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Recent pacts reflect San Antonio’s medical and military muscle
September 24, 2010

San Antonio Business Journal - by Mike W. Thomas

The federal government is looking increasingly to San Antonio when it needs expertise in areas relating to military and medicine.

Just recently a pair of San Antonio companies landed multimillion-dollar federal contracts because they have expertise in these two key areas.

TEAM Integrated Engineering Inc. was one of four companies to win a piece of a $200 million "bridge contract" for the GEITA program at the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE), which is based at Brooks City-Base in San Antonio. GEITA stands for Global Engineering, Integration and Technical Assistance and is a program that brings in teams of experts to assist the Air Force in a wide array of activities and projects.

Meanwhile, Eagle Applied Sciences LLC was awarded a contract worth $50 million over five years to provide medical, scientific and technical support to the Center for Disease Control's global health programs and activities.

Ann Stevens, president of BioMed SA, a nonprofit organization that seeks to accelerate the growth of the health care and bioscience sectors in San Antonio, says the pipeline of federal contracts coming to San Antonio companies is a result of the city's long, close relationship with the U.S. military and its strong foundation in the health care sector.

"We have recently become the home of military medicine as a result of the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) initiative and that is starting to have a big impact," Stevens says. "Given the crossover we have between the military and medical communities here, it is not surprising to see San Antonio firms landing contracts like these."

With the consolidation of military medical missions at Fort Sam Houston as part of the BRAC, San Antonio will have one of the two largest military medical centers in the nation, Stevens notes.

At the same time, San Antonio will be the hub of military medical training activities.

"These are both huge developments that are happening here," she says. "We have a lot of military crossover with former military personnel starting businesses or being absorbed into the business community so that we as a business community end up having a deep knowledge of the military's needs."

GEITA bridge
TEAM Integrated is planning to hire as many as a dozen people in San Antonio over the next year as it continues to address a growing federal niche in medical logistic outfitting services.

Last year, TEAM was tapped by the U.S. Department of Defense to move and consolidate medical research equipment from around the country to Fort Sam Houston as part of the BRAC initiative.

The latest contract is called a bridge because it fills a gap between the end of the previous five-year contract that TEAM was awarded in 2005 and the next five-year contract that will be bid in 2011.

Larry Jaramillo, director of contracts for TEAM Integrated, says this allows the company to keep its teams of advisors and engineers in place and working as the bid process is ongoing. The announcement of the next GEITA contract will be made sometime next summer, he says.

"We expect the solicitations will come out in December and a final announcement will be made in June," he says. TEAM won its first GEITA contract in 2001 as a small business, but will have to compete this time as a large business since the company's total revenues now exceed the cutoff of $7 million.

TEAM Integrated has about 200 employees of whom about 125 to 150 will do work under the GEITA contract, Jaramillo says.

The company expects to get about a 26 percent share of the $200 million total contract over the five-year period.
Under the contract, TEAM provides the Air Force with all kinds of advisory and technical assistance on environmental remediation projects as well as support for the Air Force Institute for Operational Health.

While much of the work is done in San Antonio, it also involves work around the world.

Global disease
The CDC sought out Eagle Applied Sciences because of the company's expertise in molecular biology, says Deborah Lickteig, corporate administration manager for Eagle.

Under the contract, Eagle will be providing medical, scientific and technical support for the CDC's global health programs and activities. This will involve providing design management and implementation of CDC programs, including the Global AIDS program and a global disease detection initiative.

"This is the first time we will be working with the CDC," Lickteig says. "But we felt it was work that we can capably pursue."

Eagle is a medical and applied sciences, systems engineering, program/project management and biomedical R&D company. The company holds prime contracts with the Department of Defense and NASA.

Most recently, the company has been doing research in molecular genetics for the U.S. Air Force, Lickteig says.
"Our molecular biologists are looking for genetic markers that can determine if someone is predisposed for Type II Diabetes," she says. "If so, it could be treated early and alleviate many problems later on."

Eagle is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bristol Bay Native Corp., an 8(a) Alaskan Native Corporation that was formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.

It is owned by 7,300 shareholders who are of Eskimo, Native American or Aleut heritage.

Eagle currently employs 260 people worldwide with 90 of those based in San Antonio. The company had annual revenues last year of about $40 million.

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