Depots store demil ammunition that no longer can be used in the battlefield

By Elizabeth UrbaniakJune 22, 2022

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ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Illinois – Army Contracting Command-Rock Island’s (ACC-RI’s) Munitions and Industrial Base (MIB) Directorate has been instrumental in meeting the goals of the conventional ammunition demilitarization (CAD) mission of reducing the Army’s stockpile of assets for demilitarization (demil).

Bridget Kramer, contracting officer, and Laura Spencer, contract specialist, from the MIB Directorate, recently awarded multiple Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts for the CAD program for the demil and disposal of various families of ammunition.

The items to be demilled are currently being stored at the following 10 depots awaiting demil: Anniston Munitions Center (ANMC) in Anniston, Alabama; Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) in Richmond, Kentucky; Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) in Crane, Indiana; Hawthorne Army Depot (HWAD) in Hawthorne, Nevada; Letterkenny Munitions Center (LEMC) in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) in McAlester, Oklahoma; Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Tooele Army Depot (TEAD) in Toole, Utah; Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown, Iowa; and Milan Army Ammunition Plant (MLAAP) in Milan, Tennessee.

“All of these items are being stored at these depots,” said Kramer. “By doing this procurement, we are hiring contractors to demil those munitions, which is clearing up our storage facilities to allow for storage space for new ammunition being produced.”

Kramer also said that this requirement helps provide Army Readiness by reducing the demil stockpile of ammunition that can no longer be used because it is past its shelf life or cannot be certified as stable.

“With the ammunition being stored at these various depots, it gets rid of the unstable ammunition and ensures that we don’t have anything stored that is unsafe,” said Kramer. “Therefore, we are also increasing the safety of our storage facilities.”

The items that are included in this demil effort are 20mm cartridges, 40mm cartridges, fuzes, mortar cartridges, flares, illumination, hexachloroethane (HC) smoke, rocket motors, and cluster munitions for a total estimated value of more than $808.8 million. Four companies were issued awards for the Contracting Line Item Number (CLIN) groups associated with this contract which were fully executed in May, September and October of 2021 with a Period of Performance (POP) through May 2026. Two additional awards were made in April 2022 with a POP through April 2027.

Kramer also said that a Small Business Reserve was included as part of the acquisition strategy and the U.S. Government intends on awarding up to two IDIQ, five year, Firm Fixed Price contracts for each CLIN Group. The intent of the Small Business Reserve is to help get small businesses gain access into the demil industrial base and work towards meeting the DoD Small Business goals.

During the solicitation process, companies could submit proposals on up to eight separate CLIN groups. This resulted in a significant amount of responses for each of these groups. Because of this, Kramer said that they have faced a capacity challenge with this requirement which ultimately delayed the awards.

“The U.S. Government planned on having oral presentations held for the technical factor,” said Kramer. “However, due to the COVID pandemic, we issued an amendment to the solicitation after it closed to switch to written proposals.”

“What we have is eight solicitations built into one solicitation and once we had to change from those oral presentations to written, that kind of changed everything”, said Kramer. “Oral presentations would have saved us a significant amount of time.”

Kramer said one major success is the contract has multiple contractors that are technically capable of meeting the requirements for all CLIN groups.

“The CAD mission has been ongoing for many years,” said Kramer. “For many years the CAD contract was awarded to a single awardee based on competition. “However, in 2015 a multiple award IDIQ was issued to two awardees based on competition, which allowed for competition between both offerors throughout the five year IDIQ.”

Kramer said that this greatly expanded the industrial base for CAD which allowed for the demil efforts to be accelerated and continuous competition allowed for fair and reasonable prices to be paid throughout the five years.

With the approach of this newest contract where awards are made based on the CLIN Groups, the U.S. Government was able to rely on competition to continue to pay fair and reasonable prices and further increase the industrial base for demil operations. Increasing the industrial base reduces the risk of a single point of failure and will ideally accelerate the reduction of the demil stockpile.

“I would say for over half of the CLIN groups, we made multiple awards, so we do have competition,” said Kramer. “We also were able to get two new contractors into demil, so some of these awards went to a contractor who has not done conventional ammo demil contracts with ACC-RI before. Additionally, we were able to bring a new small business in.”

Kramer said that the communication has been very well coordinated throughout the requirement with all stakeholders.

“We have very good communication with our customer, which is Product Director Demil out of Picatinny Arsenal, but we also work jointly with Joint Munitions Command,” said Kramer. “Between the three commands, we work together to fulfill the requirements and make sure that everything is staying on schedule as closely as possible.”