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

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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URS Led Partnership To Manage Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a contract to a partnership, Washington TRU Solutions, led by URS Corporation (URS) to provide management and operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The contract could be worth up to $428.5 million. This is an extension of an existing contract for a further two years.

The WIPP is located near Carlsbad, NM and provides secure storage and disposal of “transuranic radioactive waste”. This is material and waste that is contaminated with isotopes heavier then uranium. The WIPP will process material from the DOE’s cleanup of sites where nuclear weapons were produced as well as conducted research.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeontheedge/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
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US Navy Buys Micro UAV’s

Honeywell was awarded a contract by the US Navy to provide micro, ducted fan Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.  New Mexico Business Weekly reports that the $65 M contract will supply 95 of the systems.  The T-Hawk has already been used in combat situations in Iraq and is a saucer shaped vehicle with the ability to carry video cameras for pin point reconnaissance.  The primary use of UAV like these by the US Military is to provide as close as possible real time intellgence in support of tactical operations.   Read more

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