by Madison Ruppert
February 28, 2012
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
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
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
“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,
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
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,
The contractor has to provide the staff to set-up, operate and manage the
“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,
Security will be provided by the Government” and “The Government reserves
the right to provide any other equipment or services to support Camp
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,
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
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
Contractors are also required to send two individuals to participate in a
FEMA-sponsored training conference every year to be no longer than four
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
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 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
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
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