contractor unloads supplies destined for a military
base camp in Iraq.
In the May–June issue of Army Logistician,
I provided an overview of the Logistics Civil Augmentation
and its goals and enablers. In this article, I will discuss
critical operational planning and execution processes that
facilitate effective implementation of the program and present
information that I believe will help bridge the information
gap that exists in current operational-level LOGCAP doctrine.
It should go without saying that developing the concept of support, internal
processes, and procedures for a contingency operation is an inherent responsibility
of the theater or Army service component command (ASCC) planner. However, planners
do not always examine carefully the implications of relying on contractors for
support. Whether because of simulation training, during which controllers can
use computer technology to move, or “magic,” unrealistic volumes
of units and supplies to support a scenario, or a reluctance to train with warfighting
scenarios that involve ambiguous contractor capabilities, the planners have often “waved
the magic wand,” indicating that LOGCAP would “handle it.” In
doing this, they failed to address fully the responsibilities of supported units
and the intricacies involved in replacing organic military capabilities with
a third-party contractor.
Preplanning for LOGCAP support begins with the theater joint planning group and,
later, the ASCC or combined joint force land component commander (CJFLCC). It
involves all staff elements, not just the J–4, and it is a requirements-driven
process. These staff elements analyze the mission throughout all phases of the
operation and identify engineering and logistics shortfalls that cannot be met
with organic forces, existing contracts, or host nation assets.
According to Field Manual 100–10–2, Contracting Support on the Battlefield,
the theater joint contracting cell or the Coalition Forces Land Component Command’s
(CFLCC’s) principal assistant responsible for contracting (specified in
the contracting support plan), determines which contracting vehicle will best
mitigate the identified logistics and engineering shortfalls. His options may
include contingency contracting, host nation contracts, the Army Corps of Engineers,
or LOGCAP. All contract requirements, including those of the LOGCAP contract,
must be approved by a combined or joint acquisition review board (C/JARB).
Although it is an Army program, LOGCAP provided support to all of the services,
their coalition partners, and other Government agencies during Operations Enduring
Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Because LOGCAP is so widely employed, the combatant
commander (COCOM) should consider including a subannex on LOGCAP in the logistics
annex to the operation plan to specify the contractor’s priority of effort
so that LOGCAP services provided to other branches of the military, coalition
partners, and other Government agencies do not conflict with each other. For
LOGCAP, the COCOM also should allocate military force protection assets as required.
Under the current contract, the military forces using LOGCAP services are required
to provide force protection.
Commanders must provide the LOGCAP contractor with sufficient funds to begin
operations. They also must monitor the execution of the contract to make sure
the funding remains adequate. Authorizing funding and tracking expenditures are
the supported unit’s responsibilities, not Team LOGCAP’s. [Team LOGCAP
consists of the Directorate of LOGCAP Operations, the LOGCAP Support Unit (LSU),
the Procurement Contracting Officer (PCO), and additional Department of Defense
(DOD) and Department of the Army (DA) personnel from the Defense Contract Management
Agency (DCMA) and the Army Corps of Engineers.]
In contingency operations, LOGCAP is funded with Operations and Maintenance,
Army (OMA), funds. Because of the magnitude of current LOGCAP support to U.S.
forces, the Office of Management and Budget is funding LOGCAP efforts on an incremental
basis. To remain in compliance with the Antideficiency Act, the Government can
commit only to work for which it has obligated funds. Therefore, incremental
funding at the start of a LOGCAP-supported operation restricts the contractor’s
ability to mobilize personnel, equipment, and supplies and provide rapid support
to warfighters. For example, if a statement of work (SOW) is funded at only 20
percent of the expected cost, the contractor can purchase only 20 percent of
the necessary supplies and hire less than 20 percent of the personnel needed
to execute the contract. Incremental funding limits the contractor’s ability
to make economic purchases of equipment and supplies or make long-term commitments
to potential contractor personnel. When the LOGCAP prime contractor is tasked
by an SOW to perform a service, he generally subcontracts that service. The bottom
line is that the contractor cannot subcontract or procure equipment without adequate
funding. Contractors are in business to make a profit or at least break even;
legally, the Government cannot ask a contractor to operate “at risk” by
hiring personnel, procuring equipment, or performing services that are not funded.
An SOW that is funded to at least 50 percent of the estimated cost allows the
contractor to hire and train the required personnel immediately, procure all
materials and equipment, and transport them to the job site. This maximizes economies
of effort and scale, so the contractor reaches full performance sooner at a lower
overall cost to the Government.
Theater/ASCC LOGCAP Tasks
To standardize implementation processes in his theater of operations, the COCOM
develops the theater standing operating procedure (SOP) for using LOGCAP. The
• Determine the optimal structural framework, or architecture, for implementing
LOGCAP successfully in theater and articulate the decisions to the subordinate
commands. Getting this right up front sets the stage for success. (This step
was skipped in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.)
• Decide if SOWs will be structured by function, location, or combined
joint task force (CJTF).
• Reinforce the requirement for acquisition review boards, such as the
C/JARB, facilities boards, and integrated staff fusion planning cells—especially
as new operational requirements are added.
• Identify approval authorities for the SOW and rough order of magnitude
(ROM); the latter is the contractor’s ceiling price for costs that he will
incur while performing work on an unpriced contractual action.
• Outline processes for identifying and validating the requirements of
• Establish a budget ceiling and funding processes to track the expenditure
of funds and replenish funds as required.
• Establish priorities in the operation plan and issue fragmentary orders
prioritizing contractor efforts when LOGCAP supports multiple services, coalition
partners, DOD, and other Federal agencies as it has done in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Based on the operation plan and fragmentary orders, DCMA administrative contracting
officers will direct contractor priority of efforts.
• Establish “lanes of operation” for organic engineer units,
service civil engineers (the Army Corps of Engineers), and service augmentation
programs (such as the Air Force Contract Augmentation Program or LOGCAP) to reduce
overlap, duplication of efforts, and competition for limited resources, all of
which can increase operational costs.
• Determine the desired end state of LOGCAP support. This will facilitate
a speedy transition to a theater sustainment contract with stable requirements
that are managed by the CFLCC’s principal assistant responsible for contracting.
• Determine Team LOGCAP staffing levels and locations, and submit a request
for forces for the LSU and DCMA elements or direct the Army Materiel Command
Logistics Support Element Forward to call LSU elements forward as required.
• Establish theater criteria for requesting and using LOGCAP. Create LOGCAP
services templates and determine criteria and standards of service for base camps
supported by LOGCAP. Planners should answer the following questions: Who will
receive LOGCAP services? Will every forward operating base receive the full menu
of LOGCAP services, or will those services be available only to enduring bases
with a specified population threshold? What criteria determine if LOGCAP will
be used at each base camp? The services templates should be similar to U.S. Central
Command’s “Sandbook” or U.S. European Command’s “Red
Book,” except they should go a step further and specify LOGCAP support
criteria and standards of service in order to standardize usage criteria throughout
the command for all LOGCAP operations. “Mission creep” is sure to
occur without such criteria. Commanders naturally want to increase the level
of service and reduce the criteria for receiving support to improve the soldiers’ quality
of life. This will result in contract turbulence and additional changes to the
SOW, which will delay definitizing the contract and require an increase in the
theater’s projected LOGCAP funding ceiling.
In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the CFLCC created its SOWs by function and the Multinational
Force-Iraq (MNF–I) by combined joint task force (CJTF). The SOWs developed
to support the CJTF contained better developed and more detailed standardized
criteria and set standards of service support. These procedures were more efficient
and better defined the central management process. Therefore, even though MNF–I
supports 15 times more soldiers at more locations than any previous LOGCAP SOW,
there have been fewer changes to its SOW. This may lead to definitizing the LOGCAP
contract within 180 days, as required by Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations
(DFAR), and allow the commander to transition to a sustainment contract more
Pre- and Postaward Tasks
The ASCC or JFLCC first must determine that a requirement to use LOGCAP exists
and obtain approval to use the program from the DA G–4. Then, based on
the theater LOGCAP SOP and theater contracting support plan, supported units
in the communications zone, CJTF, or base camp, with assistance from the LSU,
are responsible for these pre- and postaward tasks—
• Integrating the LOGCAP contractor into the planning process early to
identify contractor capabilities and required lead times. However, the contractor
should not be involved in determining requirements. This is a conflict of interest
and is prohibited by regulation. The contractor should be involved only in identifying
what it can provide and when it can provide it.
• Identifying and articulating requirements and obtaining C/JARB approval.
• Writing the SOW. LSU officers have template SOWs that are available on
• Preparing an independent cost estimate.
• Requesting a ROM and the contractor’s technical execution plan
(TEP) through LSU and LOGCAP representatives.
• Reviewing and approving the contractor’s ROM and TEP for adequacy,
completeness, and acceptability.
• Requesting a notice to proceed (NTP) through the LSU and Directorate
of LOGCAP Operations from the PCO.
• Identifying, validating, and writing changes to the SOW.
• Identifying a single point of contact through which LOGCAP requirements
will flow to Team LOGCAP.
Supported units in the communications zone, joint task force, or base camp, with
assistance from DCMA, are responsible for these postaward tasks—
• Attending DCMA start-work meeting.
• Nominating personnel to DCMA to serve as contracting officer’s
technical representatives (COTRs) to monitor local contractor execution of the
contract. A COTR should be assigned at every location and function where the
contract is implemented or interfaces with a military unit or other contract
entity, such as a trailer transfer point, food distribution point, or dining
facility. DCMA must train these personnel and formally delegate their duties.
A COTR provides contractor performance data, execution status, and operational
updates to both DCMA and the supported unit’s chain of command for input
to the award fee board and for operational updates.
• Providing lessons learned and observations to Team LOGCAP.
LOGCAP Planning Considerations
In implementing the LOGCAP (or any contract), commanders must balance the desired
requirements of quality, speed, and cost of the services provided. In contingency
contracting, it is unrealistic to expect to receive more than two of these
desired characteristics. In other words, if a needed service has to be good
and fast, it will not be cheap. If a service is needed quickly and at a low
cost, it is unlikely that it will be good. If a low-cost, quality service is
sought, it is not likely to be fast. The bottom line is that preplanning is
critical to receiving quality, timely services at a reasonable cost.
Backward planning should factor in the time needed for the contractor to ramp
up to perform services. (Backward planning means that milestones are laid out
backward beginning with the projected startup date.) Since LOGCAP is not a standby
service, the contractor must open subcontracts to competitive bidding, hire and
train personnel, lease or buy and transport equipment and materials into the
region or theater, and transport the equipment and materials to the site once
a task order is issued. Recent experience indicates that, depending on the complexity
and scope of the requirement, it may take up to 180 days for the contractor to
ramp up to full performance. The LOGCAP contract identifies these specific response
• Receive and support up to 1,500 personnel a day within 15 days of an
• Receive 3,000 personnel a day and bed down 25,000 within NTP+30.
• Bed down 50,000 personnel within NTP+180.
The ability of LOGCAP to reach full performance depends entirely on the full
performance requirement, its complexity and scope, and the conditions under which
it is executed. Until the contractor is at full performance, the military must
be capable of providing services using organic assets. The contractor’s
ability to reach full performance is delayed if commanders shift priorities or
change requirements or if Government-provided contractor security is not available.
These delays are considered to be Government delays, not contractor delays.
Although the LOGCAP contractor can use commercial resources to transport equipment
and personnel to the theater and inside the communications zone, contractor onward
movement and intratheater movement must be integrated into the intratheater movement
plan. As they develop movement plans, commanders must provide adequate force
protection for contractor-operated convoys moving forward of the communications
zone. Contractors also may need to move personnel and emergency equipment throughout
the battlespace on military fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. If contractor operations
are vital to the commander’s support, the commander should prioritize contractor
movements and allocate force protection assets for safe movement within the battlespace.
Contractors are civilians accompanying the force. The farther forward into the
theater or battlespace they are employed, the more military support they require.
The military must integrate contractor requirements for force protection, bed
down, life support, and emergency medical support into planning and execution
processes. Field Manual 3–100.21, Contractors on the Battlefield, and Army
Regulation 715–9, Contractors Accompanying the Force, offer detailed information
on civilians accompanying the force.
Before writing an SOW, commanders must determine what equipment the Government
will furnish. Requests to transfer unit equipment to the contractor permanently
must be approved by the DA G–4, and the provisions of DFAR 45 should be
Transferring Government equipment to the contractor in theater saves time and
accelerates contractor progress toward full performance. It also reduces contract
costs and lowers the contractor award fee. However, the Army then must replace
unit equipment to backfill Government-furnished equipment. This requires the
Army to acquire previously unforecasted procurement funding.
Some contractor commercial equipment leases or purchases require a long lead
time, regardless of where the equipment is procured. Some equipment, such as
fire engines, large fleets of line-haul and fuel trucks, or rough-terrain cargo
handlers, requires up to a year for delivery. Indeed, such vehicles simply may
not be available through commercial sources to meet short military timelines.
Individual force protection equipment for contractor operations, such as integrated
body armor and ballistic head protection specific to the operation, also may
not be available in sufficient commercial quantities. If the Government does
not provide this equipment and commercial assets are not available, this shortage
may limit the contractor’s ability to mobilize rapidly and execute operations
forward of the communications zone.
Converting Requirements to Contract Language
Although identifying and planning for requirements are critical, translating
those requirements and articulating them clearly in an SOW are equally important.
Supported units are responsible for writing the SOW, but too few logistics planners
have the background or training to do the job. What is doctrine or intuitive
to a military unit must be articulated in an SOW so that a civilian contractor
can execute the contract. LSU personnel can assist the supported unit with this
The first step in writing an SOW is to conduct a mission analysis. After support
requirements are identified, the mission analysis and concept of support should
specify critical performance factors and performance metrics and identify other
military units or existing contracts that must interface with the contractor
in order to perform the mission. This analysis should attempt not only to envision
the requirement as it currently exists but also to forecast what the requirements
will be for the service in a year or at a specified end state. Such forecasting
eliminates the need to change SOW requirements every 2 weeks in order to accommodate
new requirements that were not anticipated. With fewer changes, the PCO can definitize
the contingency contract sooner. As a result, transition to a theater sustainment
contract may be quicker.
The mission analysis and concept of LOGCAP support should be integrated into
the logistics annex to the operation plan. Validated changes in requirements
should be sent to supported units on fragmentary orders. A copy of the concept
of support also should be forwarded to Team LOGCAP. The concept of support informs
the current and future DCMA representatives of the commander’s intent to
assist them in interpreting the contract and should be archived as a part of
the contract audit trail.
An SOW should contain performance-based language, not requirements-based language.
Performance-based contract language takes into account the knowledge base and
experience of the contractor. It assumes that the contractor understands how
to do a certain task and that Army regulations, command SOPs, and other guidance
provide sufficient details about the requirements. Performance-based language
gives the contractor flexibility to determine the best and least expensive way
to execute the mission. The SOW is easier to write using performance-based language,
and this expedites contract implementation.
According to the November 2003 LSU Liaison Guide—
LSU officers have a database of SOW templates and can advise
the commander on translating the requirements and articulating
them in an SOW.
The PCO also requires the supported COCOM, CFLCC, JTF, or division to submit
an Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE) with the SOW before requesting
the contractor’s ROM. The IGCE details the supported unit’s estimate
of the costs the contractor is expected to incur while performing the work.
The PCO uses the IGCE to determine a reasonable cost for the products and services
required by the supported unit. It is not a legally binding document, but it
and may not be released to the contractor.
The Government uses the contractor’s ROM to determine the amount of money
that will be set aside in the budget for use against the SOW and the portion
that will be provided to the contractor on a Military Interdepartmental Purchase
Request for startup. Like the IGCE, the ROM is proprietary to the LOGCAP contractor
and the Government and is not releasable to outside parties.
The supported unit is responsible for reviewing the ROM for completeness and
acceptability. When the ROM is deemed acceptable, the designated authority forwards
a letter of acceptance through the LSU and the Directorate of LOGCAP Operations
to the PCO. The PCO issues an NTP after the command accepts the ROM and funds
The process for approving LOGCAP requirements and changing or updating SOWs in
theater is complex, necessarily bureaucratic, and time consuming. Planners should
ensure they allow enough time for processing requirements and legal reviews in
their backward planning timeline.
The U.S. military is relying increasingly on contractors who operate in the battlespace.
Operational planners must update their processes to reflect this reality. All
staff elements, not just the logisticians, must integrate contracting considerations
and ramifications into their planning processes.
LOGCAP is a force multiplier whose capabilities are maximized when operational
planners conduct integrated staff preoperational planning, establish theater
SOPs and criteria for requesting and using LOGCAP, create templates for LOGCAP
services, and determine criteria and standards of service for base camps supported
by LOGCAP. It is essential that commanders ensure that supported units are involved
in evaluation and execution of LOGCAP operations in their areas of operations.
Colonel Karen E. LeDoux is a student at the Army War College. She was the
Commander of the LOGCAP Support Unit (Forward) in the Army Materiel Command Logistics
Element (AMC LSE) Forward-Southwest Asia with the Coalition Forces Land Component
Command and the AMC LSE Iraq supporting Combined Joint Task Force 7. She is a
graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army Logistics
Management College’s Associate Logistics Executive Development Course,
Joint Course on Logistics, and Multinational Logistics Course.
The author would like to thank Major Jeanine Cunliffe, S–2/3 of the LOGCAP
Support Unit and LOGCAP Support Officer in the Multinational Division-Central
South, and Major Karl “Rudy” Schelly, LOGCAP Operations Officer in
Combined Joint Task Force 7, for their advice and assistance in the preparation
of this article.