Tight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Border Fence Construction Timetable Spurs Innovation

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					                                                                                                                            ARMY AL&T


To further my commitment to improving Army contracting                            “We had to reinvent every aspect of the way we deliver proj-
and enhanced collaboration within our community, I am direct-                     ects,” said Todd Smith, Pedestrian Fence Program Manager
ing an Army contracting stand-down day on July 20, 2009.                          (PM), Fort Worth, TX, USACE Engineering and Construction
This training day will be broadcast live from the Pentagon and                    Support Office (ECSO). “There really is no ‘business as usual’
will cover various contracting issues. Complete details of this                   anywhere within the fence program.” That meant putting to the
event will be forthcoming.                                                        test a “virtual teaming” concept. The ECSO office, originally
                                                                                  with 20 employees, would ramp up to 60, then reach out to
I appreciate your continued support and shared experiences                        build a nationwide virtual team of 500-plus USACE employees
and accomplishments with the contracting community through                        and hundreds of contractor personnel.
Army AL&T Magazine.




                                                                                                                                                                 CONTRACTING COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS
                                                                                  The team knew that planning would take up most of the execu-
                                                                                  tion time, leaving a very small construction window at the end.
                    Edward M. Harrington                                          The chosen acquisition method was to establish $3.4 billion
              Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army                              of contract capacity in Multiple Award Task Order Contract
                         (Procurement)                                            (MATOC) pools to maximize competition and prevent any
                                                                                  single point of failure. This strategy pre-qualified contractors.
                                                                                  When the fence laydown was determined and environmen-
                                                                                  tal regulations and real estate acquisition issues were resolved,
Tight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Border Fence                           execution could move quickly.
Construction Timetable Spurs Innovation
                                                                                  ECSO established 15 regional MATOCs consisting of 52
                                                                                  contractors of various business sizes (8(a), HUBZone, and
                   Ginger Gruber and Jim Frisinger                                Unrestricted). The effort was led by a tiger team in the Tulsa,
                                                                                  OK, district and was completed in an astonishing 7 months.
The first large-scale border fence construction project in U.S.                    With 12 months remaining, more than 55 task orders, ranging
history began Oct. 26, 2006, when then-President George W.                        from $1 million to more than $100 million each to build hun-
Bush signed the Secure Fence Act. It required the Department                      dreds of miles of fencing, remained to be executed. To meet the
of Homeland Security (DHS) to construct hundreds of miles                         schedule, a number of innovations had to be implemented.
of pedestrian and vehicle fence, including roads, across the
Southwest border by Dec. 31, 2008. This aggressive timetable                      Instead of USACE districts working independently, ECSO
meant finding ways to accelerate procurement and logistics.                        formed a virtual team from four USACE districts: Los Angeles,
Scheduling would be key.                                                          CA; Albuquerque, NM; Fort Worth; and Galveston, TX. This
                                                                                  programmatic approach leveraged the best contracting talent
The project goal would expand the fence to 670 miles over a                       and formed the heart of the procurement effort. To eliminate
2,000-mile construction zone from the Pacific Ocean to the                         the differences in procurement procedures across districts, the
Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)                          te
				
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