activity and in-depth analysis during the period of time between the formation of the IPT and the contract award. “We received requests from industry for a lot of documentation and questions. I think we had approximately 800 questions and over 100 documents that industry requested in three industry days at Hawthorne,” said Bixler.

Calhoun said that the IPT faced many new experiences and challenges throughout the acquisition process.

“Everybody did an amazing job and stuck in there to get the award accomplished,” said Calhoun.

The competitively awarded contract has a five-year base period, with three-year and two-year evaluated option periods, which equals a potential period of performance up to 10 years.

The contract method used is an Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) with a contract ceiling of $952 million and the majority of the orders awarded on a firm-fixed-price basis. There are two requirements for the contract, which consists of materials and supplies that will be placed on a cost reimbursable basis.

Calhoun said one of the benefits of the competition is to make enhancements to support our customer needs. She structured the contract in a way to provide more flexibility and visibility into different funding lines to support the multiple customers that would utilize the contract.

Calhoun said that the team faced a lot of challenges with competing priorities to support emerging mission requirements on the existing contract, while also staying on track with the competition timeline. While executing the competition, the team was required to concurrently execute bridge contracts to ensure continuity of service until the competitive award was made. Fortunately, the team was assigned an intern, Johnna Sebben, who caught on quickly to provide fabulous support to the team.

"Being a member of the HWAD team has provided a significant learning experience for me,” said Sebben, “I hit the ground running, as during the first few days I was already performing new tasks. This rotation has greatly increased my knowledge base, providing a more well-rounded understanding of the entire contracting process."

While there were many different challenges experienced over the course of time, the team collaborated effectively with their customers to create workable solutions and ensure mission success.

“The entire IPT has worked on this effort for several years and are excited to reach this award milestone,” said Calhoun.