BaseOps program supports Big Red One

Huntsville Center Public Affairs
Published Sept. 19, 2022
Soldiers wash a tank at a Fort Riley wash rack.

Soldiers wash an M1 Abrams tank at Fort Riley, Kansas’ Installation Vehicle Wash Facility, a tactical vehicle wash and treatment system, Sept. 15. Under a U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center’s Base Operations program contract, Skookum Contract Services maintains the IVWF daily use schedule, coordinates drive ins and briefs units on wash facility usage requirements.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center project development team stepped up their game in June to quickly award a $78 million contract to prevent a gap in service that would have been detrimental to the more than 30,000 Soldiers, family and Army civilians living and working at Fort Riley, Kansas.

The contract calls for the preservation and maintenance of systems such as elevators, lifts, hoists, cranes, generators, air compressors, pumps and mass notification and fire suppression systems.

The Huntsville Center Facilities Division’s Base Operations (BaseOps) program PDT’s challenge was getting the current contract awarded before the former contract expired, said Darren Mulford, Huntsville Center BaseOps program manager.

“It was important to prevent a gap in service that would have been detrimental to Fort Riley's mission.  However, we (PDT) pulled together, quickly answered questions, and resolved issues,” Mulford said. 

He said the Huntsville Center contracting Pre-Award team was very proactive and communicated with stakeholders throughout the whole process, resulting in reduced review times and the contract being awarded 20 days ahead of schedule.

Huntsville Center’s BaseOps program provides a full spectrum of installation operations support using contracted manpower. The BaseOps program consists of executing defined services structured around preventive and corrective maintenance. The objective is to preserve and maintain systems in such a condition that they may be effectively used for their designated functional purpose.

Preventive maintenance activities can be tailored based on the customer’s operational needs and budgetary constraints. Customers also may fund corrective maintenance incrementally using current year appropriations. This creates a budget friendly process for customers to pay for maintenance as it is needed and/or as additional funds become available.



David Klahn, BaseOps Program Engineer, said the work at Fort Riley includes normal, recurring maintenance activities designed to keep equipment in good operating condition.

Klahn said the contractor, Skookum Contract Services, is very familiar with Fort Riley requirements.

He said their ability to provide corrective maintenance, and sustainment, restoration and modernization services, such as replacing or repairing sidewalks, stairs, roofs, doors, windows and even remediating water damage to facilities, are vital to the success of the Fort Riley mission.

“These services are typically corrective in nature and required when an item has failed or worn out to bring it back to working order. Because of the nature of our contract, SRM services are limited to non-complex projects that do not require design or other engineering services,” Klahn said.

He said the contractor also provides monthly preventive and corrective maintenance in 73 barracks buildings as a firm-fixed price line item.

“Due to this support on our previous contract, Fort Riley was the only installation impacted by the deep freeze last February that didn't need to house Soldiers in hotels,” Klahn said.

The barracks maintenance support provided by Skookum, Klahn said, provided rapid response to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) issues allowing for repair or replacement without having to relocate Soldiers from their barracks.

Another highlight of the BaseOps contract is the customer support the contractor provides at the Installation Vehicle Wash Facility, a tactical vehicle wash and treatment lagoon system.

“The contractor maintains the IVWF daily use schedule, coordinates drive ins and briefs units on wash facility usage requirements,” he said.

However, Klahn said more importantly, the contract calls for environmental stewardship.

“To protect the environment, our contractor operates the IVWF Sedimentation Basin to capture sediment and POL (petroleum, oil, lubricant) removed from tactical vehicles during washing activities,” Klahn said.

“They also operate the IVWF, old wash rack reservoir, and treatment lagoons in compliance with Fort Riley's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit as a closed system, meaning no water is released into the environment.”

Fort Riley is home to Soldiers and families of the 1st Infantry Division known as "The Big Red One.”  There are approximately 15,000 active-duty service members assigned to Fort Riley with more than 18,000 family members, 29,000 veterans and retirees and 5,600 civilian employees living and working at the post.