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SAIC continues battle for NIE exercise support

Science Applications International Corp. has squared off against a much smaller company in a battle to support the Army's premier networking and communications exercise.

SAIC filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office after BRTC Federal Solutions won the $51.8 million pact to support the Army’s Network Integration Exercises.

SAIC is arguing that it should have won the contract instead.

The contract is a task order competed under the TACOM Strategic Service Solutions contract, a multiple award vehicle held by SAIC, BRTRC and several others.

Under the task order, BRTRC is to supply services and equipment to support the semi-annual Network Integration Exercises (NIE).

The exercises are run out of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and have been going on since 2011. The exercises evaluate emerging concepts and capabilities.

On their website, the center quotes former Secretary of the Army John McHugh as he describes the value of the two-week exercises, which collect feedback from soldiers and “tries to make sure we’re not just fielding something that look goods but also operationally works well,” McHugh said.

The current exercise runs May 2 through 14 and is looking at two capabilities: a command initiated munitions weapon system known as Spider and an enhancement to the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T).

The Army tries to recreate battlefield conditions during the exercises. The current one is known as NIE 16.2.

The exercises are the centerpiece of the Army’s modernization effort, according to the Army Capabilities Integration Center website.

The evaluations of the technologies are pulling from the command, combat vehicle and dismounted soldier level.

SAIC filed its protest on May 9. A decision is expected by Aug. 17.

BRTRC Federal Solutions is listed as a woman-owned small business in the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business search tool, but since SAIC is obviously not a small business, this task order likely was competed as full and open. SAIC declined to comment.

Because it is a task order, there is limited information about the competition publicly available, which brings me to a mini-rant: shouldn't there be information on this contract? It's worth over $50 million and supports what the Army feels is a centerpiece of its modernization. Yet, there is nothing on FBO.gov or anywhere else that is publicly accessible.

There should be a requirement.

Rant over.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 12, 2016 at 10:33 AM

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