The Washington Post

As BRAC winds down, some contractors consider new opportunities

Will Anderson works on system integration at Audio Video Systems in Chantilly. (Jeffrey MacMillan/For Capital Business)

The Pentagon’s latest base realignment effort — known as BRAC — has been instrumental in growing Chantilly-based Audio Video Systems.

The company, which outfits government and military facilities with the audio-visual and video teleconferencing networks and equipment required in command and control centers, classrooms and conference centers, has won work at the Mark Center in Alexandria and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new Springfield campus. Both facilities were built to comply with decisions made under BRAC, a Pentagon initiative approved in 2005.

As a September completion deadline approaches, local contractors that have benefited from a BRAC boom are looking to new areas for potential growth.

Audio Video Systems, which also has been equipping the Army Materiel Command’s new facility in Huntsville, Ala., and even opened a new office nearby, attributes much of its recent expansion to BRAC-related awards.

The company has doubled its employee count — to nearly 160 — in the last three to four years and has dramatically boosted its revenue. Audio Video Systems expects to post revenue of over $40 million this year and last year opened a 72,000-square-foot headquarters.

Owner Peter Barthelson has doubled the number of employees at Audio Video Systems. (Jeffrey MacMillan/For Capital Business)

Even though the company expects more work maintaining and further customizing its systems once agencies have moved in, Audio Video Systems is positioning itself in other markets, said Michele Ferreira, vice president for sales and marketing.

The company is set to open a new office in Hono­lulu Monday, July 18, as it seeks to capture growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Matthew Dean, president of Falls Church-based Markon, said his company, which specializes in facilities and engineering project management, won work at a National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency site in Bethesda that is being reconfigured as a result of the 2005 BRAC decision.

His firm is managing the planned changes, including road construction, interior renovation and building security upgrades, among others.

BRAC hasn’t been critical to expanding Markon — a small but growing company that recently moved into a new, larger office — but Dean said the company has seen a boost from direct and indirect BRAC changes.

Still, Dean said he expects continued government moves and upgrades to provide business.

“Their mission changes, their requirements change, and therefore their facilities and space requirements change,” he said. “They’ll turn to groups like us.”

Despite the September deadline, many companies involved in constructing or equipping new BRAC facilities will see work maintaining or improving sites, said J. Michael Hayes, director of military and federal affairs in Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development.

Ray Bjorklund, chief knowledge officer at Deltek, which analyzes the government contracting market, said companies that successfully completed major BRAC projects may now be able to translate that performance into work on other facilities-based government initiatives, such as data center consolidation.

“The momentum that started with BRAC will now continue on, not only with DOD but elsewhere in the government, because of these other pressing demands to divest assets and reduce costs,” he said.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.