Collaboration in Civic Spheres

$44M more in military dough announced for WA firms

by April 8th, 2012

According to a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Defense, two Washington employers can expect a total of up to $44 million more in military contract revenues in coming months. First, the Tacoma division of the French-born international conglomerate Universal Sodexo was awarded a one-year contract extension worth up to $36 million by the Philadelphia-based U.S. Defense Logistics Agency last week. As a result Universal Sodexo Tacoma will continue serving as prime vendor for operations, maintenance and repair for major branches of the U.S. military in South Korea, including the Army, Air Force, Marines, and civilian federal agencies. Sodexo provides building supplies and non-munitions equipment to 85 U.S. military bases in South Korea from a central 24,000 square foot warehouse, emphasizing just-in-time delivery and inventory control, according to a video at this Sodexo page.

The Commander of United States Forces/Korea, General James D. Thurman, says, “Our mission is to defend The Republic of Korea (South Korea) against external aggression and…maintain stability in East Asia. In order to credibly deter aggression and preserve stability, readiness is essential.” However, critic Doug Bandow, writing in Forbes, argues the U.S. presence to defend South Korea is by now unnecessary because South Korea can defend itself.

U.S. spending to maintain peace in Korea has persisted since the U.S.’s involvement in the Korean War in the early 1950s. As part of that ongoing presence, Sodexo in July 2010 won a one-year, up-to-$180 million contract supplying the U.S. bases in South Korea, and the agreement was extended in July, 2011 for up to $24 million more, to the end of March, 2012. A U.S. Defense Department contract summaries database search shows Universal Sodexo’s Tacoma division was previously awarded similar contracts for supplying U.S. military facilities in South Korea of up to $180 million each in 2008 and 2009, and for up to $700 million combined for 2005 and 2006.

Public Data Ferret’s Military Contracting archive

Sodexo was founded in 1966 in Marseilles, France as a food services concern and later acquired companies based in the U.K. and Scandinavia – and in North America, Marriott Management Services – as it grew into a widely diversified global corporation providing infrastructure and equipment, supplies, management consulting and a range of other enterprise and personal services.

The same recent contracts announcement from U.S. DOD about Universal Sodexo Tacoma’s extended agreement to supply the U.S.’s Korean military facilities, also reports that another Washington state firm will get more than $8 million under a separate pact, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Portland, Ore. Knight Construction and Supply in Deer Park, Wash., near Spokane, has been awarded $8,346,444 to restore three gates at Big Cliff Dam in Linn County, Ore. by June of 2014.

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