Battleland

$24,966,507

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That’s how much the Air Force agreed to pay Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. of Herndon, Va., Tuesday, according to the Pentagon’s daily contract-awards list. The money will fund studies, including Emerging Leading-Edge Technological Advancement of Intelligence Surveillance Recon Capabilities Report, as well as Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Report (“Tactics, Techniques and Procedures” is a oft-used military phrase that simply means how we do things around here; the fact that it’s plucked as the title for a multi-million-dollar report seems strange). “These deliverables,” the contract announcement says, “will be used to ultimately increase the situational awareness and survivability of the warfighter by helping them to better identify battlefield threats.” Not sure what’s more appalling: the lousy grammar, or the fact that the U.S. Air Force apparently lacks the ability to do this kind of work on its own.

Oops — continuing down Tuesday’s contract list, there are two additional awards to Booz Allen. One is for $24,116,927 to guide “investment decisions regarding potential technologies that can best protect warfighters from threats posed by technological warfare, natural disaster, biochemical warfare, and terrorism/insurgency.” The other is for $20,768,477 “to analyze and recommend methods to limit terrorist and enemy threats in a permanently deployed, overseas environment.” Nearly $70 million to a so-called Beltway Bandit — even if Booz Allen is more of a so-called Dulles Access Road Robber — to do what the U.S. military should be doing on its own. ¬†Booz Allen made nearly $4 billion last year generating such reports, making it the U.S. government’s 9th biggest contractor.