New security firm takes over at Los Alamos National Laboratory

1995 aerial TA-3 south to north

“A company with a worldwide footprint in security, training, logistics and operations has taken over protective security at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The consortium that operates the nuclear lab for the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the contract to Centerra, formerly known as Wackenhut Services.

The five-year contract requires the company to provide armed, trained and Energy Department-certified security police officers and associated personnel “to safeguard the Laboratory and its assets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Centerra said in a news release.  The statement also said, “LANL is home to more than 10,000 employees and tenants, 11 nuclear facilities and more than 1,200 buildings across 36 square miles of DOE-owned property.”

The contract was awarded by Los Alamos National Security LLC, a joint venture of Bechtel National Inc.; Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group Inc.; the University of California; and URS Energy and Construction Co.   The partners are responsible for the operations and management of the lab through September 2017.

“Centerra successfully completed transition and began full performance on Dec. 1. During transition, Centerra worked with both the outgoing contractor and with LANS to onboard existing protective force personnel and retained nearly 90 percent of the incumbent work force,” the company stated.

A company spokeswoman said Centerra has about 350 employees on-site in Los Alamos.  She said the five-year contract consists of a three-year base agreement with two one-year options.

The award comes after a contentious period involving the previous security firm, SOC, a subsidiary of Day & Zimmerman, an engineering and construction firm based in Philadelphia.  Some 250 SOC workers faced the threat of a strike or a lockout when the company reached an impasse in negotiations earlier this year with its unionized workforce, the International Guards Union of America Local 69.

As a result of the deadlock, LANS prepared contingency plans in the event of a strike or a lockout.  The company reached a new five-year deal with its workers in June, and local members praised the agreement as bringing stability to the New Mexico workers.

The amount Centerra will be paid under the new contract has not yet been made public.  The SOC contract had been awarded in 2010 at $250 million per year for three years with extensions.

Centerra has other contracts with the Energy and Defense departments, including at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in New Orleans, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Savannah River Site, the Nevada National Security Site, Sandia National Laboratories at Livermore, Calif., and at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington state.

In addition to security, the company provides such services as fleet maintenance, search and rescue, facilities management and hazardous materials safety.

Founded in 1960, Wackenhut merged with G4S in 2005 and formed G4S GS in 2011.  In 2014, the company was acquired by Alvarez & Marsal Capital Partners and renamed Centerra Group LLC, according to a company statement.

It is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with regional and subsidiary offices in Maryland, Texas and Virginia”.

(above, from the Santa Fe New Mexican…..December 1, 2015: )





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