The future of LOGCAP projects and the $82 billion ceiling
In 1985, LOGCAP was established primarily to preplan for contingencies and to leverage the existing civilian resources. However, it was not until three years later before it was first used. In support of a United States Third Army mission, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) used LOGCAP to contract for the construction and maintenance of two petroleum pipelines systems in Southwest Asia.
For 28 years now LOGCAP has successfully supported the Army and DoD by augmenting the Commander’s logistics capability with commercial service providers to offset Combat Service Support (CSS) shortfalls. This program has successfully executed rapid, small-scale contingency support to PACOM, AFRICOM, and CENTCOM, and has, additionally, successfully managed and executed multi-billion dollar, major, long-term operations for CENTCOM.
Using contractors instead of organic military assets for support services has come under fire as too expensive mainly due to the infamous LOGCAP III - Task Order 59 awarded to KBR 2001. Yet the economics of this type of contracting, in addition to long-term trends, are in LOGCAP’s favor. A reasoned, dispassionate analysis of the biggest task order which supported 130,000 U.S. ground troops in Iraq from 2001 to around 2013 bears this out. Organic Army support would have been 90 percent more expensive, weighing in at an estimated $78B – the cost of LOGCAP-provided services, a far more modest $41B — the actual price tag for this TO effort.
LOGCAP I (1992 – 1996), Single Award (SA) – Brown and Root (later became part of KBR), Southwest Asia (SWA) Pipeline System, Somalia, Balkans; contract worth $815M
LOGCAP II (1997 – 2001), Single Award (SA) AMC/CECOM – Operator: DynCorp International, East Timor, Philippines, and Columbia; contract worth $42B
LOGCAP III (2002-2011), Single Award (SA) Manager: AMC/ AFSC – Operator: KBR, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Djibouti, Georgia, Uzbekistan; $40B
LOGCAP IV (2010 – Present), Multiple Award (3 performance contractors) — SA Program Manager: AMC/ASC — Contract Manager: ACC-RI – Operators: KBR, Fluor, DynCorp operators – Support: Jacobs, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, UAE; $14.4B
LOGCAP V (FUTURE), Wherever Support for US Military is Needed, $82B (ceiling)
This type of contracting is part of a long-term trend looks to be with us for the foreseeable future. As the Defense Science Board has noted, “The trend is clear that the use of contractors to support military missions on the battlefield has risen over the past 200 years. The extent that contracted support was used in recent conflicts is remarkable… for the majority of the duration of each contingency conflict, the number of contractor personnel was equal to or larger than the deployed military personnel. At one point there were over 160,000 contingency contractor personnel in Iraq.”