The Red River Army Depot (RRAD, or the Depot), located in Texarkana, Texas, has been operated continuously form 1941. The Depot serves many functions including munitions manufacturing and the rebuilding of wheeled vehicles (trucks) and tracked vehicles (tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other weapons platforms). The facility is spread over a large area and has over a million square feet of storage and production structures. The facility has between 5,000 and 7,000 workers on site on any given day.
To understand the challenges intrinsic in this type of work, you must appreciate that the Government does not always have high expectations for safety performance of contractors. Some contracts are bid on a "Lowest Cost" premise that typically does not take into account impacts of higher workers compensation premiums or workforce inefficiencies due to injuries. As a contractor, we strive to win work based on published requirements put forth in the Request for Proposal. It was these standard practices in proposing work, and contracting that allowed URS to accept a contract to provide skilled labor to the Red River Army Depot for vehicle repairs and rebuilding (reset) where very little intrinsic or exigent safety performance expectations were established.
To meet the increased vehicle wear and tear, as well as combat and training damage that resulted from the increased use of vehicles due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army established contracts to provide qualified personnel to supplement the approximately 5,000 US Government civil service workers at the Depot. The use of contractors for labor is done to control costs, but it also provides a temporary workforce that can serve as a recruiting base for positions that come open at the Depot.