Phi Beta Iota: We learn that the Army Corps of Engineers, which should be focusing on the Mississippi right now, has not one but three offices in Israel; and that it is acting as an agent of the Israeli government in obligating US taxpayer dollars for what is clearly a deeply religious construction, to which DoD is allegedly (and probably) not privy to the details. We do not make this stuff up. Penguin insists that we all acknowledge Brother Pincus’ righteous contribution. So ordered! All hail Walter Pincus. Seriously.
Business Insider, 29 November 2012
These mezuzas, notes the [US Army] Corps, “shall be written in inerasable ink, on . . . uncoated leather parchment” and be handwritten by a scribe “holding a written authorization according to Jewish law.” The writing may be “Ashkenazik or Sepharadik” but “not a mixture” and “must be uniform.”
Also, “The Mezuzahs shall be proof-read by a computer at an authorized institution for Mezuzah inspection, as well as manually proof-read for the form of the letters by a proof-reader authorized by the Chief Rabbinate.” The mezuza shall be supplied with an aluminum housing with holes so it can be connected to the door frame or opening. Finally, “All Mezuzahs for the facility shall be affixed by the Base’s Rabbi or his appointed representative and not by the contractor staff.”
Along with this request is another called 911 Phase 2.
Also in the $100 million range, Pincus finds the “complex facility with site development challenges” requiring services that include “electrical, communication, mechanical/ HVAC [heating, ventilation, air conditioning] and plumbing” requirements telling; and along with the fact that the contractor must posses a U.S. or Israeli Secret Security Clearance, he believes this phase to be a secure command center.
Pulitzer Prize winning, Yale grad, born in 1932 whose worked intelligence and media in D.C. since 1955 closes his piece with these shadowy words.
“The purpose of Site 911 is [un] clear.”
Below the Line: Walter Pincus Fine Print and US Army Solicitation Full Text
Walter Pincus, Fine Print
Washington Post, 28 November 2012
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to supervise construction of a five-story underground facility for an Israel Defense Forces complex, oddly named “Site 911,” at an Israeli Air Force base near Tel Aviv.
Expected to take more than two years to build, at a cost of up to $100 million, the facility is to have classrooms on Level 1, an auditorium on Level 3, a laboratory, shock-resistant doors, protection from nonionizing radiation and very tight security. Clearances will be required for all construction workers, guards will be at the fence and barriers will separate it from the rest of the base.
Only U.S. construction firms are being allowed to bid on the contract and proposals are due Dec. 3, according to the latest Corps of Engineers notice.
Site 911 is the latest in a long history of military construction projects the United States has undertaken for the IDF under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The 1998 Wye River Memorandum between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has led to about $500 million in U.S. construction of military facilities for the Israelis, most of them initially in an undeveloped part of the Negev Desert. It was done to ensure there were bases to which IDF forces stationed in the West Bank could be redeployed.
As recorded in the Corps’ European District magazine, called Engineering in Europe, three bases were built to support 20,000 troops, and eventually the Israeli air force moved into the same area, creating Nevatim air base. A new runway, 2.5 miles long, was built there by the Corps along with about 100 new buildings and 10 miles of roads.
Over the years, the Corps has built underground hangers for Israeli fighter-bombers, facilities for handling nuclear weapons (though Israel does not admit having such weapons), command centers, training bases, intelligence facilities and simulators, according to Corps publications.
Within the past two years the Corps, which has three offices in Israel, completed a $30 million set of hangars at Nevatim, which the magazine describes as a “former small desert outpost that has grown to be one of the largest and most modern air bases in the country.” It has also supervised a $20 million project to build maintenance shops, hangars and headquarters to support Israel’s large Eitan unmanned aerial vehicle.
Office: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Location: USACE District, Wiesbaden
This is a revised Sources Sought Synopsis announcement for information only, to be used for preliminary planning purposes. No proposals are being requested or accepted with this synopsis. This is not a solicitation or a Request for Proposal (RFP) and no contract shall be awarded from this synopsis. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District (EUD) anticipates the issuance of a Request for Proposal the Winter of 2013 and the award of a construction services contract during the Summer of 2013. No reimbursement will be made for any costs associated with providing information in response to this sources sought or any follow up information requests.
The purpose of this synopsis is to gain knowledge of interest, capabilities and qualifications of interested construction firms who have the capabilities to complete and perform a contract of this magnitude, and to address any questions, recommendations, or concerns from Industry.
Description of Services: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District may conduct a competitive procurement for a contractor to provide construction services within Israel. The Government requires a contractor to construct a complex facility with site development challenges. The key disciplines required for this construction services include electrical, communication, mechanical/HVAC, and plumbing. The estimated magnitude of construction is between $25,000,000 and $100,000,000. The maximum contract duration of construction is anticipated to be 900 calendar days from Notice to Proceed. The North American Industrial Classification System Code (NAICS) is 236220.
Foreign Military Sales Requirement: The proposed facilities construction will be administered under Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and United States procurement laws and regulations. The contract will be awarded and paid in U.S. dollars. This procurement is restricted to United States firms only, in accordance with 41 U.S.C 421, 48 C.F.R. Chapter 1, FAR 6.302-4, and DFARS Part 225. Contractors participating in this solicitation must be U.S. firms. Any joint-venture must be with another U.S. firm.
Security Clearance Requirements: A fundamental condition for participation in this tender is that the Offerors must implement and execute all security clearance requirements. The Offerors must possess a US Secret or Israeli Sodi Security Clearance. The Offerors competing in the Phase II Request for Proposal are required to qualify their office and personnel in accordance with the tender Security Clearance Requirements. The Security Clearance Requirements are:
1.) Obtaining a minimum US Secret or Israeli Sodi Security Clearance for the offices and installation of the company, to include either a US facility clearance or an Israeli clearance to store material classified at the Sodi level for facilities in Israel and signing of a security agreement with the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD);
2.) Company management must have either a Israeli Sodi or US Secret clearance;
3.) The Offeror is required to complete and submit the personal security clearance forms to MALAMB (security body appointed by the Israeli MOD) or provide US Secret for US personnel;
4.) Some of the Offeror’s representatives and workers involved in the project will be required to have personal security clearances at the level of US Secret or Israeli Sodi due to their exposure to information at this classification;
5.) An Offeror competing on Phase II must have a US Secret Clearance or an Israeli Sodi clearance. Key personnel and any other persons involved in writing the Offeror’s proposal or management of the project must also meet these criteria;
6.) Prime contractor personnel involved in the project must have either a US Secret clearance or Israeli Sodi clearance through the life of the contract.
The project solicitation will consist of two (2) phases; Phase I – Pre-Qualification of Offerors and Phase II – Requests for Proposals from Pre-Qualified Offerors.
Phase I – Pre-Qualification of Offerors
This announcement and request of pre-qualification submissions constitutes Phase I. This agency will evaluate and rate the pre-qualification submissions based on the procedure and evaluation criteria set forth herein.
Phase II – Requests for Proposals from Pre-Qualified Offerors
Those Offerors determined to be pre-qualified will be issued a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project and invited to submit proposed pricing in Phase II. The RFP will include all specifications and drawings as well as additional contractual requirements which the contractor will review in order to prepare a technical and price proposal.
The anticipated issuance of the formal RFP to Pre-Qualified Offerors is February 2013. The proposal due date for both technical and price proposals is anticipated to be April 2013.
Offeror’s response to this Synopsis shall be limited to five (5) pages and shall include the following information: (Clarifications and or questions shall be submitted in a separate word document and will not count towards the five (5) page limitation)
Offeror’s name, addresses, point of contact, phone number, and e-mail address as well as a declaration of the Offerors interest in proposing on the solicitation when it is issued.
Offerors capability to meet personnel requirements and security requirements.
Offerors capability to perform a contract of this magnitude and complexity (include Offeror’s in-house capability to execute this requirement, comparable work performed within the past five (5) years, a brief description of the project, customer name, timeliness of performance, customer satisfaction, and dollar value of the project). Offerors shall provide at least three (3) examples.
Interested Offerors shall respond to this Sources Sought/Market Survey Synopsis no later than 16:00 3 December 2012 (Central European Time). Those Offerors who responded to the original Sources Sought/Market Survey dated 27 January 2012 and revised Sources Sought/Market Survey dated 20 November 2012 need only reconfirm via e-mail that there are no revisions to their previously submitted document and that they meet all revised requirements included herein. All interested Offerors must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be eligible to receive an award and may call 1-866-606-8220 or visit the website www.sam.gov for more information. The USACE EUD Contracting Office will be the sole point of contact for this action. E-mail responses to the Primary Contracting Point of Contact, Mr. Mike Pearson, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +49 (0)611 9744-2834. The Alternate Contracting Point of Contact is Ms. Rachael Raposa, email@example.com, Tel: +49 (0)611 9744-2600.