Local small business scores big military contract

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by OTHELLO RICHARDS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 8:35 PM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- A small Spokane Valley company has received a military contract worth more than $13 million.

The Berg Company will produce energy efficient ‘combat outposts’ for war zones and other remote areas. The local company has made tents for more than 100 years, but they will begin sending 10,000-pound insulated, energy efficient shelters overseas.  These shelters use less water, contain appliances, and can be dropped from a helicopter.

Berg Company CEO Don Myers got word the Department of Defense chose his company's prototypes for use in Afghanistan--and wherever else troops get deployed--earlier in mid-August.

"Not to sound arrogant in a positive way," said Myers,  "we were expecting to win. [We] went in with a good game plan. We've been working on this shelter for well over two years. We've had good feedback from folks we use our prototypes with."

The Army awarded Berg a $13,500,000 contract to build hundreds of these compact modules that expand to three times their transport size. The modules include sleeping units, tactical operations centers, and shower, toilet, and laundry units. Berg even made containers specifically designed for ships.

Sharon Burke, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy, joined Washington Senator Patty Murray on Wednesday to congratulate Berg on the contract. Burke said tests have shown Berg's shelters reduce daily fuel use between 30% and 50%, and reduce water use by 70%.

She added that energy efficiency not only saves money, but could save lives because combat troops have to make fewer fuel and water re-supply trips to military camps in contested territory.

"In a place like Afghanistan," Burke said, "every time you make a movement of fuel and water and other supplies, someone has to clear that route of IEDs and bombs."

Burke said the modules will land for the first time in warzones by fall 2013.

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