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Integrity is everything: Facilities and operation support for the military

Kent Jacocks

From emptying classified trash in the Pentagon to providing state-of-the-art security monitoring for America’s most important military installations, private sector contractors are instrumental to securing the nation’s most precious resources -- our sons and daughters.

In a highly diversified and complex age of security, the unique challenges and mission support requirements of federal, state, and local government departments and agencies demand comprehensive, reliable, and cost-effective strategies. More than ever, the U.S. government has relied on a select group of private sector contractors to develop these strategies by operating and securing its facilities -- and protecting the well-being of both military and civilian personnel.

As a matter of national security, facilities and operation support is a proposition that requires an enormous amount of training, expertise, and a highly developed sense of threat awareness. It takes organizations whose leaders have military experience and an eye trained upon the future of emerging security technologies and strategies.

ABM Government Services (ABMGS) has nearly five decades of experience in facilities operation and support. Its clients include multiple departments and divisions within the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of the Treasury, Department of State, Department of Veterans Affairs, GSA, and many more agencies. ABM has active contracts on five continents, including combat zone locations and other “austere” environments.

ABM has found that hiring ex-military personnel is integral to its success. In fact, most of ABM’s leadership team is comprised of veterans with long and extensive track records in the armed services. When you’ve had a career in the military, base operations and security posture become second nature. You have a certain level of threat awareness that the general public simply doesn’t.

Yet the commercial and military worlds are becoming ever more enmeshed every day. Increasingly, the former is beginning to recognize the opportunity to leverage the experience of companies such as ABM. Security and efficient facility operations are tantamount for the private sector as well and they’re applying techniques, strategies and technologies developed at military installations by contractors such as ours.

Day-to-day military base operations support

While the public’s perception of our deployed military is dominated by the image of combat troops, most of the military’s human resources reside predominantly within compounds and military bases. Whether domestic or abroad, these facilities operate very much like small towns. They need operating headquarters, dining facilities, reliable electricity, housing, recreational facilities, plumbing and water supply, properly working vehicles, heating and cooling equipment, and medical facilities and devices -- to name a few. This requires military bases to have significant facilities support including maintenance, repair, operations, construction, engineering, energy services and much more to ensure our men and women in uniform can operate at peak efficiency.

For any military installation, it is imperative that base operations support and mission support services be provided in a world-class manner, allowing our soldiers, Department of Defense (DoD) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) civilians as well as other military staff to focus on the tasks at hand rather than worrying about their facilities infrastructure.

Quite often, the military relies on specialists from the commercial sector to provide these critical facility and operations support functions. These service providers also play an important role assisting in properly securing military bases, making providers experts in the security protocols necessary for any military installation. Additionally, the military relies on its facilities services providers to handle many logistical necessities including:

  • Designing, developing, acquiring and maintaining services, supplies and other materials;
  • Personnel transportation;
  • Construction and renovation;
  • Medical and healthcare support services;
  • Administrative support services;
  • Equipment maintenance and operation;
  • Utilities operation and maintenance; and
  • Selective training.

Securing U.S. military bases

Providing these facility services is a critical job, but not just any provider is eligible to step onto a military base and begin working. The U.S. military requires civilian workers to meet rigorous background checks, while service providers must apply for, be granted and maintain required security clearance levels in the form of a facility security clearance (FCL) in order to work on DoD contracts or with other government agencies.

There are four basic security clearance levels for service companies and their personnel: unclassified, confidential, secret and top secret. Maintaining the highest level of security clearance with the DoD, top-secret facility clearance requires review on a periodic basis. Employees must also be familiar with federal regulations for the protection of classified information, and service providers must employ a security program to comply with the DoD’s extensive requirements.


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