By Heidi Bunch
At the March 20 board of county commissioner meeting, Mitch Stevenson, LTG, US Army (Retired) gave a presentation regarding Leidos.
He explained that Leidos is planning on bidding for the Hawthorne Army Depot contract later in the summer and he would like to introduce the company.
According to their website, Leidos was “formerly known as Science Applications International Corporation. [It] is an American defense, aviation, information technology and biomedical research company headquartered in Reston, Va. that provides scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services.”
“There will be others [bidding], not just us,” he explained. He explained he is proud to be a member of Leidos and their values. The company is made up from over 20 percent veterans with a total workforce of 31,000 – 12,000 of those employees have government clearance.
“We are very invested in Army and Navy work – across the world,” Stevenson told the commissioners. Currently Leidos operates the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) munitions services contract for the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. Here they support the troops with munitions and resupply efforts which also include accountability for and distribution of ammunition. The contract was awarded in March of 2018 with a total contract value of approximately $112 million. The work is being performed in Kuwait.
“We are in Afghanistan training the Afghans to fly MI-17 [a Russian helicopter],” Stevenson continued. “As we were trying to get the Afghan military operating independently of us, we needed to equip them with helicopters. US helicopters are quite expensive…and they also fly a lot higher and with more payload. So the decision was made to equip them with MI-17’s.”
Besides being in the desert of the Middle East, Leidos is also present in the ice of Antarctica where the company runs the National Science Foundation’s base. “We do everything from soup to nuts there.” Stevenson would go on to explain that each time a person enters security in order to fly, they are passing through a Leidos equipment. They can be found anywhere from Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington to outer space with NASA.
“Pretty broad sloth of logistic work we do,” he explained. “We attribute this to our people.”
Leidos has many accolades including being named as one of the “Top 100 Digital Companies of 2018”, “World’s Best Employers 2018” and “Best Employers for Women 2018” by Forbes magazine – each placing in the top 100.
Stevenson answered questions from the audience explaining that the 10-year contract was awarded in 2010 and will expire in 2020.
When asked about community involvement, Stevenson explained that Leidos steps in where needed. “When a company the size of SOC comes in and they are the biggest employer in the community – they hold the biggest stake hold in the community,” Hawthorne Utilities Director Larry Grant said.
County Auditor Kevin Chisum asked Stevenson, “What would be your company’s commitment to furthering the industrial development on the base? We have 1,600 acres that the military has released for industrial development and we get a little push back from the base contractor now on that. My question is what kind of hindrances? What can you tell me as far as your commitment to promoting industrial development which we need here in this community?”
“As you can see here throughout these charts, one of the things we hang our hats on is innovation and we think we are pretty good at it,” Stevenson responded to Chisum.
“Do you anticipate any newer types of employment out there [depot],” Commissioner Hoferer asked. “Or would the employment level?”
“It will get functional with what the Army wants,” he told Hoferer. “Today, Hawthorne is the biggest storage facility that we have across the entire United States. It does the most demil work across the entire United States. I think it is a very valuable resource.”
Stevenson discussed the Armament Retooling Manufacturing Support (ARMS) support at the Hawthorne Army Depot. He mentioned the four companies who are currently using the base and explained that in the contract they would explain that they would like to add to those who use the ARMS project as the base still has room to expand.
Concerns of bringing in outside workforce was a topic of discussion. Stevenson explained they do very little importing of personnel and specialize in taking over these types of contracts from previous contractors.
Stevenson thanked the commissioners and audience for their time and questions.
“See you in a few months,” he concluded.