SOC set to make cuts

-A A +A

Lab security: Voluntary separations could be offered

According to an email acquired by the Los Alamos Monitor, there could be even more cutbacks at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Serving Our Country (SOC), which provides security to LANL, will possibly eliminate 31 positions in a restructuring that is still under negotiations. The email indicated that SOC was pursuing voluntary separation packages for the lost positions.

Lab spokesman Fred DeSousa said the proposed cuts are not part of the 80 contractor positions cut by LANL last month.
He referred inquiries to SOC spokesperson Liddie Martinez, who was traveling to Washington D.C. and unavailable for comment.

According to an internal email from SOC General Manager Kenneth Freeman, “On July 13, 2012, SOC received direction from LANL to implement a number of physical security changes.

“The direction SOC received was formulated by LANS using the NA-70 Deep Dive Review conducted in January of 2012.

“Attached you will find a letter from SOC’s Contract Administrator explaining what recommendations LANS accepted; and what LANS have directed SOC to complete. The total, at this time, of bargaining unit personnel that will be lost is 31.”

Due to security concerns and to protect the anonymity of the source that provided the email, the Los Alamos Monitor agreed not to document the letter that lists the physical security changes included in the Deep Dive review recommendations that were accepted by LANS, LLC.

SOC organizes its workers in a hierarchical, military-style structure, with supervisors carrying such ranks as major, captain, and lieutenant. The lowest-level guards are unionized, nonexempt, and wear uniforms. Field supervisors also wear uniforms and must maintain the same certifications as the lowest level, including training as first responders, on respirators, and on hazardous materials. They also need some supervisory experience and training in leadership, management, and administration.

According to its website, “SOC is the global leader in full-service security management. With extensive human and technical resources; a domestic and international footprint; and the necessary depth of know-how and experience - we are able to support and achieve our clients’ objectives in any corner of the world. We provide security services for individuals, domestic facilities, nuclear power plants, and military bases.

“We provide logistics services worldwide. We have a wide breadth of operations and maintenance (O&M) capabilities. We train military, police, and corporate personnel in the latest techniques and force protection strategies including personal weapon handling, off-road vehicular maneuvering, planning/executing convoy operations, and a full range of requirements from the military and SWAT Teams.

“Our customers include the United States Departments’ of State, Defense, and Energy; other government agencies; and numerous commercial companies and individuals. SOC continuously provides security from the front lines in most of the difficult regions of the world and at home in our own backyard.”

SOC, which has 550 to 600 employees, and LANS, LLC signed a $251 million contract with a term of three to five years, Freeman told the Los Alamos Monitor in January 2011.

Despite the contract’s shorter term, scaled back scope of work and lower dollar amount, SOC, which announced no layoffs at that time.

"We went through a transition period the last few weeks of 2010, based on a transition plan approved by LANS (Los Alamos National Security), and it was much less painful than we had anticipated it would be,” SOC’s Freeman said in 2011. “No one was separated from the company involuntarily.”