January 20, 2013
On Friday, the Department of Defense announced that it has awarded a $103.6 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to Bluewater Defense to provide the U.S. Army with ... pants. Apparently, a lot of pants. And specifically, "three types of permethrin Army combat uniform trousers." Permethrin is a specialty chemical produced by companies such as Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW ) and is widely used as an insect repellant. It can be applied to clothing for that purpose.
The contract runs through next Jan. 17. If the full amount of the contract is paid out to Bluewater, then this single award would account for about 5% of the $2 billion-plus a year that the U.S. military spends on textile goods annually.
A self-described "worldwide leader in the precision needle working and manufacturing industry," privately held Bluewater serves as both a prime contractor and a subcontractor to the Department of Defense. It's based in Puerto Rico, where it employs 1,500 garment workers working at four locations.