FEMA preparing “National Responder Support Camps” eerily similar to KBR’s “National Quick Response Team”
By End the Lie
On February 24, 2012 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) posted the final draft solicitation for what they are calling a National Responder Support Camp (NRSC).
The announcement was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website and boasts a great deal of similarity to a solicitation put out by KBR, Inc. on November 16, 2011.
While neither one of these solicitations are sinister when considered in isolation – as horrific natural disasters are an unfortunate fact of life – when one thinks about the historical precedents at work and the possibilities for how these camps could be used, it gets a little less hunky-dory.
Furthermore, we must consider the fact that the solicitation actually puts some harsh restrictions on what the contractors are allowed to say about the contract and the fact that the potential scenarios outlined in the solicitation both put the camps on military bases.
Let us not forget about the plans for mass-migration or the previous contracts from Homeland Security (the FEMA parent agency) for detention centers in the United States, which just happen to also have been given to KBR. This is regularly done under the guise of creating detention centers for “temporary immigration” and other possibilities (either real or contrived) which could result in a national emergency.
Under section C.2.1 we read, “All press releases or announcements about agency programs, projects, and contract awards must be cleared by the Program Office as authorized by the CO, working in conjunction with the Office of External Affairs. Under no circumstances shall the Contractor, or anyone acting on behalf of the Contractor, refer to the supplies, services, or equipment furnished pursuant to the provisions of this contract in any publicity news release or commercial advertising, or communicates with any media without first obtaining explicit written consent to do so from the Program Office and the CO.”
The second paragraph under this section seems much more reasonable, given that it deals with making sure companies do not give the impression in commercial advertisements that their products or services are “endorsed or preferred by the Federal Government or [are] considered by the Government to be superior to other products or services.”
The problem I see with the first paragraph is the restriction on even referring to the “the supplies, services, or equipment furnished pursuant to the provisions of this contract” even if it was just communicated with the media.
Why the secrecy if this is just a benevolent project to house people in response to a natural disaster? Wouldn’t they encourage people going out and publicizing these wonderful projects FEMA is engaged in given their horrific track record when it comes to responding to natural disasters?
KBR’s document (which was incidentally released immediately after S.1867, the final Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, was introduced) was dealing with the establishment of what they called National Quick Response Teams for their current and future contracts with FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
It appears that KBR’s Quick Response Teams are not enough for FEMA when it comes to their projections of massive numbers of “displaced citizens,” thus the need for additional contracts.
Like the KBR solicitation, FEMA’s solicitation focuses on making Responder Support Centers (RSCs) operation in an extremely short period of time.
Section C.2.0 of the solicitation says, “The Contractor shall be capable of establishing and maintaining a RSC within disaster-impacted areas within 72 hours of task order award.”
It is specified that the capacity of the RSC will be no less than 301 and no more than 2,000 RSC occupants, although it is said that the contractor should have early phasing capabilities.
This means that if requested, the contractor will have to provide partial support for the RSC which they classify as, “sleeping, feeding, i.e. commercial ready to eat meals, medical and sanitation” within 36 hours for just 100 people, likely staff who are preparing the camp.
The contractor has to provide the staff to set-up, operate and manage the camp and “have sufficient equipment readily available for rapid deployment as well as preventive maintenance programs to ensure optimum equipment readiness levels at all times.”
However, one thing it appears that the contractor is not held responsible for is security. Indeed in section C.2.2 it is specifically said that “RSC Security will be provided by the Government” and “The Government reserves the right to provide any other equipment or services to support Camp operations.”
There is also a focus on fencing and barricades “to ensure the health and safety of occupants” which still meet “any applicable FEMA security requirements as defined by the Joint Field Office (JFO) Security Officer.”
It appears that these camps are not meant to be used for a short period of time as within three days after the setup of the camp it is required that the contractor provide a “Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR)” facility with television, internet access, charging stations, reading materials and games, along with refrigerators and microwaves.
However, the MWR is only required for 10% of the total occupancy, which makes me think it might only be provided for workers.
The security situation in these camps is obviously quite tight with photo identification cards to be mandatory to access lodging, RSC facilities, meals and laundry services.
It is also written on page 80 of the PDF that a fence or barricade 6 feet tall must be provided to surround the Responder Support Camp.
There are Occupant Identification Cards which “will be clearly distinctive from other categories of identification cards” and “Non-Occupant Identification cards will also be provided to authorized, non-occupant RSC visitors and will allow these authorized visitors access to the RSC dining and laundry on a self-pay for services basis.”
Employees of the contractor and any sub-contractors are required to “have identifiable markings on their outer clothing displayed at all times. Contractor Identification badges shall display their name and photograph identifying they are employees of the Contractor which shall be visible at all times. These ID badges will be clearly distinctive from other categories of ID badges stating “Under Contract to FEMA”. FEMA Security will have a badge machine at the RSC to issue badges to contractor personnel that have background checks and fingerprints completed on file.”
Interestingly, contractor workers are even required to have badges when they are performing work on the camp prior to the camp site even being fully accepted.
Contractors are also required to send two individuals to participate in a FEMA-sponsored training conference every year to be no longer than four days.
The contracts are a year long and may continue up to five years total if all of the four one-year options are exercised by FEMA.
All of this is to be performed in the Continental United States (CONUS) and the Task Orders themselves will specifically designate the locations where services will be provided by contractors.
There are some guides for wage determination rates included with the information. These include rates for “Montgomery, Alabama to be Used for Scenario I” and for “Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio to be Used for Scenario II.”
Attachments two and three both outline what Scenario I and II consist of with Scenario I being located on the FEMA leased portion of Craig Field (by Craig Air Force Base) and Scenario II in Wright Patterson Air Force Base, OH, Area B.
They even provide some crude templates for Responder Support Camp ID cards including a red temporary ID card and a blue occupant ID card for the actual RSC occupants.
As I said before, if this was evaluated on its own, it would not seem at all suspicious or sinister.
However, when one considers the fact that the NDAA – which authorizes the indefinite detention of American citizens without charge or trial, among other horrors – comes into effect in March and there is constant fear mongering surrounding a terrorist attack on the United States (see here, here and here for a sliver of the evidence), a different picture emerges.
We must also consider the great deal of economic trouble which has befallen many Americans and the nationwide discontent with how we are being treated as evidenced by movements like the Occupy movement and others.
If such widespread civil unrest was to erupt again on a larger scale or under different conditions, there very well might be an even harsher reaction from the government, especially considering that the Department of Defense actually once officially considered protesting a low-level act of terrorism.
Yet we must also consider the fact that this appears to actually be nothing new, and is indeed a kind of renewal, at least that is the impression one gets from FEMA’s response to questions as seen in this document.
Back in December of last year I asked, “With all of the pieces in place, when will the hammer drop?”
Thankfully, the hammer hasn’t dropped since then but unfortunately the pieces have only continued to be added to and reinforced.
As always, I hope that the hammer will never drop and I’ll look like an idiot for even bringing these things up. There is truly nothing I wish more than to be proven wrong and shown that our government is not the hopelessly corrupt and criminal organization that they show themselves to be on a daily basis.
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