January 25, 2013
$475M Contract To Assist Special Forces With Stress
By Howard Altman
TAMPA — Booz Allen Hamilton, a major military contractor with offices in Tampa, has won a contract worth up to nearly half a billion dollars for a groundbreaking program to help special operations forces and their families deal with the unusual stresses they face.
The one-year contract has four annual options for renewal, bringing its potential value to $475 million.
The Department of Defense announced the award late Wednesday. It will be coordinated from Tampa, through the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base.
Socom personnel number about 57,000 from across the service branches and its specially trained fighters, including Navy SEALs, often are sent on the military’s most dangerous assignments.
The new contract will help develop and put into action a “holistic” approach to pressures faced by special operations forces and their families after 11 years of sustained combat operations, Socom spokesman Ken McGraw told The Tampa Tribune in October.
The request for proposals was issued just before the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, the nation’s longest military conflict. More than 2,100 U.S. service members have died and nearly have been 18,000 wounded in the conflict.
The new plan is to create teams of human performance and behavioral health experts at special operations centers around the world.
Booz Allen Hamilton must provide a wide range of health professionals, including psychologists, dieticians, social workers, family support coordinators, family life assistants, nurse case managers, physical therapists, strength and conditioning specialists and athletic trainers.
The health professionals, according to the contract, will offer services including strength and conditioning programs, rehabilitation for those with performance-related injuries, and individual, group and family counseling.
It’s all aimed at helping special operations forces resist the stresses of combat and deployment and at improving the well-being of them and their families.