2022 Q1 REPORT PTS NEWSLETTER
by Jake Frazer | 07 Apr 2022
After last year’s Afghanistan rapid extraction and the continued challenges with COVID, we expected the world to return to normalcy in 2022. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took away this year’s chance at returning to the pre-COVID status quo and has created lasting shifts in the government contracting landscape and the Western world’s foreign policy. These changes will breed new opportunities and challenges for companies seeking to support stabilization and development efforts around the globe.
Russia’s military buildup along its Eastern front and within its ally Belarus culminated with an invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022. The conflict has raged on for nine weeks with no end in sight as peace talks fall short. This historic series of events have reshaped Europe, NATO, and US foreign policy. The war’s outcome will also shape future projects and market trends within the contracting space.
Over five million refugees have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, triggering a crisis across Europe. The influx of resources and attention devoted to Ukraine will likely derail or reshape the “pivot to Asia” as the US and its partners refocus again on Europe. LOGCAP V has swelled with increased activity across Europe as Army units reposition. GSA’s VEMOS, APS, DLITE, USAID, and other programs and agencies have surged to support increased requirements. The mid-and long-term implications of the new reality in Europe are difficult to predict. For the immediate need, contracting will likely focus on supporting lethal and humanitarian aid, while the future need will likely center around reconstruction efforts and substantially increased US and NATO footprint in Eastern Europe.
The US and NATO’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan last August marked a new era in US foreign policy. It drastically altered the contracting landscape as companies deeply embedded in Afghanistan with over two decades of business tied to supporting that mission had to pivot. Publicly the Taliban claimed to be a more progressive government. The Taliban now indicate they will deny access to education for older girls. Degrading practices towards women and local journalists spurred Western governments to halt aid and freeze the Taliban’s overseas accounts. The World Bank paused over $600m in programs. Few countries have formally recognized the Taliban government, and UN donor conferences have fallen far short of requested aid. Governments remain divided on engaging the Taliban-governed country that is so badly in need of assistance. It remains to be seen for the contracting community if and how international companies may be involved in supporting the people of Afghanistan.
Efforts to form a new government have continued to stall as they fail to reach a quorum. Iran-backed coalitions boycotted the vote for a new president. US CENTCOM Commander, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, stated the roughly 2,500 US troops would likely remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future in an advise and assist capacity. The US presence remains through an expressed invitation by the Iraqi government. There is a desire to form a security and cooperation agreement in the long term. Meanwhile, there have been ballistic missile and drone strikes targeting US forces based in Iraq and Syria. These attacks coincide with live exchanges between Iranian proxies and Israeli troops.
Strains of COVID continue to pop up worldwide with high infection and low hospitalization rates. There are hopes that we have now moved from the pandemic to the endemic phase. Private sector groups battle with the Biden administration over imposed vaccine mandates for federal workers and contractors. Travel restrictions have been slowly lifted with mask mandates on planes to be reconsidered come May. Government and public health agencies are now looking at lessons learned from COVID and how to prepare for the next pandemic.
With COVID in retreat, economies growing, and low unemployment, the battle for talent continues. The job landscape experiences the lasting effects of COVID, with companies juggling between back-to-office mandates vs. hybrid vs. home office. In addition, we have seen a sharp increase in compensation for top talent due to inflation and supply/demand dynamics in the GovCon space. Closing out Q1, we believe the post-bonus season talent migration will continue through the summer as pent-up demand for greener pastures is realized.
Amentum completed its acquisition of PAE on February 15th 2022. With the official merger approved and finalized by stockholders, the two companies must now decide how best to integrate PAE. Ongoing discussions will determine which departments shall be carried over and which will be let go due to overlap. It is notable that John Heller, former CEO of PAE, has taken the helm of Amentum along with several senior PAE appointments to the senior leadership team. In other M&A news, Vectrus announced its merger with Vertex on March 7th 2022. The deal reached will value Vertex at $2.1 billion and the combined entity at $3.4 billion. It appears the leadership from Vectrus will lead this larger company with Chuck Prow remaining as CEO.
**LOGCAP V **
PTS holds extensive experience supporting LOGCAP since the Balkans, and we have a broad reach for talent for PM, PMO, and functional leaders across all COCOM’s. Three years since the initial award of LOGCAP V on April 19th 2019, the final transition for task orders is almost complete with Vectrus taking over Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands for the INDOPACOM theater. Meanwhile, KBR has surged with activity in EUCOM initially in response to the Afghan refugees and now with supporting a much larger Army footprint in Eastern Europe.
PTS has supported DoS/OBO talent requirements for years and has cleared leadership and technical talent for all Embassy programs. There have been hints of things finally moving on this program as DoS hosted a site visit at the US Embassy in Iraq. This would seemingly be a precursor to an actual RFP as all potential bidders have now had fair access to the work location. Meanwhile, DoS still has not awarded the Small Business seats on DiPPS, and many are wondering if the bids submitted years ago will still be valid.
PTS boasts a strong pipeline of Cleared AFCAP talent including engineers, logistics, and BOSS. The recompete phase from AFCAP IV to V is complete with over 50 Task Orders competed and awarded under the new generation of the contract. While most of the incumbents retained their programs under likely different economics, there have been a few notable changes with PAE-Pereni PAE winning Qatar engineering task order and IAP/RMS winning DFAC at Al Udied.
PTS holds extensive experience working with the current and NextGen Global Health Supply Chain (GHSC) and other USAID programs. We maintain a wide range of talent stretching across this fragmenting sector. On March 15th, President Biden signed the Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, which will provide $13.6 billion in new funding, including to support all forms of assistance the US government is providing to Ukraine and in the region. About $4 billion of this will fund humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people. USAID’s budget should also increase substantially. This may impact the size and scope of new and existing USAID awards, all of which remain active. Keep an eye on USAID’s Business Forecast for these and other USAID opportunities: Business Forecast | Work With USAID | U.S. Agency for International Development. The Agency continues to make progress on its largest constellation of procurements in its history: NextGen Global Health Supply Chain | U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid.gov) According to the business forecast, USAID intends on making many of these awards by September 30, 2022, despite the delays.
Our founders led one of the multi-commodity TLS contractors with DLA for ten years, so we have extensive reach across the DLA talent base. The acquisition cycle times for the OCONUS Prime Vendor programs continue to be delayed due to extended source selection and subsequent protests. Last year, DLA awarded new MRO contracts in the Pacific region for Japan (Noble) and Korea (PAE), but those awards remain in the Court of Federal Claims. SPV Europe protest was thrown out by GAO, SPV Okinawa negotiations are open, SPV Japan/Singapore/Philippines is current in RFP, SPV Djibouti/UAE continues to be contested, and SPV Korea is in source selection. On the CONUS MRO solicitations, DLA has 8 regions or 16 zones under source selection with expected award dates in Q3 and Q4 of 2022.
PTS has supported multiple primes on AFRICAP, GPOI, and GDRP, resulting in a great pool of niche talent (including French/Portuguese/Arabic speakers). In December, DoS held an Industry Day for a new acquisition program to be called GLOBALCAP, which will likely combine several of these legacy programs. This program is envisioned to include training/mentoring, provision of equipment, construction, and logistics support. This could be up to a 10-year program to support the Bureau of African Affairs, Office of Regional Peace and Security (AF/RPS), and the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Global Programs, and Initiatives (PM/GPI).
The DoS’s Medical Support Services Iraq which supports the US Embassy in Iraq was recently awarded to SOS International (SOSi) after being held for years by Acuity’s Comprehensive Health Services (CHS). This has already gone into protest and would seem to have some grounds given bids were submitted in 2016. Much has changed in Iraq since those days. PTS had deep experience in recruiting medical talent from Chief Medical Officers to Child Welfare counselors.
We are continuing to expand and diversify our capabilities and customers.
**USAID CONSULTING **
PTS is excited to welcome Charles ‘Chuck’ Pope as the Chief International Development Officer. Chuck is a recently retired Foreign Service Officer and senior Contracting and Agreement Officer at the United States Agency for International Development. He brings over 20 years of industry-related experience to Precision Talent Solutions and its customers. With Chuck at the lead, PTS can support customers penetrate USAID with market assessments, building engagement plans, supporting bids, key personnel hires, and advising on ongoing operations.
**NATO / NSPA CONSULTING **
PTS offers customers with support in pursuing contracting opportunities and with operational execution with NSPA/NATO. Jim Shields serves as PTS’s team lead for NATO/NSPA consulting and can support assessment, penetration, and bid development.
**ISOA EUROPE / AFRICA **
PTS will be one of the Presenting Sponsors for the International Stability Operations Association’s European/Africa conference on April 26-28th in Stuttgart, Germany. Our team of 10 Account Executives will be present at the event to meet with candidates and customers. Feel free to connect with them to set up a meeting:
Julie Kmet - Exec BD roles, USAID, International DevelopmentLulora Aliu - Contracts, HR, LOGCAPJoshua Belcher - Logistics, BOSS, AFCAPKenneth Cotton - Engineering & Construction (USACE, NAVFAC, OBO)Andy MacWilliams - Exec BD roles, Security, Special Operations, Intel Community Jason Dunaway - Classified IT Engineering/Infrastructure, ISSM/O
Victor Ames - Exec BD roles, DTRA, Program/Project Managers Martyn Brooks - Security, Operations and HRNevenka Popovic - Program Managers, OperationsWills Hay - Project Managers, IT Cloud and BD
**DOMESTIC US AND EXECUTIVE RECRUITING **
PTS continues to serve as the GovCon leader in talent acquisition for international government contracting programs. Metrics from 2021 highlight a shift towards executive hires for US-based positions. C-Suite/VP/Director level placements accounted for more than 60% of PTS’s workload. These top executives serve in different parts of the GovCon industry, from critical operational roles to business development. In conjunction with our traditional DoD, State, and USAID placements, we continue to support a range of domestic agencies, including HHS, DHS, and DHA.
**ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY **
Technology improves access and efficiency to basic recruiting practices. PTS prides itself on being at the forefront of digital transformation within the field of GovCon talent acquisition. Recent investments made to modernize and further develop our industry-leading platform will come to fruition this summer. These methodical upgrades will deliver increased capacity allowing more opportunities. New technology will allow PTS to shorten response time to our customers’ and better respond to their needs. We will continue our best practices including video interviews, personality assessments, technical scorecards, and references. PTS combines years of industry experience with advanced technology to deliver talent acquisition solutions for our customers.
**PTS DIVERSITY AND VETERANS SUPPORT **
The PTS team is religiously, gender, and ethnically diverse…and we are led by military veterans. As our industry seeks to align with USG goals for diversity and support to our veterans, PTS will offer our clients and candidates focused access to connect women, minorities, and veterans with hiring opportunities. As you are seeking to diversify your team with great talent, PTS will provide specialized access to achieve your goals.
PTS is a strong supporter of the International Stability Operations Association with our Co-Founder, Jake Frazer, serving on the ISOA Board of Directors.
If you are interested in learning more about ISOA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://stability-operations.org/page/Membership
We hope that everyone is off to a safe and prosperous 2022. We welcome the chance to meet with you, whether you are a potential customer or candidate.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com to set up an intro call to discuss possible partnership or you can check out our job portal to see our current openings.