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Q: What advice would you give would-be contract partners? A: When considering USSOCOM, it is important to remember that our focus is on the procurement of SOF unique capabilities and equipment. USSOCOM has many different avenues to provide industry with opportunities to participate and support the command, which include our small business office, our Technology and Industry Liaison Office (TILO), our technical experimentation (TE) events, our Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and CRADAs. For small businesses, we recommend you contact the Small Business Office directly at 813-826-9475, christopher.harrington@socom.mil. The Small Business Office is one conduit into the command. Their charter is to ensure small businesses are represented within the command when acquisition strategies are being developed to ensure maximum participation for small businesses, either as a prime contractor or as a subcontractor. The TILO supports the command through interfaces with large and small businesses, educational institutions, and think tanks. To initiate the TILO process, the first step is to submit a capabilities paper via our website (http://www.socom.mil/sordac/pages/default. aspx) under the applicable technology area of interest. This allows our office the ability to capture all contractor-provided information in one central data repository, which is accessible by all USSOCOM personnel throughout the headquarters. Once received, the information will then be reviewed and staffed to the various HQ USSOCOM program executive offices responsible for the development, acquisition, production, and sustainment of material and technology platforms and other HQ personnel that support our special operations forces, to include our science and technology advisor. If there is interest generated from a submission, our office will coordinate a capabilities briefing with company representatives, in accordance with FAR Part 10.001, for the purpose of market research. This review and evaluation process is usually completed in 30 days. We are looking for solutions focused on the special operations forces mission, vice a generic corporate overview. USSOCOM conducts TE events throughout the United States with government, academia and private industry representation. TE provides a unique opportunity for technology developers to interact with the SOF community in a collaborative environment. TE identifies potential Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or greater technology solutions, impacts, limitations, and utilities to meet SOF technical objectives and thrust areas. TE is not a marketing event or trade show, therefore engineers are likely the best representatives. To view the most current Request For Information (RFI), go to FedBizOpps.Gov then search for Keyword/ Solicitation #: “Technical Experimentation” and Agency: “U.S. Special Operations Command”. The USSOCOM SBIR program supports the DoD SBIR program’s overall mission to leverage small business technology innovation for the warfighter, and is focused on providing funding for the development of advanced technology that provides increased capability for the SOF warfighter. The command issues broad agency announcements (BAAs) to provide a general description of USSOCOM’s research areas of interest, general information, evaluation and selection criteria, and proposal/ application preparation instructions. CRADAs are agreements between USSOCOM and a non-federal party to perform collaborative research and development in any area that is consistent with USSOCOM’s mission. They allow us to provide the partner with virtually anything but money to further an agreed upon work plan or technology development effort. This can include access www.SPECOPS-dhp.com

to people, access to technology, access to ranges or test venues, and many other enablers. Q: Are you satisfied with the rate that contract awards are protested and denied (as a reflection that USSOCOM’s contracting processes was handled appropriately)? Within your processes, are there mechanisms in place to mitigate or reduce the likelihood of a protest or, barring that, it being sustained? A: For USSOCOM, the number of protests received is relatively low as compared to the total number of contract awards over the past three fiscal years. Thus, I feel confident that our acquisition and contracting processes are being handled appropriately. However, in that same respect, I feel we can continue to refine our processes and procedures to not only improve upon our denied rate, but also decrease the rate at which contractors file protests. That would be a win-win for everyone since it mitigates costs on both sides and helps to maintain acquisition schedules in order to deliver services or equipment to the SOF operator. I have found that when we communicate with industry early in the solicitation process (i.e. industry conference, draft request for proposal, etc.), industry provides valuable feedback in such areas as performance thresholds and objectives, evaluation criteria and pricing structure.  In addition, I have formalized a process where I and my director of procurement will meet with competitors (selectees and non-selectees) after major competitions to enable them to provide feedback on the process so that we can use that information to continue to improve our competitive processes and ensure a vibrant competitive business market. 

The Farm

Tampa Bay

Critical Design Thinking and Field Testing for Mission Readiness and Joint Coordination Minutes away from Tampa Bay’s Carillon Park Technology corridor, The Farm is a 16-acre secure field research, testing, and training facility for operator-designed technologies. Contact info@sofwolf.org or visit www.sofwolf.org to find out more.

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Special Operations International March 2016  

Special Operations International is the most widely distributed special; operations publication in the world. Coverage includes exclusive in...

Special Operations International March 2016  

Special Operations International is the most widely distributed special; operations publication in the world. Coverage includes exclusive in...

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