Contractor to lay off 60 people at Fort Irwin Army National Training Center

An Orlando, Florida-based contractor is laying off 60 workers at Fort Irwin in less than three weeks after the company turned down a contract for critical functions for US Army National Training Center warzone simulations.

PULAU Corp., a global provider of military “training, logistics and supply chain management” according to its websitetold the California Department of Employment Development this month that it will “permanently terminate all employees working on the Line Sustaining (Training-Company Support Services) contract” in Fort Irwin – 48 workers at 6100 Barstow Road and 12 workers at Bicycle Lake Army Airfield 6201A Westbrook Ave. — “at the close of business on April 16, 2022, or the employee’s last business day for that week.”

The cause of the layoffs, according to the March 15 state filing, is that the company that first hired PULAU as an army training complex contractor in 2016 – CALIBER Systems Inc. ., based in Alexandria, Va. – “informed PULAU that it will not exercise our upcoming option year effective April 17, 2022.”

This month’s filing failed to meet the 60-day warning companies are typically required to give for layoffs of this size under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act. According to documents filed by PULAU on March 15, this “reduced notice period” is due to CALIBER’s short notice that its subcontract work will end next month.

PULAU and CALIBER did not respond to multiple requests for comment. A Fort Irwin spokesperson declined to comment, saying, “You would need to contact the contracting company for comment as they were the ones who awarded this subcontract.”

Twelve of the workers who will be permanently laid off by April 16 are fuel-handling specialists at the Bicycle Lake military airfield site, according to PULAU’s state filing. The rest work at Building 6100 on Barstow Road, including:

  • 24 range maintainers, two of whom are also tankers
  • 9 range operations specialists
  • 3 electronic technicians
  • 3 equipment operators including one holder of the title of main operator
  • 2 electricians
  • 2 generator mechanics
  • 2 heavy equipment mechanics
  • 2 HVAC mechanics
  • 1 production control clerk

Those workers are represented by Teamsters Local 166, according to PULAU’s state filing. The Teamsters chapter acknowledged but did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The contract in question covers various aspects of range operations, which a now-defunct job application from Fort Irwin describes as “a 24-hour, 7-day service for training military” and “the central organization that plans and resolves conflicts. and handles all standard and non-standard range administrative requests.

PULAU’s services to the Army NTC less than 40 miles north of Barstow include “gunfire operations, range/tower support for 22 NTC ranges and maintenance support for military field operations sites (MOUT) and forward operating bases (FOB), ” the company said in a press release some time after its contract work began at Fort Irwin.

CALIBER is the government contractor and appears to have contracted PULAU to perform this work as a subcontractor in late 2016, according to the federally run USASpending.gov.

The website includes information showing that CALIBER started a $26.2 million contract at the end of 2015 at Fort Irwin.

He then gave PULAU a $5.8 million tranche of those funds in November 2016, plus additional payments totaling nearly $870,000 in subsequent years, for range-specific operations that PULAU is now set to complete. close in a few weeks.

Range Sutainment’s work appears to have been transferred to a larger contract that CALIBER has held since 2018. This contract is currently due to expire on April 16. with government bonds of $56 million, but CALIBER has the option to extend it to April 30, 2023, with additional funding of $13 million.

Charlie McGee covers California’s High Desert for The Daily Press, focusing on the town of Barstow and its surrounding communities. He is also a member of the Report for America corps of the GroundTruth Project, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the United States and around the world. McGee can be reached at 760-955-5341 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @bycharliemcgee.



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Richard V. Johnson