New Mexico Tech’s Investment in Realistic Training Leads to Protection Contract Support

by: Matthew Potter
March 14, 2011

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, IT, logistics, New Mexico, Services, States, training | RSS 2.0

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) invested in developing a training site based on a whole town to be used by first responders and security personnel. In 2004 the school purchased the whole town of Playas, NM from Phelps Dodge Corporation who had built it to support their operations in the state. The school has then developed it into a realistic, full scale training site.

Now the facility will be a beneficiary of the Department of State’s Worldwide Protective Services Program. The WPS is a contract that allows the DOS to buy necessary security services for its operations across the world. In October eight different companies were given base contracts worth about $5,000.00 but as they get tasks their value will increase dramatically. The total value of the contract if all options and work is exercised is about $10 billion.

One of the winners, Aegis Defense Services LLC, has then contracted with New Mexico Tech to begin using their Playas site for training. That contract could be worth up to $27 million. Aegis is an U.K. based company that provides training and security operations across the world although they have a heavy presence in the Middle East.

The U.S. military has invested heavily in realistic training at their sites which has included the development of entire villages populated by simulated Iraqis and Afghans. This helps their troops prepare for their deployment to the combat mission areas. Now with the private creation of sites like Playas companies who perform security, rescue and EOD missions may receive similar training.

The contract is also a good illustration as to how public and private universities play a much bigger role then just conducting research for the Defense Department but also have their own corporate interests and capabilities.

Photo from The U.S. Army flickr photostream.

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