Small firm to deliver DOD system

A recently awarded $850 million contract provides the Defense Department

with a new system for tracking military members and dependents, and it also

propels a previously little-known company into the big-dollar spotlight.

Science &Engineering Associates (SEA) Inc. was awarded a five-year,

incrementally funded contract Aug. 31 from the Navy Information Technology

Center, New Orleans. The contract expands the Defense Integrated Military

Human Resources System (DIMHRS) program beyond the Navy Reserve, where it

began, to all services. SEA will provide management and integration services

for the progr

The objective is to track service members and their dependents

from the moment of first contact with a military recruiter to the time of

the last dependent's death. Information is gathered for a variety of purposes

through an array of existing and outdated systems. The DIMHRS program seeks

to replace some of those systems while integrating others to make the flow

of information easier.

"The first piece is pay and personnel systems, and as the program evolves,

other aspects will be rolled in," said Doug Chandler, chief operating officer

of Albuquerque, N.M.-based SEA.

The lucrative contract also means a major growth spurt for the company.

Most government small business contracts are awarded based on the number

of employees or on revenue, SEA spokesman Kevin Bovee explained.

SEA still qualifies as a small business under most employee-based criteria,

but with annual revenues approaching the $1 billion mark, SEA is no longer

small in terms of the business it does. The $1 billion revenue figure assumes

that all options are exercised for all contracts the company has received

over the past 12 months.

"This will thrust us into a pretty major role in the Department of Defense

information technology world," Chandler said.

The company's president agreed.

"This is a great day for e-business and SEA," said Bobby Savoie, president

of SEA, in a written statement. "We are excited about working with the

Navy's ITC to implement and execute their vision to support the 21st-century

warfighter."

The SEA contract team is composed of 23 subcontractors, including CACI

Inc., Science Applications International Corp., SEMA and 13 Louisiana-based

firms. It also includes educational and nonprofit institutions, including

California State University at San Bernadino, the Louisiana Center for Manufacturing

Sciences and the University of New Orleans.

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